Regular car maintenance is not something that you think about often. A vehicle that is just one inch off its alignment is equivalent to driving the tire 100 feet per hour. This can lead to fuel efficiency issues and eventually other problems. Tire alignment can lead to other problems, sometimes literally. Tire alignment issues can cause uneven wear and may make it difficult to stop safely in wet or icy weather.
This FAQ will help you learn more about vehicle alignment, and what you should consider when choosing an alignment shop.
How do I know if my vehicle is out of alignment?
Alignment issues can be caused by hitting potholes, curbs, and other obstructions on the road.
Here are some indicators that your car is having alignment problems:
- When driving straight, the steering wheel tilts to one side or the other.
- You must constantly adjust the steering wheel when driving straight. It pulls to one side or the other if your hands are not on the wheel.
- No matter what road conditions, you feel the steering wheel or your chair vibrating or shaking.
- Uneven wear on one or more tires
What does an Alignment shop do?
Alignment refers to the alignment of a vehicle’s suspension and wheels with the road surface and conditions. To ensure that the car moves in the same direction, it is important to align its wheels and axles.
Alignment machines are used by professional mechanics to clamp on to the wheels of your car and connect to a computer to make precise adjustments and measurements.
There are three types of alignment. The type of suspension on your car will dictate which one your mechanic recommends.
- Frontal Alignment- The simplest alignment, limited to adjustments to the front axle
- Thrustangle Alignment- A front-end alignment and alignment of the rear wheels with the front axle. This is usually reserved for cars with strong rears.
- Four-wheel Alignment –Alignment is typically reserved for vehicles that have four-wheel or all-wheel drive. It combines concepts from front-end alignment and thrust alignments with positioning of the rear axle
How Many Times Do I Need a Tire Alignment.
Experts recommend aligning your vehicle once or twice per year if you drive under normal driving conditions. This is for drivers who have driven between 6,000 and 12,000 miles. If you drive on bumpy and pothole-laden roads or if you hit a pothole so hard your soul leaves your body, it is recommended to have your alignment done more often.
Is it possible to buy tires at an alignment shop?
Different alignment shops have different options when it comes to tires. Some shops have limited options of tires while others stock a wide range of brands. Check the brands of tires that are available before you decide on an alignment shop.
While you don’t need to align your tires when buying new ones, it is a good idea to do so before the tires are mounted. This is especially true if your tires are worn unevenly or need to be repaired.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay at an Alignment Shop?
Angie’s List states that most two-wheel alignment Auckland is between $50 and $75. Four-wheel alignments are typically $100-150. To reduce uneven tire wear, many mechanics recommend that you also have a tire rotation service.
Alignments usually take around an hour. However, if there are other issues with your car such as axle damage or CV joint damage it can take longer. This will increase the cost. A new axle can cost $75 to $150, depending on the car model and make. Labor can run up to twice that amount. The cost of replacing the CV joints is between $95 and $200.