If you’re like most drivers, you probably take your car’s alignment for granted. You may not even know what it is, or how important it is to the safety and performance of your vehicle. 

Everything You Need to Know About Vehicle Alignments: What They Are, How they’re Done, and Why They Matter

Master Muffler Bountiful wants you to be informed about how to care for your vehicle, and alignments are a big part of that. Keep reading to discover what an alignment is, how important they are, and how they’re performed. We’ll also discuss some of the benefits of having regular alignments done on your car. 

What is a Vehicle Alignment?

A vehicle alignment is the adjustment of your car’s suspension components so that they align with each other and with the road. This includes making sure that your car’s wheels are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. It’s like providing a strong backbone for the rest of your vehicle.

The Parts of Suspension Adjusted in an Alignment

Caster: The caster angle is the angle of the steering axis when viewed from the side of the vehicle. This angle affects how easy it is to steer your car. 

Toe: Toe refers to whether your tires are pointed in or out when looking at them from above. If they’re pointing in, it’s called toe-in. If they’re pointing out, it’s called toe-out. This adjustment is made so that your tires roll straight down the road without veering to one side or the other. 

Camber: The camber angle is the angle of your wheel when viewed from the front or back of the vehicle. This adjustment affects tire wear

How is a Vehicle Alignment Done?

A certified mechanic will place your car on an alignment rack where they will make the necessary adjustments to align your vehicle. 

What does a mechanic do when adjusting alignment?

First, they’ll check the caster angle. To do this, they’ll place a level on your car’s steering wheel and make sure that it’s level with the ground. If it’s not, they’ll adjust the suspension until it is. 

Next, they’ll check the camber angle. This is done by placing a level on your car tire and making sure that it’s perpendicular to the ground. If it’s not, they’ll adjust the suspension accordingly. 

Finally, they’ll check the toe angle. This is done by measuring the distance between your tires at the front and back of each tire. They’ll then adjust the suspension so that these measurements are equal. 

Signs You Need an Alignment

If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a good idea to take your car in for an alignment: 

  • Your car pulls to one side when you’re driving
  • Your steering wheel is off center when you’re driving straight
  • Your tires are unevenly worn

Driving without proper alignment is dangerous and can cause accidents due to changes in your car’s responsiveness. Make sure you get alignments done regularly! It’s recommended that regular alignments are performed every 6,000 miles or every couple of years. However, if your vehicle is involved in an accident alignment should be corrected sooner.

Why is Vehicle Alignment Important?

Your car’s suspension is designed to absorb the shocks of the road and keep your tires in contact with the pavement. Over time, your car’s suspension components can become worn or damaged, causing your vehicle to lose its alignment. This can lead to several problems, including: 

  • Uneven tire wear 
  • Poor handling 
  • Reduced fuel efficiency 
  • Premature tire failure 

Benefits of Regular Alignments

There are several benefits to having alignments done on your car regularly. First, it extends the life of your tires by ensuring that they wear evenly. Second, alignments improve gas mileage by making sure that your car doesn’t have to work harder than necessary to roll down the road. Finally, alignments improve the handling and safety of your vehicle by keeping the suspension components in proper alignment.

CONTACT MASTER MUFFLER BOUNTIFUL TODAY

(801) 682-4406

If you have questions about how your vehicle is handling, get in touch with Master Muffler Bountiful today. We can take a look at your tires and suspension to see if there’s a problem and how to best address it.