Wheel Alignment Shop
BRAKEmax technicians are ASE certified and provide wheel alignment services to ensure that your vehicle meets the manufacturer’s specifications. Taking care of this vital service will ensure that your tires last as long as the rubber holds.
How Do I know if I Need a Wheel Alignment?
“My car isn’t ‘pulling’ to one side or another. The alignment must be okay, right?”
Not necessarily. There are several alignment angles; some impact tire wear and some cause a pull. Rarely does tire wear-related misalignment cause a physical pull on the car.
Unfortunately, a wheel alignment service by a qualified professional is the only way to be certain. A vehicle that is out of alignment can exhibit a number of symptoms like:
- Adverse tire wear
- A ‘pull’ to one side or another while driving
- Crooked steering wheel
- Poor handling when braking or cornering
The three main angles measured by an alignment check are camber, caster and toe.
Camber can best be described as the inward or outward angle of the tire as viewed from the front. For example, the Leaning Tower of Pisa exhibits a negative camber. If this angle is too far outside of manufacturer specifications, the vehicle can pull to one side (sometimes) and cause premature edge wear due to one side of the tire tread making more contact with the ground than the other side of the tread.
Caster is the angle of the tire towards the front or rear, as viewed from the side. This angle will not generally cause adverse tire wear, but it will definitely cause a pull if it is out of specification.
Toe is the inward or outward direction of the tires as viewed from above. The most common angle in need of adjustment, misalignment of the toe angle will cause adverse tire wear but not a pull. It is also the easiest angle to ‘knock out’ of spec by hitting a pothole, curb or other object.
View the video below for a further explanation about the three main angles measured during the alignment.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, not necessarily! The most common misaligned angle is the ‘toe’ angle, which will never cause a pull – but it WILL wear your tires unevenly. Only an alignment check can determine whether a vehicle is within the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
Maybe! Alignment is not the only factor involved with a pull to one side – tires can also cause a radial or lateral pull that can impact the steering. Also, some braking problems can cause the vehicle to pull as well.
The most common reason for misalignment is running over potholes or other rough-road conditions. A vehicle that drives off-road is also very susceptible to misalignment and wear-and-tear of steering components, which will also cause misalignment.
Not really! Although old-fashioned alignments used to be performed with manual measurements, the latest in computerized alignment technology allows for much tighter alignment specifications which can impact pulls, ease/difficulty of steering, and more. Simply put, a proper alignment cannot be performed without using the best available technology.