One of the best things that can be done for the overall health of your vehicle and comfort while driving is wheel alignment. Phoenix is a well developed city with fantastic roads, but the occasional pothole or road construction can wreak havoc on your vehicle alignment. Not only does tire alignment affect the trajectory of your vehicle, but it stops your tires from wearing our prematurely. For this reason we suggest that your vehicle alignment be addressed if any symptoms of poor alignment are discovered.
Understanding a little more about what is going on when you have you vehicle alignment conducted can be a very big help in scheduling car alignment at the proper interval for your vehicle’s needs. Wheel alignment essentially keeps your wheels pointed in the right direction so that your wheels spin freely with the least amount of resistance per revolution.
The reason that this is important is because the strain placed on the vehicle is drastically decreased when we allow the wheels to spin freely. For example, your wheels are directly connected to your suspension system and steering column. If your wheels are not pointed in the right direction, you can find both of these external systems suffering. Furthermore, proper alignment will give you more control over your vehicle by making it easier to predict the behavior of your vehicle.
One of the tell tale signs of vehicle alignment problems is unnatural tire wear. There are several measurements that need to be in alignment with one another to make sure that the wheels of your vehicle are pointed in the correct direction.
- Camber – camber is measured by angle the tire is leaning when viewed from the front. Positive camber means that the tire is leaning into the vehicle, negative means it is leaning to the outside. This can give your tire a diagonal slanting wear pattern beginning at either the inner or the outer edge.
- Caster – caster has more to do with the ball joints that connect to the wheel and give you the ability to steer. If your caster is incorrect, you may notice a high level of drift with your vehicle. Or your steering wheel may be jilted in a direction other than the direction of travel.
- Toe –toe is measured in fractions of an inch and determines whether the tires on the left and right side are parallel and equal. The tire wear pattern of incorrect toe has the appearance of the teeth of a saw blade.
Many drivers are surprised at the effects that occur when a vehicle alignment is incorrect. First and foremost, the most extensive damage that will occur happens to your tires first. The fact is, if your alignment is off even 1/8th of an inch your tires are effectively being dragged sideways across the road several feet for every mile you drive. In extreme situations, your tires can develop some very interesting wear patterns quite quickly.
If you are noticing irregular tire wear or you notice that your vehicle is handling poorly, you may benefit from an alignment service for your vehicle. Feel free to schedule an appointment either for a visual inspection of tire wear or for the full alignment service. Our staff is standing by to take your call.