Wheel Alignment 101
Because wheel alignments are such an essential part of making sure your vehicle continues to perform at the same high level on which you’ve come to depend throughout your Atlantic City, Egg Harbor, and Vineland drives, BMW of Atlantic City has put together the following wheel alignment information. It’ll cover everything you need to know about what goes into having your wheels aligned and why it’s so important.
What is a Wheel Alignment?
An alignment is the adjustment of your car’s suspension. Because the suspension is directly connected to the car’s wheels, this adjustment changes the angles of your tires.
The Three Aspects of a Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are aligned, your technicians are dealing with three factors. These are Camber Alignment, Toe Alignment, and Caster Alignment. All three are defined below:
- Camber Alignment. Camber is the angle of a tire as seen from the front of the vehicle. When a vehicle is Improperly aligned in terms of camber, it either tilts too far to the inside or too far to the outside.
- Toe Alignment. Toe alignment is how a tire tilts in accordance with the birds-eye-view.
- Caster Alignment. This is the angle in which a vehicle’s steering axis tilts when looking from the side. It’s called positive caster when the steering axis tilts in the direction of the driver’s seat. Negative caster is when it tilts toward the front of the car. Caster alignment affects steering, stability, and balance.
Why a Wheel Alignment is so Important
When your tires are not properly aligned, they can wear out prematurely and break down. Here are the different types of tire wear and tear this can cause:
- Feathering: Feathering occurs when the tread on your tires has become smooth on one side and sharp on the other. Toe alignment issues are the most common causes of feathering.
- Camber wear: Camber wear is caused by either too much positive or too much negative camber alignment on your tire. The result is overly worn tread on either the inside or outside of the tire.
- Heel and toe wear: This is a process that happens when the tread block wears out faster than the other side of the tire.
Signs You Need a Wheel Alignment
Here are a few distinct warnings that you need to have your wheels aligned. If you’re experiencing any of these, have your vehicle checked by a professional technician as soon as possible:
- Uneven tread wear: Uneven wear on your tread can affect your ability to drive safely.
- Your car pulls to the left or right: If you notice that you’re having to progressively work harder and harder to keep your car traveling in a straight line, a bad alignment is likely the culprit.
- Steering wheel vibration: A vibrating steering wheel is another key indicator that it’s time for an alignment.
Schedule Your Wheel Alignment Today
If you have any questions about wheel alignments or you’d like to have an alignment performed on your car and you live or work in the Atlantic City, Egg Harbor, or Vineland area, contact BMW of Atlantic City to schedule your appointment.