Most people don't give the alignment of their wheels much thought. However, it is a very important part of proper vehicle maintenance. The alignment of your wheels affects the vehicle's overall performance, the life of the tire treads, brakes and suspension, and it can even have an impact on your gas mileage. The better your wheels are aligned, the better off your car will be and it may prevent more costly repairs in the future.
Let's take a look at some of the issues concerning wheel alignment. There are some common signs that might tell you when the wheels are misaligned:
Pulling Strongly Toward One Side - Obviously, if you are driving and your car is pulling significantly to the left or right when the wheel is neutral, then there's a very good chance your wheels are out of alignment.
Steering Wheel Off-Center - If you have your car parked and the wheels facing straightforward, look at the steering wheel. If it is turned to one side or the other rather than being centered, it might be a sign of poor wheel alignment.
Vibrations - If your car is vibrating a lot while you are driving, it could be a number of issues such as suspension or wheel alignment. It is best to get this checked out by a professional, so the real problem can be detected and fixed.
Uneven Tire Wear - If your tires are getting worn out unevenly, wheel alignment could be the culprit. Make sure to at least have your tires rotated every 5,000-6,000 miles to avoid one tire taking more abuse than the rest, and then get your wheel alignment checked/fixed as soon as possible.
How Much Will Wheel Alignment Cost?
Checking the alignment of your wheels is a fairly simple procedure with today's technology. We can run that test for you at Fox Run Auto and perform whatever other vehicle inspections you need. Then, we can provide detailed recommendations. If the wheels are out of alignment, we'll give a fair and accurate price estimate for the repairs so you can decide if you want us to go ahead with the work.
There are essentially three issues inspected when doing a wheel alignment check:
Camber - If you are looking at your car head-on and the wheels tilt outward or inward, then there is too much camber. The causes for camber issues could be worn-out bearings, ball joints or suspension components.
Toe - Toe is the angle of the wheels if looking at your vehicle from directly above or below. Imagine your own feet pointing toward each other (pigeon-toed) or away from each other. If your wheels do this one way or the other, there is too much camber and the wheels should be realigned.
Caster - This is the hardest to see with the naked eye because it pertains to the steering axis. It directly affect's your vehicle's handling, steering and cornering, so a proper wheel alignment inspection from a professional shop like Fox Run Auto will include a caster test.
When your wheels are properly aligned and all working together correctly, you will notice a clear difference in the performance of your vehicle. Most importantly, it can help prevent unnecessary wear of vital wheel, tire, brake and suspension components. It's what we would call preventative maintenance.
Bring your vehicle into Fox Run Auto for a wheel alignment check or for any other automotive repair, inspection or maintenance services that you need. We are always happy to help make sure your car or truck is running as well as possible. Call our auto shop today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule a service appointment online.