To track properly down the road, your wheels and tires must be pointing in the same direction. This is called alignment. To be able to turn, and move properly over bumps and dips in the road, the wheels and tires work with the suspension, and have certain angles and measurements “built in” by the manufacturer for best handling and overall driving comfort. If your wheels are not set to these precise measurements, excessive tire wear and poor handling will result.
Most cars today require 4-wheel alignment, which can best be achieved on a laser alignment rack. It’s important to have your wheels aligned whenever you have new tires installed, as they will move your wheels “out-of-spec” just by being new! Potholes, speedbumps, dirt roads or even snow berms can tweak your wheels out of alignment, so whenever you’ve put your vehicle through a few uncomfortable bumps or bounces, you’ll want to make sure your alignment is still within specification.
Failing suspension components can also affect alignment, but the symptoms will be different…mostly the vehicle will pull to one side, or the steering wheel might be off-center. Abnormal tire wear is also an indicator of bad steering parts and out of spec alignment. A vibration, or a sound that increases in pitch as your speed increases is usually an indicator of a tire issue, which can also lead to an alignment problem.
Whatever symptom you experience, bring your vehicle in at once to minimize the potential damage to other systems. We’ll inspect your car, and if there’s any needed repairs we’ll give you an estimate. It might just be that an alignment is required to get it back into spec. We’ll give your vehicle the best of care, and get you quickly down the road again!
At Rapid Lube, your complete automotive care center in Austin, TX we install only quality replacement parts. Give us a call and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road. We serve Austin and the surrounding areas.