Being out of alignment can also cause poor handling when braking and cornering, along with poor gas mileage due to the lack of, or excess, friction between the tire and the road. There are three major adjustments on a vehicle that control the alignment of the wheels: Caster, Camber, and Toe. Camber and toe are considered “wear angles”, which means that when they are out of adjustment, it will cause uneven and premature tire wear. These angles are the most common to go out and will usually go unnoticed by the driver.
Caster is a “pulling angle”, which when out, will cause the vehicle to pull in one direction or the other. Tire wear, difference in tread design, and/or brake problems can also contribute to a vehicle pull. There are two types of alignments that a technician can perform. First, and the most common alignment, is a “4 wheel alignment”, where all four wheels are adjustable. Most new cars, SUV’s, and mini vans have all four wheels adjustable. The other type of alignment is a “thrust angle alignment”, where the front wheels are aligned in relationship to the rear wheels. Every vehicle is specific to which type of alignment it requires. Contact your BRAKEmax service advisor to find out which alignment your vehicle will require.
What’s included in our alignment service
Test drive vehicle, Check Suspension, Check Tires for proper pressure, Adjust all angles as available and recommended by the manufacturer, Provide computerized printout showing before and after specifications along with manufacturer’s recommended settings.
The vehicle tends to pull to one side while driving, or tends to wander or weave. The steering wheel is cocked to one side when the front wheels are pointing straight ahead. Accelerated or uneven tire wear. Steering wheel vibrates or shimmies.
Tucson Wheel AlignmentsPosted April 11, 2012 11:37 AM
Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear, or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb, or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.
Driving for an extended time when you're out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You'll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse - you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.
The front wheels are adjustable on all vehicles while the back wheels are only adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is caster. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.
There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension - it should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, a technician at BRAKEmax Car Car Centers can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match the rears.
Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole, or something else that's given you a big jolt, it's better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear - by then, the damage is done.
Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.