How important is wheel alignment?
Think of it this way: Research indicates that the average vehicle is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with a toe angle misadjustment of 0.34 degrees (only 0.17 inches) out of specification will drag the tires sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year!
What are the symptoms of a vehicle with incorrect alignment?
Have your vehicle checked if you notice:
- Excessive or uneven tire wear
- The vehicle pulls to the left or right
- Feeling of looseness or wandering
- Steering wheel vibration or shimmy
- Steering wheel is not centered when the vehicle is moving straight ahead
How often should I have my vehicle aligned?
Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation noted in your owner’s manual. As a general rule, have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.
The importance of Total Alignment:
- Reduced Tire Wear: Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tire wear. Over the years, a properly aligned vehicle can add thousands of miles to tire life. Most tires are replaced prematurely due to adverse wear.
- Better Gas Mileage: Gas mileage increases as rolling resistance decreases. Total Alignment sets all four wheels parallel, which along with proper inflation, minimizes rolling resistance.
- Improved Handling: Does your car pull to one side? Do you constantly have to move the steering wheel to keep your car traveling straight ahead? Many handling problems can be corrected by Total Alignment service. With all the vehicle components aligned properly, road shock is more efficiently absorbed for a smoother ride.
- Safer Driving: A suspension system inspection is part of the alignment procedure. This allows worn parts to be detected before they cause costly problems.
Wheel alignment is not a complicated procedure, but the correct tools and measuring equipment must be used in order to finish the job. There are several factors that come into effect to make sure all of the wheels are aligned properly. When the wheels are well-aligned the car can have a smooth ride and fuel economy is maximized.
Front wheel alignment is essential for your vehicle. There are many geometrics that come into factor when making the adjustments. Toe in and toe out are what helps control the steering or turning of the vehicle. This is where the front tires are either pointing inwards towards each other (pigeon foot) or toe out is when the tires are both pointing outwards. These differences is what causes the “cupping” wear on tires.
Caster and camber are the vertical directions that the tire points. Caster is when the bottom of the tire sticks out further than the top (like casters on some furniture). Camber is when the tires stick out further at the top of the tire than the bottom. These adjustments keep the tire from having excessive wear on either the inside or the outside of the tire.
Most cars nowadays have adjustments for both the front and rear wheels. Precise equipment are needed to make these adjustments. Proper alignment assures a smooth ride and correct tire wear. When your tires are aligned accordingly they will have a long lifetime. The vehicle also handles better.
When everything is in place, the wet and the dry handling is at its max. Feeling safer in your car knowing that everything is in order, is always a good feeling when driving in rough conditions. When your vehicle is serviced by a qualified technician, you can get around knowing that your car is in good working order. Get in contact with your local specialist for any alignment services that you may need.