Most drivers rarely consider their vehicle’s steering and suspension, but these systems need care like every other. Crucial for independent wheel movement, steering and suspension make your car drivable. In fact, any damaged parts can strain other vehicle components, causing a variety of expensive repairs. One of the best ways to keep steering and suspension healthy is to have the wheels aligned.

What is a Wheel Alignment?

To function properly, several vehicle variables need to interact precisely, including tires. Although they wear out like any other element, driving habits and road conditions cause tires to deteriorate at different rates (front wheels misalign more often than rear ones). A proper wheel alignment counteracts this uneven wear.

The alignment process can vary depending on the make and model. For example, four-wheel suspension vehicles demand different methods than those with wishbone suspension. Either way, alignment is an elaborate procedure that brings vehicle suspension into perfect configuration, adjusting components so wheels align both with the road and each other.

Today’s alignment equipment involves wheel-attaching devices that link to a computer and calculate exact measurements. In addition, angles (called thrust, toe, camber, and caster) will get calibrated, and the technician will ensure the steering wheel sits in a central location.

When to Schedule an Alignment

Although your owner’s manual is a great source, it helps to have the alignment checked at least once per year or every 12,000 miles. You should also schedule an alignment when you replace the tires. Other signs you should bring your car in for alignment include:

  • Difficulty turning the steering wheel (it pulls to the left or right)
  • Feeling of wandering or looseness when driving
  • Excessive tire wear
  • Steering wheel feels off-center when driving straight
  • Excessive vibration at the steering wheel

Other Common Steering and Suspension Services

Along with wheel alignment, Gaston’s Garage repairs and replaces these systems’ key parts, including:

  • Bushings
  • Ball Joints
  • Center Links
  • Idler Arms/Pitman Arms
  • Sway Bar Links
  • CV Joints and Bolts
  • Coil Springs
  • Struts/Cartridges
  • Shock Absorbers
  • Tie Rod Ends and Sleeves
  • Universal Joints and Springs

One of the most important things to think about when scheduling an alignment is to use a reputable, experienced technician. This intricate procedure requires specific training and skills, since proper execution involves complex procedures. Fortunately, the experts at Gaston’s Garage have performed countless wheel alignments and understand the best practices.

Don’t neglect your vehicle’s steering and suspension. Call Gaston’s Garage in Apex, NC at 919-387-7270 today!