What are Alignments?

Oct 21, 2019

What are Alignments?

Alignments are adjustments of a vehicle’s suspension where the wheels connect to the car. The most important aspect of getting an alignment is to ensure your car is driving in a straight line. Getting an alignment consists of three main adjustable angles camber, caster and toe. Camber alignment leans the tire to the side (in or out) similar to how a motorcycle leans in the corners. A car that has more lean means better grip, but it also allows the tire to wear out the edge faster. Caster alignment helps straighten the steering wheel out when you exit a turn. While driving, have you ever noticed how the wheel wants to move back to a forward position? That means your car is in need of a caster alignment. The front wheels on most shopping carts have castor to keep them from taking the cart in different directions. Toe alignment is fixing how the front of the tire points in or out just like snow skis. This can cause the most issues and is adjustable on every car. A toe setting out of adjustment by as little as ½ an inch is the equivalent of dragging a tire sideways 50 feet each mile you drive. 

Why are they important? 

As mentioned above, even the slightest setting out of adjustment can be very dangerous. Not only does  getting an alignment help ensure your car is driving in a straight line, it helps the overall health of your vehicle. A car out of alignment can cause the steering wheel to pull. While this can be annoying for the driver, it can cause an issue for the sensors in the steering wheel that alerts other safety systems like anti-lock brakes. Unalignment can also affect gas mileage on your car. If your tires drag slightly on the road, it will inevitably slow down the car wasting fuel. Getting an alignment is an important part of being a smart driver. 

Shade Tree Auto Alignments 

At Shade Tree Auto, we can help fix any issues you may have with your vehicle’s alignment. Once the job is done, you’ll have a report that shows the angles from before and after to see the difference. We recommend getting the alignment checked each year after winter. The ice, snow, hidden curbs and potholes can take a major toll on your suspension and a vehicle can be out of alignment for months before showing obvious signs of tire wear. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an alignment.