Home > Ask Gary > How do I know when I need an alignment?

How do I know when I need an alignment?

hawkeye_standard_alignmentThe tires are such an important part of the driving experience and functionality of your vehicle that they do require periodic attention. Many people confuse the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balance and why they are needed. I’m happy to explain the need and symptoms for an alignment this week and next week I’ll address wheel balancing.

Wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of this is to maximize tire life and allows for a straight and smooth ride, particularly when driving along a straight and level road.

The symptoms of a car that is out of alignment include:
• Uneven or rapid tire wear. If your tire has an uneven wear pattern, it may be too late to save that tire. So that’s why it’s a good idea to check alignment periodically.
• Pulling, wandering or drifting away from a straight line on a straight, level road.
• Spokes of the steering wheel are off to one side while driving on a straight, level road.

Here at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we have invested in one of the most sophisticated alignment testing systems on the market. The Hunter Hawkeye system (shown in the photo here) uses high-resolution cameras. There is no doubt whether or not your vehicle needs an alignment with this system. We can show you the test results on the screen.

If you would like to have an evaluation for an alignment or any service; or just need to know when they are due, check your vehicle owner’s manual or call one of our experienced Jaffarian Service advisors at 888-355-1041. We’re here six days a week to answer your service questions.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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