Four Wheel Alignment Starting at $69.95
European Alignment Starting at $95
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At Dealer Service Alternative, we use state-of-the-art Hunter alignment equipment including Rim protector adapters. These adapters make sure that only rubber points touch your fancy and expensive rims.
Correct tire alignment is important to avoid abnormal wear on tires and suspension parts. Bad tire alignment will decrease your fuel economy, making wheels work against each other, and wear out tires by causing abnormal tread wear patterns. Here are some signs that suggest you need an alignment fix.
If one or more of your tires shows a much different wear pattern than normal, more likely than not, it’s time for a tire alignment.
Pull to the Right or Left
If you have to fight with the wheel, it’s time for an alignment, so that the wheels all point in the proper directions. You should never let your hand off the steering wheel to check for alignment. It’s not only dangerous, but road crown will almost always make a car drift to the low side of the crown.
Another sign that the vehicle is out of alignment is if the steering wheel is off-center.
Bad tire alignment can lead to other problems on a vehicle. Here are some of the reasons it’s not good for you to keep driving your vehicle without good tire alignment.
Most German vehicles have stagger tires. This means the rear tires are wider than the front to aid in stability. These tires cannot be rotated, so it’s more crucial to have the alignment checked often. It satisfies tire warranty requirements; most tire manufacturers require getting a periodic alignment to keep tires from wearing improperly. Don’t let your warranty be voided.
Benefits of a proper alignment are better handling and improved gas mileage. A car that tracks properly is more fun to drive and is more relaxed. In addition, tires that fight against one another can make your engine work harder, which causes more use of gas. Take away the money at the pump and put it back in your pocket.
Understanding Wheel Alignment
Camber pertains to the angle of the wheel. The measurement is calculated in degrees. Looking at the front of the vehicle, if the wheel is leaning outwards, it is a positive camber. If the wheel is leaning towards the car, it is a negative camber.
When the camber for the wheel is not true or dead centered it leads to uneven tire wear that causes the car to pull to one side or the other. Some front wheel drive vehicles cannot be adjusted for camber, therefore if the camber is off on this type of car, it means that some part is worn out or broken within the suspension system and needs to be repaired.
When the steering wheel on a car is turned, a pivot is turned by the front wheels. This pivot is attached to the suspension system of the car. The angle of this pivot is calculated in degrees which is called caster. If you look at your car from one of the sides and the pivot’s top portion is leaning towards the back of your car, it is a positive caster. When the top of the pivot is leaning to the front, it is in negative caster. When the caster of the wheel is off, it causes the car to not track correctly when moving straight. This can cause the steering of the car to be too light or too heavy, making it difficult to control. Caster is also usually not adjustable on front wheel drive cars. When the caster is off on these cars, there is some part within the suspension that needs to be repaired.
The “toe” of your vehicle is how far the front of the tire is from the back. When your tires are toe in, it means the front part of the tires are closer together than the back portion. When looking at the front tires, if they resemble a triangle in relationship to one another with the small end towards you, your car is toe in. If the triangle has the small end towards the back of the vehicle, then this means the toe is out. Your tires should be even from each other, forming a square. When the tires are toe in or out, it will cause them to wear rapidly. The toe of a car is adjustable on all types of cars.