About Wheel Alignments and Tire Balancing
Wheel alignment is not an actual adjustment of the wheels but an adjustment to the suspension system of your car or truck. To be more specific, it is an adjustment to the angles of the tires so the can make proper contact with the road.
When our ASE Certified technicians inspect your alignment, they look for three main things:
CAMBER, TOE & CASTER
The camber is the angle of your tire. When looking at your tires from the front of your vehicle, if your tires are angled too much INWARD or OUTWARD, then a camber adjustment needs to be made. When your tire is angled too much in either direction, it may cause improper tire wear. When your bearings, ball joints and other suspension-related parts are worn down or broken, it can lead to misalignment of the camber.
If you were to look at your car from the top and through the hood, the toe refers to how much your tires are pointed inward or outward. An inward toe is similar to someone who walks ‘pigeon-toed’. This would mean your car would need a toe-in adjustment. As you can imagine, driving with your tires pointed in would cause them to wear unevenly and wear out sooner.
Noticing the angle of the caster is a little harder to spot. But if your caster angle is tilted too far forward or too far backward, then it can cause balance, steering, stability and cornering issues.
In addition to wheel alignment, tire balancing is another very important component for a smooth, comfortable ride and even tire wear.
Even if your wheels are in alignment, your tires can be out of balance. Driving with tires out of balance can cause an uncomfortable ride and uneven tire wear.
Symptoms of tires being out of balance include:
- Feeling vibration in the steering wheel when driving at certain highway speeds (usually between 50 and 70 mph)
- Feeling vibration in the seat or the floor when driving at certain highway speeds (usually between 50 and 70 mph)
- Uneven tire wear – especially a scalloped or cupped wear pattern
To balance tires, we will carefully measure the weight of each tire to find ‘heavier’ spots on them and add zinc wheel weights to your tire or tires in order to balance them – giving you a smooth ride.