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All You Need to Know About Wheel Alignment

Proper alignment of your vehicle's wheels helps keep your tires in good shape and your vehicle driving smoothly. Properly aligned wheels save on fuel costs and tire replacements and make your car safer and easier to handle. There are no dashboard warning lights for misaligned wheels, but these signs indicate your wheels may not be properly aligned:

  • Vehicle pulls to the side
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Squealing tires
  • A crooked steering wheel when driving straight

properly aligned wheels on vehicle

Your vehicle's wheel alignment should be checked by a professional auto mechanic at least once a year, or as often as the manufacturer suggests for your specific model. If you notice signs of misalignment, have your car checked as soon as possible. Poor road conditions such as potholes, hitting a curb, driving over a speed bump too quickly, or any other type of impact accident can knock your vehicle out of proper alignment.

What an Auto Mechanic Will Check

Professional mechanics check and adjust three points of alignment so your driving will be safe and efficient:

  1. Camber alignment. The inward or outward angle of the tire seen when facing the vehicle. A tilt indicates alignment is needed. Worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-suspension parts may contribute to camber misalignment.
  2. Toe alignment. The extent to which your tires turn in or out when viewed from above. To visualize this, stand up, look at your toes, and point them straight. That is correct toe alignment. Turn your feet toward each other than away from each other. That is incorrect toe alignment.
  3. Castor alignment. The angle of your steering axis when you look at it from the side of your vehicle. If your steering axis tilts to the front or toward the driver, it is out of alignment. Proper castor alignment gives you optimal, balanced steering, cornering, and stability. In other words, an easier, safer drive.

At Custom Complete Automotive, we offer more than four decades of experience and convenient locations in St. Louis, Columbia, and Jefferson City. To learn more about our wheel alignment services, or if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today. We look forward to serving you!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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