manufacturer specifies carefully calculated adjustments and
precise settings for wheel alignment that will reward you with
maximum vehicle performance, optimum driving enjoyment and cost
Improper alignment will result in
difficult handling, greatly accelerated tire wear, poor fuel economy and excessive wear on your vehicle's
Steering or handling
problems may include off-center steering wheel, steering pull ,
unsteady steering, loose steering or hard steering. You may
notice a change in steering direction after hitting bumps.
Unusual or accelerated tire wear may take the form of edge wear, diagonal wear or
cupping that, if left unattended, will cause premature tire
Failing to maintain proper
wheel alignment will make it impossible to maintain
factory-specified suspension settings that control the quality
of your ride.
Protect your investment in
your vehicle by keeping your wheels properly aligned. If you
bump a curb or hit a pot hole hard, have the alignment checked.
If you have new tires installed or worn suspension parts
replaced, be sure to have these repairs accompanied by a wheel
alignment will save
you money by significantly extending the life of your tires
What happens when you don’t fix your alignment issue?
• Safety Issues
• Uneven Tire Wear
• Poor Fuel Economy
• Premature Wear Of Parts
Why is a Wheel Alignment
It’s no surprise that your vehicle will drive better during rush
hour, weekend cruising, or in daily stop-n-go traffic if all the wheels are pointed in the same
direction. That’s called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may
notice that your car pulls to one side or the other.
Something that you won’t notice right
away, but you will if you keep driving around town when
you’re out of alignment, is that your tires are
wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That’s because when the
vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back
straight. The outside of the tire just wears out fast because
you’re constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a
road trip – fighting to keep the vehicle
going straight down the road.
Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of
alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn’t have to be
a big shock, it can just be the regular bumps and bangs of daily driving that add up and eventually take your
vehicle out of alignment.
That’s why one of our advisors may suggest having your alignment checked periodically.
With an alignment service, we measure each wheel’s alignment
and to see where they are relative to factory specifications.
While we have the vehicle on the alignment rack, we inspect the
tires for wear as well as the suspension and steering components
for damage or wear – things that can contribute to
alignment problems. With some sedans you can adjust all
four wheels so we bring all wheels into alignment. On those
vehicles where you can only adjust the front wheels, we bring the
front into alignment relative to the rear.
Cost varies by whether or not it’s two or
four wheel adjustable. Four-wheel drive vehicles may have an
additional charge because they’re more difficult to align. At any
rate, it’s cheaper than having to replace tires every few months.
Scheduled Wheel Alignment
Sparks Tire & Auto | St.
St. Charles drivers need to be concerned about wheel alignments
for two primary reasons: safety and money. When your wheels are
out of alignment, they can pull to one side, maybe pretty hard. A
moment of inattention could put you into on-coming traffic on a
busy street in St Louis or completely off the road. And a bad
alignment will chew up your tires very quickly.
We had one guy in our St. Charles auto service center who said his
wheels were a little out of alignment before a family vacation,
but he didn't think it was that bad. So he didn't take care of it
before he left. A couple of long days of highway driving and his
front tires were worn down to the cords. He had to take a half day
out of his mountain vacation to find a rural town in Missouri big
enough to have a tire center for replacements.
All four wheels are supposed to be lined up and point in the same
direction. Sometimes one or more goes out of alignment and is
pulling against the rest of the team. In addition to excessive
tire wear, this also hurts fuel economy.
Part of the alignment service at Sparks Tire & Auto is an
inspection of the steering and suspension components. Whatever
caused the wheels to be knocked out of alignment in the first
place may have also damaged important parts. So we want to be sure
to replace broken or bent parts as needed. The process corrects
alignment of each wheel along three axes (toe, camber and caster)
as well as front to rear alignment.
Your owner's manual may have a recommendation for how often
alignment should be checked. If not, ask your friendly and
knowledgeable Sparks Tire & Auto service advisor. Here are some
things that should tell St. Charles drivers that they need an
alignment check right away:
Your vehicle is pulling to one side, your steering wheel isn't
centered, you feel a vibration at speed or you see unusual tire