What’s the most important function of a car? I know, this probably isn’t a tricky question.
The answer: taking you where you want to go.
And what better way is there to make sure your car takes you to where you want to go than getting your wheels pointed in the right direction?
Beck’s Auto Center, your auto repair shop in Lafayette, IN, would like to arm you with the know-how to keep those wheels turning their best!
This is one of those concepts that’s so simple that it often gets overlooked by vehicle owners. We’ve all been trained to get our oil changed religiously and keep the engine and tires in good repair…but we never think about how fine-tuned the wheel alignment must be for optimal tire wear and fuel consumption.
Just like the rest of your car has been precisely engineered to perform at its best, the way your tires are positioned has been given the same attention. Keeping this maintained is clearly an important aspect of optimal auto care.
When Is it Vital?
Obviously, it’s important to keep your wheels in alignment all the time, but there are times when it’s specifically recommended.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. If there are visible signs of malalignment, any shop will recommend getting it straightened out (literally). And it’s a great idea to have your alignment checked if you’ve recently been in an accident or slid into a curb with some force.
But there are other times to get an alignment too. And this includes getting suspension parts worked on and buying new rims or tires. This is especially vital if you’ve just dropped a pretty penny on some nice, new tires. The last thing you need is premature wear on your new, expensive tires.
How Is an Alignment Done?
First of all, calling it a wheel alignment isn’t entirely accurate. Although the goal is to get the wheels pointing the right direction, it’s actually the suspension that’s getting adjusted. And there are 3 main types of adjustment to make to get your wheels properly aligned.
Toe is the horizontal direction the tires are facing relative to the rest of your car. Having an improper toe angle can cause drastic tire wear, rolling friction, and can even cause your vehicle to wander as you hold the wheel straight!
Caster measures the top and bottom parts of the wheel assembly in relation to each other. If they’re not aligned properly, you could have issues at high speeds or a steering wheel that doesn’t straighten up easily after a turn.
Camber is the inward or outward tilt of the top of the tire. Improper camber can cause your car to veer to one side, cause inner or outer tire wear, add rolling friction, and make suspension parts wear out faster.
Your Source for Affordable Alignments – Lafayette, IN
As you can see, your vehicle’s alignment is essential for getting down the road safely and without unnecessary tire wear or repairs. After all, without wheels, your car wouldn’t be much of a car! If you have any other questions or would like to schedule an alignment, contact Beck’s Auto Center at (765) 447-9459 for affordable alignments in Lafayette, IN.