What is an Alignment?
An alignment consists of adjusting the wheels of your vehicle so that all wheels are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. Three basic angles contribute to proper alignment: camber, caster, and toe. Camber is the measure of the degree of perpendicular offset from the road surface. Caster is the angle of your wheel’s pivot, which is attached to the suspension, and when this angle is out of alignment, straight-line tracking is affected. Toe refers to the angle of directional difference between the tire and the centerline of the vehicle. The front and rear wheels on your vehicle should always be perpendicular to the ground and parallel to the tire beside it. Routine wheel alignments have the potential to save you money in the long run while promoting optimal vehicle safety, fuel efficiency, and handling performance.
Benefits of an Alignment
An alignment will keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently by promoting reduced tire wear, better gas mileage, and safer driving conditions. Wheels out of alignment will contribute to uneven tire wear. Uneven tread wear can be felt in a vehicle pulling to the right or left while in motion. Left untreated, wheel alignment issues have the potential to turn into steering and suspension issues, since driving with wheels out of alignment not only puts stress on your tires but also on suspension components.
Signs you may need an Alignment
There are a couple ways to tell if your car needs an alignment. If you've noticed one or more of these indicators, you should have your alignment checked by a licensed service technician immediately.
Uneven tread wear
Vehicle pulling to the left or right
Your steering wheel is off center when driving straight
Steering wheel vibration