Wheel Alignment Repairs and What You Need To Know
Getting a wheel alignment in the Elizabeth Pa area for your car truck or SUV can be an intimidating process, especially when you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes at the auto repair shop. So keep reading and you’ll learn the top 3 things to look for when you want to save money on your car repairs and get the job done right the first time.
Most times our customers see things like uneven tire wear, or their car tends to drift to one side of the road on its own. And there could even be other symptoms like a noise, shaking or vibrating in the steering wheel, or maybe the steering wheel is crooked after hitting a big pothole or curb.
All of these things could be a sign that your vehicle needs its wheel alignment checked, and depending on what you’re driving, a 2 or 4 wheel alignment just may get you fixed up and running straight again; but the key word there is checked.
Every decent car alignment should start out with a full inspection of every steering and suspension component to be sure there’s not a damaged or worn out part that is causing all this in the first place, or if you simply need tires replaced. Just like a doctor would assess your overall health before performing any surgery, we need to be certain that your cars steering system will hold any adjustments firmly before we begin this detailed task.
Components like tie rod ends, ball joints, idler and pitman arms, struts, and stabilizer bars and bushings all need to be in solid condition, or else all our hard work in aligning your car could be lost when you hit the first little bump down the road.
There’s 3 main wheel alignment adjustments performed on most cars:
- Toe: which is how your tires are pointing forward down the road. Look down at your own feet standing up straight and notice how your toes are either pointing straight, out to the side, or toed inward. This is much like your front or rear tires when we set the alignment to the factory specifications. Incorrect toe can cause a choppy, uneven tread wear, and even cause a pull or drift to one side
- Camber : this is how the top of your tires are leaning, either outward or inward. And can affect your tire wear by causing the inside or outside of your treads to become worn and even show the steel cords below the rubber surface.
- Caster: think of this like the front wheel of your bicycle or shopping cart at the grocery store. Caster is the measurement of how the weight of your vehicle is apportioned over the front wheels, and mostly affects the handling or steer ability of your car rather than tire wear. Just like a chopper has a long fork for the front wheel and is harder to steer, or a shopping cart has front casters that turn very quickly and become unstable at higher speeds. This is how caster can affect your drivability; causing a pull to one side or the other if not in adjustment, and even making your vehicle feel unstable at certain speeds.
Not all cars are able to have all of these adjustments done, whether it’s a front wheel or a four wheel alignment. But they still need to be measured to make sure that there is no structural damage from a previous accident or even a minor impact from a road hazard.
Having this information allows us to make the proper recommendations about how to correct the condition. Sometimes an extra adjustment kit is required to correct these conditions, and other times a damaged component may need to be replaced. We just can’t tell until the digital alignment machine makes all of its measurements and compares them to the original factory specifications when your vehicle was built.
So how can you make sure that your car is getting aligned properly?
The first thing to make sure of is that the repair shop that’s handling your repairs has ASE Certified Master Mechanics on staff. This will give you the peace of mind that they have gone through the proper training and testing to demonstrate their competence in all areas of your car repair. ASE Certifications are voluntary, so typically the better mechanics will take the time to undergo this process. Look for the certifications on the wall.
Another thing to make sure of is that the auto repair shop you’re visiting is using digital wheel alignment equipment. Some of the older technology using strings and lasers to level out the sensors is outdated and not able to give accurate measurements that modern cars today require. Yes using this newer technology can be expensive, but when we look at the cost of tires these days, we can’t afford to take a chance on guessing that they won’t wear out well before their time.
One other thing to watch for in professional wheel alignment service is a full color printout of your before and after results. You deserve to see this information and receive a full explanation of everything that was wrong and how the adjustments were able to correct the problems.
Professional Wheel Alignment Saves Time and Money in Elizabeth PA
Because we take your safety and well being very seriously, Elizabeth Auto Care always has multiple ASE master certified mechanics on staff to not only perform these repairs on your car, but to explain them in as much detail as you would like to know.
Elizabeth Auto uses only the latest digital alignment equipment with optical sensors that allow pinpoint accuracy for your vehicles wheel alignment, and the most up to date specifications that are available today.
We will always provide you with a full color printout of your wheel alignment before and after, showing in easy to understand terms exactly how your car truck or SUV repair process went. Plus, we also store into our system the wheel alignment report in case we need to look back and reference it again down the road, because you never know what could happen to your car when you’re driving on the roads in the Elizabeth Pa area.
If you’d like to learn more about how getting wheels aligned in Elizabeth Pa will save you money and time, please watch the short video on this page.
Please also give us a call at (412) 384-7700 to schedule an appointment for your Wheel Alignment In Elizabeth Pa. or click here to schedule an appointment: