Tire alignment, which is commonly referred to as a wheel alignment, will give your tires proper orientation in relation to your steering wheel and suspension, giving them the ability to perform properly and last longer. Not only can tire alignment provide improved performance and longevity, but it will also improve the handling of your vehicle. Keeping your steering wheel from pulling to one side of the road and eliminating vibrations is key to a healthy car.
What is a tire alignment?
Alignment refers to the adjustment of any vehicle’s suspension. The suspension system is what connects a vehicle to its wheels. An adjustment is not an adjustment to the wheels or tires themselves, but to the suspension of the vehicle. Proper alignment to your vehicle suspension will adjust the angles of tires, which make contact with the road.
Do I need a tire alignment?
There are a few different tell tale signs that your vehicle is due for a tire alignment. If you’ve noticed one or more of the following indicators, it’s important that you make an appointment with the tire alignment pros at Kearny Mesa Automotive for a wheel alignment.
- Vehicle pulling to the right or left
- Off center steering wheel when driving straight
- Steering wheel vibrations
- Uneven tread wear on tires
Caster, Toe, & Camber
When you have your tires aligned, you may hear our concern from our technicians about a few things:
When our technicians refer to caster, know that this is the angle that helps balance steering, cornering and stability of your car while driving. When viewed from the side of your vehicle, a positive caster means that the steering axis is tilted toward the driver. A negative caster means that steering axis tilts away from the driver, the front of your vehicle.
Toe alignment is looked at when a tire alignment is performed. When viewed from above your vehicle looking down, (bird’s eye view), if both front tires of your vehicle are pointed inward, it is called toe in. If the tires are pointed outward, it is called toe out. Both toe in and toe out will require an adjustment.
When looking at your vehicle from the front, a camber refers to the inward or outward angle of the tire. Too much inward or outward tilt is known as a positive and negative camber. This indicates whether your vehicle has improper alignment or not. If your car has worn ball joints, bearings and other wheel-suspension parts, this is usually contributed to a camber misalignment.
Why do tire alignments matter?
Your tires should be lasting for 30,000 miles or longer, and having improper alignment of tires can wear your tires unevenly and prematurely. If you’re looking to have a smooth ride out on the road and have your tires last you years, a tire alignment is a smart adjustment to have completed. Contact the leading tire alignment professionals in Kearny Mesa today!