Wheel alignment, also called tire alignment, helps your tires last longer and perform correctly. In addition to that, tire alignment can help keep a vehicle from pulling to one side and make handling smoother while driving. At Kwik Kar in Richardson, we offer every service you might need for alignment.
What Happens During an Alignment?
- Running over potholes
- Hitting a curb
- Bumping up against concrete parking stalls
- Simple wear and tear
When a mechanic measures alignment, the angles are described in tenths and hundredths of inches or degrees. Even a small misalignment over time can cause additional or uneven wear to your tires. If you need an alignment from professionals, Kwik Kar is happy to help.
What Can I Expect if I Don’t Have My Tires Aligned?
Never having an alignment done on your vehicle will only lead you to spending more money on tires. Without the correct alignment, your tires are going to wear down at a much higher rate. You may also begin to notice that your vehicle drives differently over time. You will find that it doesn’t handle as well as it did before, and in more extreme cases, it may even make it challenging to keep control of the vehicle entirely. While this is all horrible, it’s also altogether preventable if you have your wheels aligned when it is needed.
There are a number of ways in which your tires can prematurely age. These include camber wear, feathering, and heel/toe wear. Feathering is what is defined as tires with tread on one side that is smooth but tread that is sharp on the other side. This is typically due to improper toe alignment.
Camber wear shows up as more wear on the outside or inside of the tread, as opposed to the center. This is based on the camber being improperly aligned.
The final type is heel/toe wear which is when one side of the tread blocks has worn more quickly than the other. This can be caused by a lack of rotation or under-inflation of the tire.
If your tires exhibit any of these abnormal patterns, you should have a tire technician look at your alignment. You should do the same if you notice problems with steering or pulling while driving.
When Do I Need to Schedule an Alignment?
An alignment check should be done on a regular basis of about 5,000 to 6,000 miles. A good tip for remembering to get it done is to schedule it with your oil change every other time you visit the mechanic for that service. In the time between, your car is likely to have experiences knocking against the curb, driving over potholes, or traveling down dirty stretches of road. Each of these things has an impact on how your tires sit on the road, which makes for alignment issues.
What Does a Mechanic Do During the Alignment?
The technician who is checking your alignment will be looking at a trio of things. These include the camber, toe, and caster of the wheel.
The camber is the outward or inward angle when viewing the tire from ahead of the vehicle. If there is too much of an angle in either direction, this is known as positive or negative camber. It shows that there is some alignment issue that will need adjusting. Things like ball joints and ball bearings can be contributing factors to misalignment of the camber.
When looking at the toe, the mechanic will be looking at the outward or inward alignment but from above the vehicle. If the tires are angled in toward the body of the car, this is called toe-in alignment. Toe-out alignment is when the wheels angle out away from the body of the car. Either of these things means an alignment is required.
Finally, the caster is considered. This relates to how the angle of steering axis shows up when looked at from the side of the vehicle. With a positive caster, this axis is going to tilt toward the driver. With negative caster, on the other hand, the axis will be leaning away from the driver.
More Information About Wheel Alignment
If you are experiencing issues that may be related to wheel alignment issues, the technicians at Kwik Kar in Richardson would be happy to check out your vehicle. They are knowledgeable professionals who will talk to you about any problems you might be experiencing and then do precise wheel measurements to determine if your alignment is off. If there is a problem, the technicians can also make any adjustments needed.
You can contact our office at 972-644-1851 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help you get your car back in the absolute best shape for driving!