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.
How does poor alignment happen?
Many factors impact your vehicle’s alignment. You typically need alignment service after a major or minor collision that results in physical damage to your vehicle’s frame.
Your vehicle needs immediate attention when you notice steering problems or uneven tire wear patterns on your tires.
Sometimes problems arise from something as small as driving over a pothole, or grazing over a curb.
Look for the following symptoms to determine if you require our computerized alignment services.
A faulty caster angle causes loose or difficult steering.
Caster describes the steering pivot angle, as seen from the vehicle’s side and measured in degrees. Caster alignment plays a large role in evaluating the “feel” of steering and the stability. Three to five degrees of positive caster is typical for most vehicles and lower angles for heavier vehicles.
A faulty camber angle will create pulling and tire wear.
Camber is the angle of the wheel in relation to a vertical direction (seen from the front or rear of the car). A negative camber measurement occurs when a wheel leans toward the vehicle’s framework; a positive measurement points the wheel away from the car. An ideal camber angle assures optimal tire efficiency, proper steering control, and helps prevent rolling.
A faulty toe angle will wear down your tires.
Like camber and caster, toe is measured by degrees. When your front or rear wheels have front edges pointed toward each other, the pair is called “toe-ins.” If the front edges point away from each other, the pair is called “toe-outs.”
With properly aligned wheels, you’ll get:
- Tires that last longer
- Easier steering
- Improved gas mileage
- Smoother ride
- Safer, more secure driving