Why is Vehicle Alignment Important?

There are plenty of things to know about vehicle alignment, but there are some basics we should all know – and a question you should definitely ask yourself is: why is vehicle alignment important?

Alignment is a very significant feature to your vehicle. It keeps you driving safely, keeps your vehicle in good condition and protects other assets of your vehicle like tires and the surrounding parts. Something that might surprise you is that you may think your tires look perfectly straight at a glance, but if you look closer, you may notice that the wheels are askew – this would mean it’s due time for an alignment.

The Basics of Vehicle Alignment

Every few years of ownership, you should get your vehicle an alignment service. You should always be sure to have an alignment performed on your vehicle because it is like the skeleton of your vehicle and must be maintained to operate properly. The true frequency of how often you should get an alignment is determined by how often you drive your vehicle, your tire wear and if you feel there may be an issue developing. If you are unsure, it’s best to ask an expert.

Know When to Spot an Issue with Vehicle Alignment

If your vehicle is out of alignment, it will definitely tell you in due time. You might notice wear on your tires on the edges or at odd areas.  Another way your vehicle might show its out of alignment is if it is pulling to one side or another. You may also notice that your vehicle shakes when it goes over a certain mile per hour – typically highway speeds will cause you to notice an issue like this.

These are all signs that there is something awry with the alignment or overall function of your vehicle and should be checked out by a technician to make sure your vehicle is safe for the road.

Positive camber is the tires leaning out.

Vehicle Alignment Terminology to Know

There are a few key terms when it comes to vehicle alignment that all vehicle owners should now:

  • Caster: Caster is the precise measurement of the angle between the upper ball joint and the lower ball joint. The lower ball joint leading is positive caster. the angle that the steering axis operates on. It controls the way the steering is centered.
  • Toe: The term “toe” is the word we use to compare the front and back of the distance of the wheels relative to the center of the vehicle. Toe is not typically something to have altered, but it is good to note the measurement over time to compare data in case there is a drastic change.
  • Camber – Camber is the angle of the wheel relative to it being straight up and down. You might see negative camber on sports cars or highly modified street racing vehicles. Use of negative camber can make it so a tire has a better grip on the road and especially with turning corners.

Always Trust an Expert First

These days everyone has a YouTube degree in one thing or another, but when it comes to the alignment of your vehicle, it’s best to trust someone who is trained and certified to do the job. Technicians who specialize in alignment know how to dial in caster, camber and toe to make your vehicle drive straight as an arrow and keep you and your family safe. Different vehicles all have different specs to follow for the three measurements discussed in this post and we will make sure to have your vehicle dialed in to perfection.