When you take your car into the shop for vehicle maintenance or an oil change, chances are you learn that your tires are out of their optimal alignment. While many car owners brush off tire alignment as something that is nice but not necessary, wheel alignment is absolutely required to keep your tires performing as well as possible for as long as possible. So what exactly is tire alignment and why is it so important?
What Is Tire Alignment?
Tire alignment refers to how your vehicle’s suspension is adjusted. If your vehicle has proper alignment, the angle at which the tires make contact with the road is optimal for your car, your tires, and your entire suspension system.
How Do I Know If I Should Get My Tires Aligned?
If you haven’t been told that your tires need to be aligned or haven’t been into the shop for regular vehicle maintenance in a while, here are some signs that you may need a tire alignment:
- The treads in your tires have uneven wear and tear
- Your vehicle feels like it pulls to the left or right while you are operating it
- Your steering wheel is not centered when you are driving in a straight line
- Your steering wheel vibrates while operating your vehicle
What Are The Parts of Alignment?
When your tires are being aligned, the skilled technician or mechanic is focused on the camber, toe, and caster.
- Camber is the inward or outward angle of your tire when you look at it from the front of the vehicle. If the tires point too far inward or outward, your car alignment needs to be adjusted for optimal performance.
- Toe is the degree to which your tires turn inward or outward when looked at from above. If both tires point in (toe in alignment) or out (toe out alignment) it needs to be adjusted so that they look like they are pointing directly forward.
- Caster is the most complicated of the three, and it refers to the angle of the steering axis when looked at from the side. A positive caster means that the steering axis tilts towards the driver. A negative caster means that the steering axis tilts towards the front of your vehicle. Caster controls the steering and stability of your car, so it is incredibly important for your vehicle’s daily operation.
Ready to Discover Proper Alignment?
Auto Stop Limited Inc. is happy to service your vehicle and make sure all of your maintenance needs are properly addressed and resolved. Contact Auto Stop Limited Inc. online or give us a call at (410) 467-7600 to get your questions answered today. To get more vehicle maintenance tips, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.