Do you suspect your vehicle may need wheel alignment? Our experienced Winston Salem, NC, based techs can help.
Maybe you stumbled onto this page because you’re not quite sure what wheel alignment is, or what exactly the problem with your vehicle is.
That’s OK, too! We’ll explain the basics of wheel alignment below. If you’re not sure what’s wrong, we’re happy to help.
Schedule an appointment or stop by our Everything Euro today, and we’ll get to the bottom of whatever’s going on with your Audi or Volkswagen.
What is a Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment is the process of adjusting the suspension on your vehicle so that your wheels are in proper orientation with both your vehicle and the road it’s driving on. This is a complex process that requires the use of specialized computer equipment for optimal results.
There are three angles involved in wheel alignment. Your tires can be off angle when viewed from behind the vehicle, leading to excess wear on one or the other side of the tires. They can also be pointed inward or outward slightly, leading to uneven wear and poorer performance. Last, the entire steering axis can be angled improperly.
Over time, one or more of these forms of misalignment can occur through normal vehicle operations. You might also end up with alignment problems after hitting a bad pothole, going offroad, or going through a fender bender.
Benefits of a Proper Wheel Alignment
The most obvious benefit of proper wheel alignment is a smoother ride. But there are other benefits to getting an alignment, too.
For one, you’ll extend the life of your tires. Misaligned wheels often cause your tires to wear unevenly and more quickly. The faster your tires wear down, the sooner you’ll need to replace them.
Alignment also improves your traction on the road, as the tire can better “grab” the terrain with its full width.
You may also notice improved fuel economy when your vehicle is aligned properly. When everything is operating in harmony, your engine doesn’t have to work as hard (or burn as much fuel) to get you where you need to go.
Signs You Need a Wheel Alignment
You won’t always see obvious signs pointing out that you’re in need of a wheel alignment. That said, most of the time, there are some clues.
If your vehicle always seems to be pulling one direction or the other — even on a flat road — you need a wheel alignment. The same is true if you have to keep your steering wheel slightly crooked if you want to keep driving straight.
If one or both tires is pointing inward or outward while the other is pointed straight, you might hear some tire noise as one tire is partially dragged along.
The last sign is the easiest to spot — but not until your vehicle has been misaligned for quite some time. Check all four tires for signs of uneven wear. If one side seems thinner than the other or you see other unusual patterns in the tread, you likely need an alignment. (And maybe some new tires, sorry to say.)
Think you’re in need of an alignment? Or do you know you need something but aren’t sure what? Stop by our Winston Salem repair shop today to get the answers you’re looking for.
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