Why and When to get your Vehicle Alignment Checked

          Todays modern vehicles rely on proper maintenance of vehicles suspension system for three key reasons; safety, vehicle performance and longevity. When the wheels are out of alignment, the tires are not pointing in the right direction. This will affect steering and suspension, but more importantly, it could affect driver and passenger safety and the longevity of the tires and all the components working together to give maximum control and handling. Modern vehicles are more advanced than ever before. With these advances come more complex suspension systems with different purposes. Stability control, dynamic stability control, active stability management or SAS (Steering Angle Sensors) all of these controls need to be calibrated with the suspension system. Every car manufacturer is different and requires different methods to adjust each unique system.


            Safety controls on today’s vehicles rely on proper maintenance and proper performance of the suspension system. Simple wear and tear of driving on bumpy roads, collisions, and large pot holes can cause damage to the suspension and components. Damage to the suspension system can cause the alignment to be out of manufacture specification, this can cause failure lights or messages on the instrument cluster or possibly inoperative of the safety controls. Failure to maintain a vehicles suspension system puts the driver and passengers at risk.


            Incorrect wheel alignment conditions affect tire wear and can cause drifting or pulling during cruise, acceleration and braking, plus poor directional control. Out-of-alignment conditions occur when the suspension and steering systems are not operating at their desired angles, ultimately causing hard or difficult handling and increased rolling resistance. Manufactures design vehicles suspension system to give the driver and passengers a comfortable ride, crisp handling and reduced rolling resistance. For the performance-minded driver, a performance alignment is preferred, which simply means that the owner should take advantage of the vehicle manufactures tolerance range of wheel angles to choose the settings that will maximize the tires’ performance.  


            Incorrect alignment settings will usually result in more rapid tire wear. Therefore, alignment should be checked whenever new tires or suspension components are installed, and any time unusual tire wear patterns appear. When a lack of maintenance on a suspension system occurs it ends up costing the owner of the vehicle money in the end.. Making sure you have your vehicles alignment checked frequently is important (every 12,000 miles) or once a year is great practice or should also be checked after the vehicle has encountered a major road hazard or curb. 


            An accurate wheel alignment is critical to balance the treadwear and the performance the vehicle's tires deliver. Regular wheel alignments will usually save the vehicles owner as much in tire wear as they cost, and should be considered routine, preventative maintenance. Our team specializes in alignments and suspension repair. Understanding all suspension systems and safety systems and how to repair them and adjust them is how we can help our clients keep their vehicle’s suspension system working properly.

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