If you are like most people in California, you spend a lot of time in your car. Having a vehicle that goes where you want it to, is important. But road hazards like potholes, tall speed bumps, and curbs can all contribute to the misalignment of your wheels. Even driving off-road can tweak your wheels enough to cause issues. Once your wheels are out of alignment, several things can happen. Uneven tire wear, car drifts, steering wheel vibrations, and worn suspension components are 4 common signs that you need to schedule a Wheel Alignment Service.
What is Wheel Alignment?
Wheel Alignment refers to the position of the wheels in relation to each other, the suspension system, the road, and the steering wheel. Your wheels should be parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. In general, if your car’s steering wheel is facing straight ahead, so should your front wheels. If your car’s steering wheel needs to be turned to either the left or the right in order to drive straight ahead, then there is a good chance that your wheels are out of alignment.
Wheel Alignment Settings
Proper wheel alignment involves three specific settings that are measured in tiny increments and require specialized equipment and extensive training to adjust.
- Toe: Wheels can be ‘Toe-in’ meaning they point slightly inwards or ‘Toe-out’ meaning they point slightly outwards. The amount a vehicle points ‘toe-in’ or ‘toe-out’ can vary by make/model and is factory set to provide a solid feeling to the steering and prevents the need to constantly readjust the steering wheel to move forward in a straight line.
- Camber: The camber refers to the angle of the wheel when looking at it head-on. If the top of the wheel tilts in towards the center, it is called ‘negative camber’. When the top of the wheel tilts out away from the center, it is called ‘positive camber’. Camber increases the steering stability, while also helping the tire grip the road surface.
- Castor: The caster refers to the angle of the front suspension. When the steering wheel is turned, the pivot point is determined by the position of the caster in relation to where the tire touches the ground. A forward or front pointing angle is called a ‘positive caster’, a center or straight up-and-down pointing angle is called a ‘neutral caster’, and a backward or rear pointing angle is called a ‘negative caster’.
Top 4 Common Wheel Alignment Signs
The following signs are not an all inclusive list, but they are usually easy to identify.
Excessive or premature wear on your tires should be addressed as soon as possible. Also, if you notice that the tire tread is more visibly worn on one side of your tire, then it is likely that your wheels are out of alignment. Cars that are properly aligned keep tire wear to a minimum and are never worn down more on one side.
2. Car Drifts
What is car drift? When you drive, your car should move forward in a straight line, unless you are actively turning or changing direction. If you notice that your car pulls to one side, even if the steering wheel is straight, you are experiencing car drift. If you have to continuously adjust the wheel to maintain straightforward motion, or if you feel like you are fighting with the steering wheel, then it may be time to schedule a Wheel Alignment Service.
3. Steering Wheel Vibrations
Do you feel a vibration or shaking sensation when you hold your car’s steering wheel? There are a few possible causes for this phenomenon, but the most frequent reason is misaligned wheels.
4. Suspension System
The suspension system can also have an impact on the alignment. If you have worn or damaged suspension components (ball joints, tie rods, or springs), it can change the camber, which can throw off the alignment. Faulty or worn suspension components will need to be repaired or replaced before a Wheel Alignment Service can be performed.
How Can I Get My Alignment Fixed?
If you suspect that your car needs a wheel alignment, you should get it in for an inspection and adjustment. A qualified service station will have the specialized lift and precise measurement equipment required, and trained technicians to identify and correct the issues. Depending on the cause of the misalignment, prices for a Wheel Alignment Service can vary. It is wise to request a quote for the inspection and the possible repair and replacement costs up front.
Service Center in Perris, CA
If you are looking for an honest and reliable service center in Perris CA, Pulido’s Auto Repair has a qualified team of certified technicians ready to help! We have the experience, tools and know-how to get the job done right and get you back on the road. We service all makes and models, foreign and domestic. Plus we offer a 3 Year/36,000 Mile Warranty.
Schedule A Wheel Alignment Service
We look forward to helping you with your Wheel Alignment Service. Come in, give us a call at (951) 943-2898, or visit us online to schedule your appointment today.
Pulido’s Auto Repair Inc.
130 W Walnut Ave
Perris, CA 92571
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