Is It Time For A Wheel Alignment?
The Worst Dance Ever! (Signs That You Need A Wheel Alignment)Oh, boy! Your car is doing some kind of dance, and it's not pretty. As you drive, it pulls you to one side of the road when you were actually trying to go straight. You hear squealing, and it's your tires telling you something rather than you lip syncing. Your steering wheel makes a bad appearance because it is crooked and won't come back to center stage. And the soles of your dance shoes are wrecked.
What’s Really HappeningWell, okay, that's a real stretch. Actually, it's your tires. They're wearing unevenly. The tread is still good in some places, but it is worn away in others. If your trip down the road is no glamorous ballroom dance, let the experienced ASE certified technicians at Precision Auto in Germantown, Maryland, perform a wheel alignment on your vehicle, making your car and you do the "Happy Dance" again.
All About Wheel AlignmentWhat exactly is a wheel alignment? In short, an alignment orients the angles of your wheels such that all moving parts (wheels, suspension, and steering components) work together properly and as intended. The type of alignment you need depends on the kind of car or truck you drive. While many cars typically need only a front-end alignment, all-wheel-drive vehicles or those with front-wheel drive and adjustable rear suspensions need to have all four wheels aligned. (Note: Even on a car that usually needs on a front-end alignment, in some cases the rear wheels will also need to be adjusted in relation to the car's center by performing a thrust-angle alignment.) In either case, the wheels and axles are squared with one another for a similar orientation. Technicians adjust the major suspension angles, including camber, caster, thrust and toe:
- Camber is the amount of vertical tilt to the right or left as viewed from the front of the vehicle.
- An imaginary line drawn through the upper and lower ball joints that impacts steering is referred to as the caster.
- The alignment of the front wheels to the rear axle is thrust
- The difference in distance between the front and back of the front tires is called toe in or toe out.