Proper alignment is essential to keeping you safe on the road. But have you ever wondered what actually happens during an alignment? And what’s the actual purpose of an alignment anyway? In this blog post we’ll answer these and more. First, let’s dive into what an alignment is.
Understanding alignment services
What is an alignment and why do I need one?
Car alignment is a process that aims to properly configure your vehicle’s suspension system. Alignment services make sure that a car’s suspension components are aligned to one another and the surface of the road.
Getting your car in alignment has less to do with adjusting your tires or wheels and more to do with how well they’re connecting to the ground.
When tires are out of alignment, it reduces traction, handling, and braking performance. Not only can this affect the comfort of your drive, it can have dangerous consequences under the wrong conditions.
Signs that your tires are out of alignment are pretty easy to spot. You may experience your vehicle “pulling” to one side or the other despite a centered steering console, or your tires may start to vibrate, especially at higher speeds.
In general, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” schedule for getting your tires aligned. However, many auto body shops suggest getting your alignment checked out every 2-3 years or every 15,000 miles, even if there aren’t any obvious issues. This can help keep your vehicle in top performance shape and catch and issues before they arise.
There are certain factors that can push this timetable forward.
For example, if you live in a rural area where there are more potholes or bumps in the road, your car could easily get thrown out of alignment and thus would require more frequent visits to your local technician. Certain types of vehicles such as sports cars or vehicles with wider tires should also have their alignment check more frequently.
Consequences of driving a misaligned vehicle
It’s easy to overlook a car in need of alignment. But just like an oil change, going without one can cost you more money in the long run and wreck havoc on your car’s suspension. When your car is out of alignment, your tires aren’t able to optimally grip the ground. This can lead to decreased fuel economy, tire life, and can even cause damage to your car’s body and suspension system.
What happens during an alignment
When you bring your vehicle into Beetlesmith’s Valley Auto Service for alignment services, a trained technician uses an alignment machine to measure and adjust your wheels alignment. Typically, this entails squaring your vehicle’s axels and tires so they they move in tandem in the same direction. During this process we also ensure that the steering console is centered, and check essential components of your suspension system to make sure nothing is worn out or close to failing.
The exact type of alignment your car receives depends primarily on your car’s suspension and driving capabilities. For example, all-wheel and from-wheel drive vehicles usually require a four-wheel alignment, while vehicles without this type of suspension may only require a front-end or thrust-angle alignment.
If it’s time for alignment services, bring your vehicle in to Beetlesmith’s Valley Auto Service in Renton! Contact us online or at (425) 251-8787 to schedule an appointment.