If you’ve ever driven a new vehicle, chances are you remember what it’s like to have a smooth and comfortable driving experience. Unfortunately, after thousands of miles and quite a few years, your car may not be driving as smoothly and efficiently as it once did. While this is common in vehicles as they get older, once a vehicle hits the 50,000 miles mark and about every 50,000 miles from there on, it may be time to replace your car’s suspension system components and get a wheel alignment.
WHY WHEEL ALIGNMENTS ARE IMPORTANT
Understanding how important a wheel alignment is for your vehicle will help you see the benefits of having it done on a regular basis. The more you drive your vehicle, the more contact your wheels have with the road. Since your wheels are constantly exposed to road conditions, such as pot holes, speed bumps, etc., plus the weight of your vehicle, the components of the suspension system, which provide support and help to steer and maneuver, are subject to significant wear and tear.
WHAT AFFECTS A VEHICLE’S WHEEL ALIGNMENT?
Maintaining your vehicle’s alignment is crucial to maintaining its safety, helping to steer and drive it, increasing the lifespan of your suspension system and preserving tire treads. Alignment affects braking, ride quality, and even fuel economy. An alignment ensures that all tires work together and remain in line at all times for proper contact with the road. To get a better understanding of how a wheel alignment works, you must first understand how your wheels function.
In order for your vehicle to maintain proper wheel alignment, the camber, caster, and toe-in all need to be aligned properly. Here is a brief overview of the camber, caster and toe-in:
- Camber: the angle of the tire from the top to bottom, involves the angle of the wheels’ attachment and affects traction, handling, and cornering.
- Caster: the angle of the tire from the front to back inside the fender well (kick out similar to a front wheel on a bicycle) affects stability and steering ability.
- Toe-in: is the distance difference from the inside of the left wheel to the inside right wheel and affects stability, cornering, tire tread wear, and tire life.
A wheel alignment is like the tuning process for a piano. After it’s been played for a certain period of time, the keys need to be tuned so the piano can maintain proper sound and function. The same goes for your vehicle; after it’s been driven for a certain time, the wheels need to be readjusted and in some cases a four-wheel alignment may be required to ensure the vehicle remains safe, stable, and drivable.
If you notice your tires squeal when going around corners, if your tires are properly inflated, it’s likely your vehicle is in need of an alignment. Protect your vehicle and yourself by stopping into a Sun Auto Service repair facility today for a free wheel alignment check with our state-of-the-art machines. You can trust our ASE-Certified Technicians to inspect and repair your vehicle’s wheel alignment and suspension system properly.