If you’ve been noticing that your car pulls to one side or the other while you drive, your steering wheel isn’t straight when you’re driving straight, or that your tires are wearing on one side but not the other, you likely have an alignment problem. Alignment problems affect more than just your tires. An improperly or misaligned vehicle puts additional stress on other parts of your steering, causing premature wear, which can often create safety hazards. Alignment issues can even affect your gas mileage. There are 3 components to proper wheel alignment, which we’ve listed below:
Tow-In: This refers to the left – right alignment of the tire. Think of a pair of skis. In order to ski correctly, the skis need to be parallel to each other. The toe-in alignment process ensures that the tires are parallel to each other.
Camber: This refers to the vertical tilt of the tires. Where the tow-in alignment produces parallel tires, the camber ensures that the tires are perpendicular to the ground. In this case, think of ice skates. If your ankles collapse inward or outward, you can’t move as quickly. When the blade is perpendicular to the ice, everything works correctly.
Caster: This refers to the tire’s position relative to the tie rods and control arms of the vehicle. If the wheel sits in front of the tie rods, it’s known as positive caster. There are performance issues to consider when caster aligning. Positive caster often helps with stability at higher speeds, but sometimes makes steering a little more difficult.
Signs that You May Have an Alignment Problem
These are some of the symptoms that you may have an alignment problem. Not sure what you’re looking at? Bring it to 5 Points and we can diagnose it for you.
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