We all heard about how important proper alignment is for your vehicle. But what happens during an alignment?
Alignment refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels. It is not an adjustment of the tires or wheels. The key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tires which affect how they make contact with the road. There are a couple ways to tell if your car needs a tire alignment. If you’ve noticed one or more of these indicators, you should get your car into Integrity Automotive as soon as possible.
-uneven tread wear
-vehicle pulling to the left or to the right
-your steering wheel is off center when driving straight
-you are noticing vibration occurring in your steering wheel
When a technician checks your alignment, they are looking for three things; camber, toe, and caster. Camber is the inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Too much inward or outward tilt, also known as negative and positive camber, indicates improper alignment and will need adjustment. Worn out bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-suspension parts may contribute to camber misalignment.
Toe alignment is the extent to which your tires turn inward or outward when viewed from above. If that’s confusing, just stand up and look down at your feet. Angle them inward toward the center of your body. When the tires on your car are angled the same way (remember, we’re thinking in terms of birds-eye-view), we call this toe-in alignment. Angle your feet outward and you have toe-out alignment. Both require adjustment.
Your caster angle helps balance steering, stability, and cornering. Specifically, it’s the angle of your steering axis when viewed from the side of your vehicle. If you have positive caster, the steering axis will tilt toward the driver. Negative caster, on the other hand, means the steering axis tilts toward the front of your vehicle.
If you have improper alignment, it can affect various areas of the car in problematic ways. The right thing to do would be to get your car’s alignment checked and if needed, properly aligned, so that you can save yourself money on potentially creating other problems down the road.
These are just some of the things your mechanic is looking for when trying to make sure your car has proper alignment. Give Integrity Automotive a call at 317-573-0107 as soon as you can to make an appointment to get your car in tip top shape!