You’ve probably heard that wheel alignment is crucial to the comfort and safety of your travel experience as well as to preserve your tires. It’s true, and if you’re driving a vehicle long term that’s not properly aligned, you’ll soon notice the tell-tale indicators. For instance, your tires will wear more in some spots than in others, and you’ll need to replace them sooner than you planned. Also, your car may pull to one side as you drive, the steering wheel may not be centered, or you may hear strange noises such as squealing coming from the tires. Before your initial alignment issue becomes a major problem, see the certified technicians at Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair in Encinitas, California.
An appropriate wheel alignment is performed using a machine designed especially for that purpose. Using clamps, a technician attaches each wheel to the machine. While the vehicle is lifted, a computer measures each angle of the suspension system and the relative position of one wheel to another. By pushing, pulling, and adjusting, the wheels and axles are squared such that they are similarly oriented. The type of auto you drive will determine the kind of alignment performed. Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and adjustable rear suspensions need all four wheels aligned. Others usually need an only front wheel alignment. However, sometimes the rear wheels need adjusting in relation to the car’s center. This is called a thrust-angle alignment. No matter which type of alignment is performed, the major suspension angles are adjusted. These are camber, caster, toe, and thrust. Camber is the amount of left or right tilt (when the car is viewed from the front). Caster refers to the slope of a line that might be drawn through upper and lower ball joints. The difference in distance between the front tires’ front and back is toe, while thrust is the relationship of the front wheels to the rear axle. Since adjusting these angles impacts your auto’s alignment and the car’s ability to function properly, this might be the one time it’s okay to “push” even though that was a naughty offense from your childhood.
When you were a kid, maybe you tied a string to a toy car and pulled it across the floor. While that optimized motion then, now that you have a grown-up auto, you need more than a rope and a tug to keep your vehicle moving well. You need an alignment machine to pull your suspension back to the proper angles, and that’s not child’s play. For professional wheel alignment, rely on Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair in Encinitas, California.