It’s frustrating when you try to drive in a straight line, but your car has other ideas. If you’re swerving off the beaten path, it’s probable that you need a wheel alignment. When the wheels of your car are properly aligned, each wheel is parallel to the other wheels and perpendicular to the ground.
Proper wheel alignment is measured by three basic angles: caster, camber, and toe. Caster measures wheel pivot angle, which is the part of the suspension affecting whether you can drive in a straight line or if you’re doing the drunken swerve. Camber measures degree of perpendicular offset from the road surface, and should always be 0°. Toe is the angle of directional difference between the vehicle’s centerline and the tire. If any one of these angles is out of alignment, your car won’t be able to steer properly and may pose a safety hazard to both you and others. Improperly aligned wheels can also cut down on vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, resulting in higher operational costs.
For complete vehicle servicing, come in to Formula Automotive Group of Glendale or Burbank for a four-wheel alignment. A four-wheel alignment is the optimal vehicle alignment service package, and benefits drivers of all types – but particularly those with front-wheel drive. Whether you’ve become misaligned through wear and tear over time or something more drastic like a car crash or collisions with road debris, you can find that over time your car will begin to pull strongly to one side. This is referred to as drift, and can make your vehicle extremely difficult to control.
One sign you may not normally check for is uneven and abnormal tire wear. If you find that some of your tires are wearing out more than others, they may be taking the strain of problems with improperly aligned wheels as the force of motion is distributed irregularly between the wheels. Realign your wheels to reduce resistance and keep your tires in top shape, saving costs on both fuel and tire replacements.
Two-wheel alignment focuses on two-wheel drive vehicles, and is also called front-end alignment. With two-wheel alignment, it’s only necessary to realign the two front wheels to ensure proper caster, camber, and toe. Ensure that all three angles are in sync in your two front tires to improve performance for the vehicle overall. If even one angle is misaligned, the performance of the entire vehicle could suffer, leading to increasingly worsening control and safety issues. Even with a two-wheel drive vehicle, it may be wise to have the rear wheels checked and aligned for stability.
High technology is here, and that technology is in our shop. High precision laser alignment ensures proper angles for your wheels with micro-precision, using laser technology to check angles and assure the utmost accuracy in your wheel alignment. If you’re curious to see laser alignment in action, come by your local Formula Automotive Group shop to check out how we use these precision instruments to keep your car running smoothly, running safely, and at peak performance on the road.