Have you ever asked yourself what a wheel alignment is and if you need one?
The following should help you understand what it is and if you should in fact be getting one.
A wheel alignment is part of vehicle maintenance that consists of adjusting the angle of
the wheels. An alignment will in most cases stop uneven tire wear,
straighten an off center steering wheel, compensate for an older suspension.
It can also rectify your car pulling to one side, provided that your tires are
still good. An alignment is also necessary when replacing certain suspension
or steering parts.
Primary Adjustments include: Toe, camber and Caster.
The toe angle identifies the exact direction the tires are pointed.
The camber angle identifies how far the tire slants away from vertical when viewed from the front
or rear of the vehicle.
The caster angle Identifies the forward or backward slope of the upper and lower steering pivot points
when viewed from the side of the vehicle.
Facts to know about wheel alignments.
-A proper wheel alignment begins and ends with a test drive.
-The front end and steering linkages should be checked for wear and or damage before an alignment.
-Pulling isn’t always related to wheel alignment. It could be caused by tires, brakes or power steering. A good
alignment technician can determine the cause.
When should you get a wheel alignment.
-If your tires are wearing abnormally. It only takes a 1/8 inch of toe misalignment to drag the front tires sideways
the equivalent of 28 feet for every kilometer traveled.
-If you’re buying a new set of tires and want to maximize tread life, it’s a good idea to have the alignment checked.
-If you have any kind of steering or handling problem. The alignment technician will also check for worn or damaged
-If you have certain suspension and/or steering components replaced.
If you have any questions talk to your local alignment shop. It never hurts to ask.
Gorm Dagoe and