A wheel alignment is an essential car maintenance task that ensures your vehicle continues to handle and drive smoothly. Since the work requires diagnostic tools that aren't readily available to the consumer, this is a job that professionals must perform. Here's a closer look at the importance of having an alignment done routinely and what the task entails.
Why Is Proper Wheel Alignment Important?
Every road you encounter affects the alignment of your wheels in small ways. Unpaved roads and potholes can be particularly damaging.
There are three elements to the alignment: the camber, caster, and toe. Each of these impacts how your car maneuvers on the road.
The camber allows the car to corner correctly and smoothly and impacts how much friction the tires have with the road. If it's incorrect, your tires will wear out prematurely.
The caster angle is directly linked to steering and its stability. This must be correct to allow for proper handling. Unlike the other two, the toe angle is for driving straight.
How Does the Process Work?
When you take your car in for a wheel alignment, the technician will connect your vehicle to a diagnostic machine to examine the camber, caster, and toe angles. Since a slight difference in degrees can have a significant impact, these measurements can't be made with a simple visual check. If the machine detects any deviation from the manufacturer's intended angles, the technician will make the necessary adjustments.
How Often Does Your Car Need One?
The task must be done routinely to ensure the wheels are correctly aligned. The frequency differs from car to car. It's best to consult the owner's manual for your vehicle.
The number typically ranges between 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Some car owners schedule it for whenever they have an oil change.
If your car is overdue for a wheel alignment, contact M & C Tire in Kalispell, MT. For over 40 years, they've provided basic auto repairs for drivers in Kalispell, White Fish, Columbia Falls, Big Fork, Lakeside, and Somers. Aside from alignments, their trained technicians also perform tire and brake work. Learn more about their services on their website, or call (406) 752-9662 to schedule an appointment.