When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard in San Antonio or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday TX driving can cause your family car wheels to be out of alignment. This can lead to expensive premature tire and suspension wear.
Here are some alignment basics from Cordova Auto Centers:
The first angle is called toe: do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire.
The next angle is called camber: do the wheels tip in or out at the top.
And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.
The ideal alignment for your family car was designed by its engineers. Cordova Auto Centers alignment service starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – so see if anything’s bent, broken or worn out. Then the Cordova Auto Centers technician will look at tire condition. From there, the family car is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to manufacturer’s specifications.
Your owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your family car alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem with your family car, get it checked at Cordova Auto Centers before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.
San Antonio drivers ought to be concerned about wheel alignments for two primary reasons: safety and money. When your wheels are out of alignment, they can pull to one side, maybe pretty hard. A moment of inattention could put you into on-coming traffic or off the road. And a bad alignment will chew up your tires very quickly while driving on TX freeways and surface streets.
We had one guy at Cordova Auto Centers who said his family car wheels were a little out of alignment before a family vacation, but he didn’t think it was that bad so he didn’t take care of it before he left. A couple days and a thousand miles later his front tires were worn down to the cords. He had to take a half day out of his mountain vacation to find a town big enough to have a tire center for replacements.
All four wheels are supposed to be lined up and point in the same direction. Sometimes one or more goes out of alignment and is pulling against the rest of the team. In addition to excessive tire wear, this also hurts fuel economy.
Part of the alignment service at Cordova Auto Centers is an inspection of the steering and suspension components. Whatever caused the wheels to be knocked out of alignment in the first place may have also damaged important parts. So we want to be sure to replace broken or bent parts as needed. The process corrects alignment of each wheel along three axes: toe, camber and caster, as well as front to rear alignment.
Your family car owner’s manual may have a recommendation for how often alignment should be checked. If not, ask your friendly Cordova Auto Centers service advisor. Here are some things to look for that should get you in for an alignment check right away: Your family car is pulling to one side, your steering wheel isn’t centered, you feel a vibration at speed or you see unusual tire wear.
Give us a call
Cordova Auto Centers
12715 Nacogdocher Road
San Antonio, TX 78217