Wheel alignment schedule

Wheel alignment schedule

How often should the wheel alignment be done

What is the wheel alignment?

The wheel alignment is the process of checking and adjusting the angles of the wheels relative to each other and to the car body. To perform the wheel alignment, the vehicle is placed on an alignment rack. Special sensors are mounted on each wheel. The computer controlled device measures the actual angles of the wheels. Based on the measurements, a technician adjusts the wheel angles (called toe, camber, caster, etc.) that are adjustable to the specifications. Before doing the wheel alignment, the technician will typically test drive the vehicle, adjust the tire pressure, as well as check the ride height and basic suspension and steering components (e.g ball joint, tie rod, strut, etc.). If any steering or suspension component is found to be bad, it should be replaced before doing the wheel alignment. After the alignment is done, you will usually get a printout showing the wheel angles before and after the alignment. Measurements that are within specifications are usually shown in green. The 4-wheel alignment is always the best option, as the 2-wheel alignment involves adjustment of only two (front or rear) tires.

Why the wheel alignment needs to be done.

The wheel alignment needs to be done because over time the wheel angles change. This happens as a result of deforming and wear of various rubber bushings in the vehicle suspension and sagging of the springs. Besides that, the wheel alignment needs to be checked after hitting large potholes and curbs, as well as after accidents. The wheel alignment also needs to be done after replacement any of the major suspension or steering components. Similarly, it should be done after lowering or rising the suspension.

What are the symptoms of improper wheel alignment?

– the steering wheel is off center when driving straight
– the vehicle pulls to one side when driving on a straight and level road
– the vehicle doesn’t hold the road well, feels unstable, wanders from side to side
– tires screeching when turning
– tires wear unevenly

How often should the wheel alignment be done? 

For most cars, there is no specific requirements. Your mechanic will typically recommend doing the wheel alignment every two-three years. Often, the wheel alignment is recommended when new tires are installed. The alignment should be done more often if your car has wider tires or if it’s a sporty car, e.g. Audi, BMW, Mazda 3, Nissan 370Z, etc. From our experience, we can tell that if you re-check the wheel alignment after a year or two of driving, usually it will be slightly off. If you hit a large bump, the alignment will most likely be off.

What are the benefits of doing the wheel alignment?

Your tires as well as suspension and steering components will last longer and your vehicle will handle better. You might notice that after the wheel alignment, the car holds the road better and feels more stable. Again, this is even more noticeable if you have a sporty car or wider tires.

- Jason Harris; Service Manager at Auto Aces Express

2666 N. Packerland Dr., Green Bay, WI., 54313; ( 920 ) 499 - 4424

" Your Problem Solved ! "

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Check your Sway Bars

Check your Sway Bars

Do you have a clunk in the front ?

The basics behind Sway Bar Link replacement services

Connecting the wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle is a stabilizer bar called the sway bar. The sway bar is charged with controlling “body roll” by distributing the weight of your vehicle to both sides of the suspension. When your vehicle moves through a turn, the sway bar keeps the vehicle level by minimizing body roll through the transfer of vehicle weight to the outside wheels. It also maintains solid contact with the surface of the road through the compression of the suspension components on the inside wheels.

Sway bar links are a crucial component in your vehicle’s suspension system. The sway bar links are what connect the suspension to the sway bar and transfer the force of motion from the wheels to the axles. When the vehicle turns or corners, the sway bar end links pull on the bar to resist body roll while stabilizing the force of motion and the weight of the vehicle.

Why should you have your Sway Bar Links replaced ?

Because sway bar links are responsible for transferring the force of motion from the wheels to the sway bar and to the rest of the suspension system, if a sway bar end link is damaged, the control-ability of your vehicle and the safety of your passengers are at risk. While some sway bar links have bushing that can be replaced, other sway bar links require replacements upon wearing out.

Warning signs of a broken or bad sway bar link include clunks and squeaks. Over-steering or excessive lean through turns are also symptoms of worn sway bar links, but they can also be signs of larger problems with your vehicle’s suspension system. Do not let symptoms of bad sway bar links or other suspension components go untreated. Little problems with suspension systems have the tendency to turn into larger problems and more expensive repairs if not repaired or replaced.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, allow our service staff at Auto Aces to determine if a sway bar link replacement is right for you.

- Jason Harris; Service Manager at Auto Aces Express

2666 N. Packerland Dr., Green Bay, WI., 54313; ( 920 ) 499 - 4424

" Your Problem Solved ! "

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