During an alignment, various steering and suspension angles are measured and adjusted for optimal vehicle handling. The main angles are called caster, camber and toe.
Why would I need one?
Alignments angles need correcting for several reasons. Normal wear and tear causes suspension and steering parts to weaken and settle, which changes their geometry. Often curbs get bumped or potholes are hit and things are shifted or bent. When suspension or steering parts are replaced alignment angles must be re-set. Sometimes custom alignments are required for particular purposes, such as carrying heavy loads or towing. Alignments are also used to determine structural integrity after accidents.
How often should it be done?
Alignments should be considered part of regular maintenance, but should be done immediately if your vehicle begins to handle differently. With our rough winter roads, frost heaves and potholes, we recommend checking it once a year.
Are there any signs that I need one right away?
IIf your vehicle begins to pull to the left or right, or doesn’t take corners as well, if the steering feels too sensitive or too sluggish, or your steering wheel is not level. Also if your tires begin to wear unevenly.
What if I don’t bother?
Improper alignment can cause rapid premature tire wear, which is expensive, and poor handling, which is dangerous.
Is there anything else that can cause a vehicle to pull?
An imbalance in air pressure, mis-matched tires (tread or size) and worn suspension or steering parts can cause pulling. Sometimes tires themselves can cause a vehicle to pull, despite being the same make and size.
Tires can cause pulling?
Yes. Poor manufacturing, wear or damage can cause imbalances in the internal structure of the tire that make it pull. Crossing tires from side to side will usually reverse the pull. It is not uncommon to have multiple tires on a vehicle that pull. We recommend pulling tires be replaced.
Where can I get an alignment done?
Alignment equipment is specialized and costly, and most shops can’t justify the space and expense. But someone has to do them, and it just happens to be us! Red Truck Automotive does alignments for many dealerships and independent shops in Orillia. We have the equipment and experience to align almost anything you drive. So make an appointment today!
Remember, maintenance makes sense!