Wheel Alignment in Naples, FL
When do you Really Need an Alignment?
Alignment ensures tires meet the road at proper angle, that the wheels are pointing straight and the tires are centered in the wheel well. Alignments are meant to adjust angles of the vehicle’s wheels to original specs for best gas mileage, proper road contact, a smooth ride as well as providing longer tire life.
Common signs of a misalignment are when the vehicle is pulling to one side while you’re driving, uneven tire wear and the steering wheel off-centered even though the vehicle is pointed straight.
Steering pull can also be caused by road conditions. If the asphalt has grooves that are slightly farther apart than a vehicle’s axles, the vehicle will feel a pull as the tires on one side ride slightly higher. If the road is noticeably higher in the center, the vehicle may veer left or right trying to find a level surface.
Torque steer pull happens during acceleration from the difference in power being delivered to the wheels. If you get a pull during braking, it’s probably from a caliper on one side sticking and not fully disengaging from the brake disc. If a tire is failing or improper tire rotation schedule are two other causes of steering wheel pull.
Before determining if the source of a pull is due to tires, our technicians perform a multi-point vehicle inspections to assure there are no bent or worn suspension part — ball joints, strut bearings or tie rods — that could be to blame for a poor alignment. An off-center steering wheel can be caused by worn steering or suspension parts.
Tire wear could result from worn shocks or struts, bushings or springs, or from towing or carrying heavy loads (all of which can also affect alignment). Uneven wear can also be caused by driving on over-, underinflated or imbalanced tires. These will also be check during inspection.
If any of the above-mentioned parts have completely failed, just getting an alignment won’t fix the issue.
One last point of confusion: Vibration, often a symptom of out-of-balance tires, not bad alignment.
When should you get an Alignment?
If you answer “YES” to any of the questions below it’s time for am alignment:
• Are you getting new tires?
• Are you lowering or lifting the vehicle?
• Are you replacing suspension parts?
• Have you been in a fender-bender or hard impact with a curb or road debris?
• Has it been a year since your last alignment?