Symptoms Of Improper Alignment

Having the alignment on your checked regularly is important. Proper alignments aids with proper steering, good vehicle control, and avoids excessive or uneven wear on your tires. Some of the symptoms for improper alignment or worn parts that affect the alignment are:

  • Tilted or off center steering wheel.
  • Poor returning ability of the steering wheel.
  • While driving pulling to one side.
  • Uneven or excessive tire wear.

The toe alignment of the vehicle is the difference between the front and rear of the corresponding tires, at the spindle height, as seen from the top of the vehicle. Toe in or toe out will increase tire scrub or feathering on the inside or outside edges of the tires.

The camber alignment is the inward or outward tilt of the wheel, from its top, as viewed from the front of the vehicle. Positive or negative camber can cause suspension and steering parts to wear out prematurely.

The caster alignment is the amount the steering axis is tilted from true vertical, backward or forward, as viewed from the side of the vehicle. Positive or negative caster affects turning ease, straight-line stability and steering wheel returning ability.

Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven tire wear has a few different characteristics, and can mean a few different things. They are listed as follows:

  • Feathered edges on tires – can be caused by improper toe set.
  • Cupped tires – Can be caused by improper tire balance and/or worn shocks.
  • Cupped tire edges – Can be caused by improper tire balance and/or worn shocks like the cupped tires or can also be caused by incorrect toe or camber setting.
  • Excessive tire wear on one tire edge – Can be caused by incorrect camber, worn ball joints, wheel bearings or springs.
  • Diagonal wipe on tire – Can be caused by incorrect rear toe set, worn bushings, grommets or ball joints.

To avoid alignment issues, have your alignment checked regularly an anuual inspection would be ideal but, at minimum each time you purchase new tires. At each oil change you should have your trusted repair facility check tire pressure and fill as needed, check for tire rotation and rotate as needed and keep an eye on unusual tire wear, so the alignment can be checked if needed. That way alignment issues can be caught early, helping to reduce issues with poor handling, fuel economy and excessive wear of the tires.

All About Automotive Offers The Best Quality Auto Repair & Auto Maintenance in Gresham

Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive, providing auto repair and auto maintenance in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at [email protected].

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