To the average driver, the idea of a wheel alignment might sound silly because your wheels look aligned…right? Our mechanics specialize in wheel alignments, which means they can correct any misalignments within your vehicle’s suspension. This service helps to ensure that your car’s wheels will all operate in the same way when in contact with the ground. By squaring the wheels and axles with each other, your mechanic helps your car function properly. The best part is that with a proper alignment, you’ll avoid irregular wheel wear, which can cost you thousands if left unserviced.
A wheel alignment is really a complex measurement of suspension angles. At Cloot’s Auto Body and Repair, we know your tires are expensive and a primary safety concern. A proper wheel alignment will ensure longer tire life and accurate steering.
Why do wheels get misaligned?
Your vehicle can become out of alignment due to a collision, wear, and hitting a pothole or an obstacle. Cloot’s will accurately realign all suspension angles and have you riding right. Whether you need a front end, four wheel or thrust angle alignment Cloot’s will professionally tune and realign. Wheel alignment should be considered regular required maintenance, and can pay for itself in longer tire life and added safety.
Although it’s pretty lengthy, here is a study on wheel alignment.
How to realign a vehicle
The four angles that are re-calibrated during a wheel alignment are as follows: toe, thrust, camber and caster. Toe and thrust alignment ensures that the front and back wheels are tracking perfect parallel paths. Camber alignments focus on the vertical angle of your wheels, which usually have a slight inward tilt at the top to make steering feel more stable and give your tires a strong grip on the road. Lastly, caster alignments, also known as “crouch angles,” are readjusted so that your wheels sit properly within the wheel wells. Sometimes they can “crouch” forward or backward within the wheel well, which can be another cause of irregular tire wear.
Depending on the type of car you drive, your wheel alignment may look different. On a vehicle with all-wheel-drive (AWD), all four wheels will usually be aligned at once. How Stuff Works explains alignments, saying that “both axles have to be properly aligned so that all four wheels align in a rectangle, parallel to one another and perpendicular to the ground.”
How do you know if you need an alignment?
A car will need a wheel alignment when it starts to pull to one side. The tires may also wear unevenly, making the car handle strangely. A mechanic can inspect the condition of your tires and wheels and perform a test drive to determine if you need an alignment.
The best way to know if you need a car alignment is to have your mechanic check it. The mechanic will look at the car and see how much alignment is needed.
How often should wheel alignment be done?
Wheel alignment should be checked at least every time the tires are rotated, and before any long road trip. Wheel alignment is important to make sure that your car handles and brakes correctly. It also helps maintain tire wear. Improperly aligned wheels can cause uneven tire wear, increase fuel consumption, and even lead to a blown tire.
On top of this, a misaligned car can not only consume more fuel but could also lead to other problems like premature transmission failure from increased stress on different parts.
Front-end wheel alignment vs. thrust-angle alignment
However, if your vehicle doesn’t have four-wheel or all-wheel drive, you will likely receive a front-end alignment or a thrust-angle alignment. Front-end alignments only involve the front wheels and axle, while thrust-angle alignments focus on the direction in which your “rear wheels point relative to the car’s center” (How Stuff Works).
Local Wheel Alignment Shop
Whether your steering column pulls you to one side of the road or your steering wheel shakes at high speeds, it’s crucial to get your wheels aligned. Book an appointment with Cloot’s Collision Repair Shop for your next wheel alignment and take the next step for your safety.
We will get your vehicle back to where it needs to be for optimal performance, whether car, truck, or van. Your tires are all that connects your vehicle to the road, so optimal adhesion is critical. Cloot’s wants you and your family to ride as safely as possible at all times. Savings on tire wear and gas consumption are important, but your safety and customer satisfaction are our number one concern.
Call (413) 568-3441 today! Cloot’s Auto Body and Repair of Western Ma will get your vehicle back on the straight and narrow!
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