How often should I have a wheel alignment?
The process of checking and adjusting the angles of the wheels, relative to each other, and to the car body or frame is a wheel alignment. The vehicle is placed on an alignment rack to perform the wheel alignment. Special sensors are then mounted to each of the four wheels or only two wheels for a front or rear alignments (4-wheel alignment is the best option). A computer is used to then measure the actual angles of the wheel sensors (called toe, camber, caster, etc.) Our technician compares the angles to the specific alignment specs for the vehicle and then corrects the wheel angles accordingly. Prior to the wheel alignment, our technician will test drive the vehicle, adjust the tire pressure, as well as check the ride height and basic suspension and steering components (e.g. ball joint, tie rod, strut).
With bad tie rods or control arms should you get an alignment?
If any of the steering or suspension components are bad they should be replaced before the wheel alignment. After the alignment, you can get a printout showing the wheel angles before and after the alignment.
Why do you need a wheel alignment?
Over time the wheel angles change and because of this a wheel alignment is required. Angles change as a result of deformation and wear of various rubber bushings in the vehicle suspension, including sagging springs. After hitting large potholes, curbs, speed bumps, or an accident, the wheel alignment needs to be checked. Replacements of major suspension or steering components require a wheel alignment well. Similarly, it should be done when lowering or raising the suspension heights.
Symptoms of improper wheel alignment:
– When driving straight the steering wheel is off center
– When driving on a straight and level road the vehicle pulls to one side
– The vehicle feels unstable, wanders from side to side doesn’t hold the road well,
– Tires screech when turning
– Uneven tire wear
How often should the wheel alignment be done?
We recommend doing the wheel alignment every two-three years or if there are signs that the alignment is off. A wheel alignment is recommended when new tires are installed. If your car has wider tires or if it’s a sports car, alignments should be done more often. Re-checking the wheel alignment after a year or two of driving usually shows that it will be slightly out of alignment. After hitting a large bump the alignment will most likely be off, but if your vehicle holds the road well and the tires are wearing evenly, doing the wheel alignment every year is not necessary. Car makers vehicle’s maintenance schedule typically don’t include the wheel alignment timetables, but it’s advised to check if a tire is worn unevenly.
What are the benefits of doing a wheel alignment?
Your vehicle’s suspension and steering components will last longer, handle better and your tires will get better mileage. If you have a sporty car or wide tires, after the wheel alignment, you will notice that the car holds the road better and feels more stable.
Vehicles that we specialize in front end and alignment service and repair.
Mercedes | BMW | Land Rover | Range Rover | Jaguar | Audi | GM | Chevrolet | Chevy | Buick | Pontiac | Dodge | Chrysler | Tesla | Volt | Toyota | Honda | Nissan