Wheel Alignment Services in Lakeland Florida – Wheel alignment involves more than just the wheels of your car. In fact, during wheel alignment services, the wheels themselves aren’t actually adjusted. The parts of the suspension and steering systems impact the angle, or alignment, of your wheels. There are three main angles when considering wheel alignment. Caster refers to the wheel being tilted toward the front or the back of your vehicle. Camber involves whether your wheels are tilted right or left compared to being in a perpendicular line to the driving surface. If your car is driving straight, but your steering wheel is crooked or off-center, you know you need an alignment. Toe involves the direction the tires are pointed, whether they are tilted inward toward the center of the car or outward away from the car.
There are many different things that can cause changes in your wheel alignment. Your suspension and steering systems are made of springs, rods, and joints that wear out over time. Each part is geometrically related to the other parts around it. As friction, pressure, and weather wear parts out, their shapes change just enough to impact the wheel alignment. Hitting a pothole, running into a curb, driving over a parking block, or running over debris in the road can cause damage to parts of your suspension. The force from any of these obstacles causes impact pressure outside of the vehicle’s natural motion. This pressure can bend metal parts and tear or damage rubber bushings in the joints. Broken and damaged parts cause the wheels to change position in relation to the vehicle. Before a safe wheel alignment service can be performed, the damaged parts will have to be replaced.
It is important for the wheels of your vehicle to be correctly aligned. Aligned wheels improve safety by allowing you proper control of steering and handling. If your wheels are misaligned, your tires will wear unevenly, causing a need to replace them sooner. Your fuel economy will also suffer when your wheels are misaligned. In order to safely maintain your vehicle, you should request wheel alignment services from our Joyce Automotive technicians at least once per year.
However, there are some signs that you need to have wheel alignment service completed sooner than at your one-year interval. If you hit a large pothole, debris, or an animal, you should have your vehicle inspected by your automotive technician. If you feel your car pulling to the right or to the left, your alignment may be off. Check your tire pressure to ensure each tire is correctly inflated. If there are no abnormalities in tire pressure, it is probably time to visit us.
You can also look for uneven wear on your tires. If one of your tires shows more significant wear than the others, your wheels are likely misaligned. There may be abnormal vibration in the wheel when you are driving. Vibration can also be a sign of other problems.
Two other signs of wheel misalignment are more passive, yet noticeable. First, you may not feel a pull in the wheel, but when you are on a straight road and let go of the steering wheel, the car drifts either to the left or the right. Second, you will notice when you are driving straight, the steering wheel is off-center or crooked. These are both signs you need to visit us at Joyce Automotive in Lakeland, Florida to request wheel alignment services.