Wheel Alignments

Alignment Basics

Wheel alignment is arguably the most important part of wheel and tire maintenance. Proper wheel alignments keep your tires angled correctly, level with the ground, pointing straight ahead, and parallel to each other, ensuring that they can maintain a straight line while driving. Proper alignment can help extend the life of your tires and makes your vehicle handle much better.

Camber

This is the inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel suspension components may contribute to misalignment.

Caster

Caster angle helps balance steering, stability, and cornering. Specifically, it's the angle of your steering axis when viewed from the side of your vehicle.

Toe

Toe alignment is the extent to which your tires turn inward or outward when viewed from above.

When your vehicle's alignment is out of adjustment, it can exhibit poor handling, reduced fuel economy, and most noticeably, unusual tire wear. The same is true for over and under inflated tires. Check your tires, and if you notice any of these patterns, stop by Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick’s Service Center to have it examined by a Certified expert.

 
Toe Wear: Thin inner or outer edge indicates an alignment problem
 
Camber Wear: Exaggerated inner or outer wear indicates an alignment problem
 
Center Wear: Thin tire tread in the center of your tires indicates over inflation
 
Edge Wear: Thin tread wear along your tires' edges indicates under inflation

When should I have my alignment inspected?

We are all well aware of the road quality in Red Deer, where hitting one pothole or slipping into an icy curb can throw out the alignment on your car. Unfortunately, most drivers won't notice an incorrect alignment until it's too late! How your tires look can be a solid indication of any underlying alignment issues. If you're noticing odd tread wear then you will need an alignment and possibly tire replacement.

 
Your alignment should be professionally inspected at least once per year. This schedule may change if you get new tires, notice unusual tire wear, steering pull or shaking, or if you hit a really nasty pothole (ouch). A wheel alignment is an important part of vehicle maintenance. Regular wheel alignments will improve handling, increase gas mileage, and prevent unusual tire wear.