MISALIGNED wheels are a gas-guzzling problem that can easily be avoided, say staff at an Ellesmere Port tyre specialist.

Staff at Ellesmere – Maple Tyres, Rossmore Industrial Estate, are this month urging motorists to check their vehicles’ wheel alignment to help save them money on fuel costs.

They say misaligned wheels require more energy to turn, which can increase fuel consumption by between 3% and 3.5%.

Rob Johnson, manager of the Rosscliffe Road company, said: “Tyre and wheel misalignment could cost UK motorists up to £100m in additional fuel costs alone.

“Following another harsh winter, misalignment is more likely to develop due to the increased numbers of potholes created by freezing temperatures and the likelihood of vehicles bumping into curbs due to slippery road surfaces.

“With the price of fuel likely to rise throughout 2011, coupled with the increase in fuel duty and VAT, we are warning motorists that they are burning money and taking unnecessary risks by not ensuring their vehicles’ wheels are aligned properly.”

The impact from hitting a pothole or a curb can knock wheels out of alignment, even damaging suspension components if severe.

Rob added: “If a motorist continues to drive the vehicle without the wheels being correctly aligned they will increase tyre wear and decrease fuel efficiency.

“Until March 31, 2011, we are offering motorists a free wheel alignment check and a £5 money-off wheel alignment voucher to be used should remedial work be required. The voucher is available to download from www.protyre.co.uk.”

For more information, visit Ellesmere – Maple Tyres, call 0151 356 4920 or visit www.protyre.co.uk.