If your car pulls or drifts to the left or right when you drive, holding onto the steering wheel can feel like a fight. This typically points to your need for this auto maintenance service. But does that mean you need a four-wheel or a front end alignment?
Vehicle alignment is the correct positioning of your wheels according to the geometry of your vehicle’s suspension system. If your wheels are not in a precise, correct position, they do not work in unison as they should. Even a slight deviation from the right position affects your whole suspension system. This damages your tires, causing them to become excessively worn and putting you at risk for a blowout.
When your wheels do not align with the precise requirement of the suspension, you need either a front wheel alignment or four-wheel alignment:
A front wheel alignment involves the adjustment of only the front wheels in relation to camber, caster and toe. The auto technician ensures the front wheels align, running parallel to the vehicle’s center and perpendicular to the suspension system. But this type of service excludes the wheels’ rear angles.
Thrust alignment also only involves the front wheels. Your technician performs this service if your vehicle does not have an adjustable rear suspension. The focus of this alignment is on precise adjustment according to the thrust line, where the rear wheels point.
Only vehicles having four-wheel independent suspension need a four-wheel vehicle alignment. For this service, the adjustment actually varies from one wheel to the next. Front wheels involve the toe, camber, and caster. But rear wheels only necessitate the toe and camber. All of these adjustments suit the vehicle’s center according to the rear axle angle measurement and then the front axle.
Your vehicle comes out of alignment for a multitude of reasons. Common are driver error, driving conditions and worn suspension parts. Suspension system components experience damage and prove vulnerable to curbs, potholes and other driving hazards. Anytime you run over these hazards or experience other types of impact, the wheel shape can change. Even the most minor changes affect alignment.
When suspension components loosen or crack from extended wear or driving conditions, they do not effectively keep wheels aligned. How you modify your vehicle can also affect the wheels in this way. If you change the height of your vehicle, this throws off the manufacturer’s precise suspension calculations and makes adjustments by a certified auto technician necessary.
It is dangerous to drive a vehicle that has bad alignment. It wears your tires out quickly and can cause a blowout. Your fuel intake increases, too. You will also possibly suffer damage to your suspension system that will require costly repairs.
A badly aligned vehicle is difficult to steer, even straight on a level road. The vehicle pulls to one side and affects handling and braking.
It only takes about one hour for one of our ASE-certified technicians to adjust your wheel alignment, in most cases. Our qualified auto technicians use the most sophisticated equipment to get the work done right according to your vehicle manufacturer’s precise specifications. This service protects you, your vehicle and others on the road. It also keeps you from having to spend more money later because of excessive tire wear, reduced fuel economy, blowouts or suspension components damage.
Call Creech Auto Repair in Raleigh, NC today at (919) 872-1999
to schedule your auto maintenance or repair service. We look forward to having you as part of our customer family.