Wheel Alignment 101

A wheel alignment, or tire alignment, is an important process that can help keep your tires performing properly for a long time. While it’s a seemingly basic maintenance task, there’s a lot that goes into it.

That’s why our service team at Elite Acura will give you a crash course on wheel alignment 101. We’ll break down why alignments are needed, how often they should be done, and how you can get one near Maple Shade, Moorestown, and Cherry Hill today!

How Does a Car Lose Its Alignment?

wheel alignmentThere are several ways that a vehicle could lose its alignment; some of the most common reasons include:

  • Driving over a pothole
  • Hitting a curb
  • Bumping into a concrete parking stall

Cars could also go out of alignment naturally over time. Normal wear and tear can cause rubber suspension parts to crack or ball and socket joints to loosen. All in all, those small impacts can greatly affect your automobile’s alignment.

When Do You Need a Wheel Alignment?

It’s hard to say exactly how often you need a wheel alignment, as many manufacturers don’t include it in their maintenance schedules. However, there are signs that’ll point to an alignment being needed sooner rather than later. They include:

  • Vehicle pulling to the left or right
  • Steering wheel off center when driving straight
  • Irregular tire wear

It’s important not to put off getting a tire alignment when needed, as it could result in your car not handling as well as it should. You may also have trouble maintaining control of your ride, which is never a good thing. Additionally, putting off a wheel alignment can cause the tires to wear down faster than normal, which could result in needing a new set of tires prematurely.

However, you can rest easy knowing that if you get this work done at the first sign of trouble, you’ll be able to prevent any of these things from happening!

Getting the Proper Tire Alignment

schedule a wheel alignmentWhen you get a tire alignment, the service technician will take a look at three things: camber, toe, and caster. First, camber is the inward or outward angle of a tire when viewed from the front of a car. If it points too far in or out (known as negative or positive camber), the alignment will need to be adjusted.

Next, toe alignment is how the tires are pointing inward or outward when viewed from above. A good way to see what we’re talking about is by looking at your feet—angle them in and out, and you’ll get the perspective of a toe-in or toe-out alignment.

Finally, there’s caster, which is the angle of the steering axis when viewed from the side of an automobile. If there’s a positive caster, the steering axis will tilt toward the driver; with negative caster, the steering axis will tilt toward the front of the car.

These three issues will get addressed when you bring your vehicle in to your local tire center. The technicians there will make sure that each tire is centered, ensuring they’ll continue to perform well for many years and miles.

Schedule a Wheel Alignment Today

If you think you may need a wheel alignment near Maple Shade, Moorestown, or Cherry Hill, don’t wait–schedule service at Elite Acura today, and we’ll have you safely cruising around town again in no time!

 

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