So how do you know if you need a wheel alignment? Did you just purchase new tires? Make those tires last longer with a proper wheel alignment.
If you see uneven tire wear, or if your car drifts or pulls to one side of the road on its own, there could be a problem with your wheel alignment. And there could even be other symptoms like a noise, shaking or vibrating in the steering wheel, or maybe the steering wheel is crooked after hitting a big pothole or curb.
All of these things could be a sign that your vehicle needs its wheel alignment checked, and depending on what you’re driving, a 2 or 4 wheel alignment just may get you fixed up and running straight again; but the key word there is checked.
Every decent car alignment should start out with a full inspection of every steering and suspension component to be sure there’s not a damaged or worn out part that is causing all this in the first place, or if you simply need tires replaced. Just like a doctor would assess your overall health before performing any surgery, we need to be certain that your cars steering system will hold any adjustments firmly before we begin this detailed task.
Components like tie rod ends, ball joints, idler and pitman arms, struts, and stabilizer bars and bushings all need to be in solid condition, or else all our hard work in aligning your car could be lost when you hit the first little bump down the road. These are things we check for you to make sure you are informed about the condition of your vehicle.
A four wheel alignment consists of adjusting the suspension of your vehicle so that all wheels are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. Three primary angles contribute to proper wheel 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 points, which are attached to the suspension. When this angle is out of alignment, straight-line tracking or directional stability 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 performance.
There’s 3 main wheel alignment adjustments performed on most cars:
- Toe: which is how your tires are pointing forward down the road. Look down at your own feet standing up straight and notice how your toes are either pointing straight, out to the side, or toed inward. This is much like your front or rear tires when we set the alignment to the factory specifications. Incorrect toe can cause a choppy, uneven tread wear, and even cause a pull or drift to one side
- Camber : this is how the top of your tires are leaning, either outward or inward. And can affect your tire wear by causing the inside or outside of your treads to become worn and even show the steel cords below the rubber surface.
- Caster: think of this like the front wheel of your bicycle or shopping cart at the grocery store. Caster is the measurement of how the weight of your vehicle is apportioned over the front wheels, and mostly affects the handling or steer ability of your car rather than tire wear. Just like a chopper has a long fork for the front wheel and is harder to steer, or a shopping cart has front casters that turn very quickly and become unstable at higher speeds. This is how caster can affect your drivability; causing a pull to one side or the other if not in adjustment, and even making your vehicle feel unstable at certain speeds.
Not all cars are able to have all of these adjustments done, whether it’s a front wheel or a four wheel alignment. But they still need to be measured to make sure that there is no structural damage from a previous accident or even a minor impact from a road hazard.
Having this information allows us to make the proper recommendations about how to correct the condition. Sometimes an extra adjustment kit is required to correct these conditions, and other times a damaged component may need to be replaced. We just can’t tell until the digital alignment machine makes all of its measurements and compares them to the original factory specifications when your vehicle was built.
So how can you make sure that your car is getting aligned properly?
The first thing to make sure of is that the repair shop that’s handling your repairs has ASE Certified Master Mechanics on staff. This will give you the peace of mind that they have gone through the proper training and testing to demonstrate their competence in all areas of your car repair. ASE Certifications are voluntary, so typically the better mechanics will take the time to undergo this process. Look for the certifications on the wall.
Another thing to make sure of is that the auto repair shop you’re visiting is using digital wheel alignment equipment. Some of the older technology using strings and lasers to level out the sensors is outdated and not able to give accurate measurements that modern cars today require.
One other thing to watch for in professional wheel alignment service is a full color printout of your before and after results. You deserve to see this information and receive a full explanation of everything that was wrong and how the adjustments were able to correct the problems.
Professional Wheel Alignment Saves Time and Money in Buford GA
Because we take your safety and well being very seriously, Team Ryan Automotive always has multiple ASE master certified mechanics on staff to not only perform these repairs on your car, but to explain them in as much detail as you would like to know.
Team Ryan Automotive uses only the latest digital alignment equipment with optical sensors that allow pinpoint accuracy for your vehicles wheel alignment, and the most up to date specifications that are available today.
We will always provide you with a full color printout of your wheel alignment before and after, showing in easy to understand terms exactly how your car truck or SUV repair process went. Plus, we also store into our system the wheel alignment report in case we need to look back and reference it again down the road, because you never know what could happen to your car when you’re driving on the roads in the Buford GA area.
Benefits of Wheel Alignment
A four wheel alignment will keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently by promoting better gas mileage, reduced tire wear and overall 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. If your vehicle begins pulling to the right or left while driving, or if you feel a vibration in the steering wheel at higher speeds, contact us today for a wheel alignment service.
Team Ryan Automotive proudly serves the Wheel Alignment needs of customers in Buford, GA, Sugar Hill, GA, Suwanee, GA, Flowery Branch, GA and surrounding areas
Areas Served: Buford GA | Sugar Hill GA | Suwanee GA | Braselton GA | Flowery Branch GA and surrounding areas