How do I know when I need a wheel alignment?
When your wheels are properly aligned, they all point in the same direction. When they are out of alignment, most people notice a couple of things. First the car pulls to one side when driving. It could be slight or severe. If your wheels have been out of alignment for a while, you’ll also start to see uneven tire wear – the shoulder on either the outside or inside of the tire is worn down more than the other.
A whole bunch of steering and suspension components are joined together. Everyday driving can cause your wheels to go out of alignment over time just from the joints loosening up. That’s why most manufacturers recommend an alignment check every couple of years. Depending on where you live or the conditions you drive in (off-road driving, harsh winter conditions, poor pavement, etc.) – an alignment inspection every year may be called for.
Suspension and steering components wear over time, which can lead to alignment issues. Of course, a big bump like hitting a curb or pothole can knock a wheel out of alignment or damage a steering or suspension part.
Your technician will examine your tires for uneven wear. The type of wear provides clues for what might be wrong. Undercar parts are inspected for wear and damage. The alignment machine will provide a reading of how each wheel is aligned. The reading is compared with the alignment settings recommended by the manufacturer, and then the technician makes the necessary adjustments and repairs to bring your wheels back into alignment.
Now putting off a wheel alignment can get expensive because of tire wear: a bad alignment can chew through a tire quickly. If you see uneven tire wear, if your steering wheel is off center, or your vehicle pulls to one side ask your Service Advisor about getting an alignment check.
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931 E Little Creek Rd.
Norfolk, VA 23518