Wheel alignment is essential, and when the alignment is off, it can cause many problems with the handling and performance of your vehicle. An alignment service can adjust the settings to bring the alignment into factory settings. However, some things can cause the alignment to continually change and may require repair before the wheel alignment is set.
When taking your vehicle in for a wheel alignment, it is common for the technician at the alignment service to put your vehicle on a lift and inspect the front steering, suspension, and tires. This inspection is crucial and can often uncover worn or damaged parts in the front end, causing alignment problems.
If the tech finds any loose or worn components, they may try to tighten things up, but a worn ball joint or a tie rod with no grease left in it and is damaged may need replacing instead of an adjustment. Once the pre-alignment inspection is complete, the technician can give you their opinion about the car's condition and let you know if they can align it or need to schedule a time to make repairs first.
Any alignment service that does not do this inspection and sets the alignment with worn parts is doing you a disservice, and the worn parts are likely to let the alignment slip again very quickly. In some cases, the condition of the parts is questionable, and they may feel they are okay to use, but any part with accessive wear will fail sooner, potentially allowing the alignment to go back to where it was or worse.
Aligning The Front End
When the alignment service determines the suspension and steering parts are good or repairs are complete, the car can go onto the alignment rack. The rack is a large platform that holds the car, and a set of targets are attached to the tires.
The targets allow the computer to send a laser signal to them and record the tire and wheel position when the car is sitting on the tires at standard ride height. Each manufacturer has a specific set of numbers that define the correct alignment for your car or truck, and the computer will recommend adjustments that the technician can make to bring the wheels and tires into the factory position.
These settings are determined when the car is built, and when the alignment is off, the vehicle will handle poorly, allowing it to wander in the road and potentially wear out the tires on the car very quickly. The alignment service can check and adjust your alignment quickly, correcting problems that will tighten up the front end of your vehicle and make it easier to drive and safer for the road.
For more information about wheel alignment, contact a local company.