Computerized Alignment & Balance
Computerized Alignment and Balance
Your car’s alignment can impact how it handles, performs, and runs in general. From changing how your car handles, to ruining tires, your alignment is something that can cost you time and money if you don’t get it taken care of.
Signs the Car is Out of Alignment
The easiest way to tell if your car is out of alignment is uneven wear on the tread of your tires. As your alignment goes out, your tread will wear faster, or show an irregular smoothness.
The second sign is that your car will pull when you’re trying to drive in a straight line. If you find that you have to constantly correct your course when the road is level, then that is a telltale sign that your alignment is out.
Finally, pay close attention to the spokes on your steering wheel. Your steering wheel should be even if you’re driving on a level surface. If the spokes are at an angle, then your alignment may be off.
Signs a Wheel is Out of Balance
You might also just have one wheel out of balance. This is also a problem, as it can impact the handling of your vehicle, drastically wear down that one wheel, and can also eventually throw the rest of your car out of alignment. A quick way to tell if a wheel is out of balance is if the car starts to vibrate. If it feels like a wheel is vibrating (especially at high speeds), or if your floorboards or steering wheel is vibrating, then there is a strong possibility that you have a wheel that needs to be checked.
How Computerized Alignment and Balancing Works
Your car is aligned on an alignment rack. Once it is on the rack, a computer measures how the car sits and determines how far off the alignment is measured by rim width, diameter, and distance on your tires. The machine runs your vehicle’s wheels until they are at the best possible point to be balanced. This point is measured in three categories; fine, medium, or average.
While a computer is able to measure your alignment with an incredible degree of accuracy, mechanics have been able to do this for years, simply by using chalk lines and math. The technique requires patience and precision, but it can be done. This doesn’t mean you should try doing it yourself, but it does mean that this is something that is done often, and that any competent auto shop should be able to perform the service.
A bad alignment can cost you in the long run. Balding tires, messed up steering, and bad shocks are just the start. More than that, a bad alignment can mean poor control over your car, which can lead to potential problems, or even accidents. For your safety, for your car’s health, and for the sake of your hard earned cash, get your alignment checked today. Again, it can cost you, and you may not like the price if it goes.