wheel. Any time a component of the steering or suspension is replaced, then the front end should be aligned. Wheel alignment sometimes referred to as breaking, or tracking is part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of wheels to the car manufacturer specifications. (or purchase a lot of expensive parts to make the wheels adjustable again.). These weights will help identify any point around the wheel’s circumference where excessive weight is being exerted. April 4, 2016 foxysteph. Even though it’s proven to be value for money in terms of safety, many people think that four wheel alignment really is a waste of money. Q: Do you need to do a wheel alignment when you replace the front struts on 2005 Ford Mustang? Rear wheel alignment necessary or not. The second most common symptom of an alignment issue is uneven tire wear. A wheel alignment is a series of measurements and adjustments made to your car to ensure all the wheels are parallel to each other (to the degree of the manufacturer’s specifications), and then a second series of adjustments to ensure the wheels are perpendicular to the ground. When they need to balance a wheel, a mechanic or technician will place small offsetting weights at a series of specific points around the outside of a wheel. Do I Really Need an Alignment? After a certain running distance all the four wheelers are supposed to undergo the wheel alignment operation. (I guess hitting a curb or other accident could bend things too). So why is a wheel alignment necessary? Once a wheel alignment is performed, then the vehicle will be test driven to make sure that it drives straight. However, it is best to have a professional check your alignment, as he or she might be able to catch some early warning signs that you need to have a wheel alignment performed. When is wheel alignment necessary? Your overall driving experience is smoother and you could also benefit from increased fuel efficiency. Many companies offer 'tracking checks', which to the unsuspecting or uninformed motorist may seem to be good value. This may include a front toe and caster adjustment, just like the front end alignment, while the rear wheels receive a toe and camber adjustment. Angles that are marked red are out of specs. What is wheel alignment? Once a vehicle is aligned, it should NEVER need to be aligned again unless suspension-parts wear out or are replaced. Most UK motorists do not realise that their cars need a regular wheel alignment check/service every 12 - 15,00 mile or once a year. Your vehicle manufacturer will have a recommendation on how often you should have your alignment checked, and you should always include an alignment when you purchase a new set of tires. Most importantly, properly aligned wheels are much safer than misaligned wheels. A 4-wheel alignment simply gives the tech more adjustment options to get your wheels lined-up to spec. Why Perform Four Wheel Alignment – Is it Really Necessary? Yes, there is a 4-wheel alignment. Because of the independent rear suspension, when an alignment is done, it needs to be done on all 4 wheels. Hence, just before the wararantee-time expires, take back to Sears for a 'free checkup' on the alignment rack. Though the two services often get confused, wheel alignments are not the same as a wheel balance. I discussed this with my local service station owner, to whom I give routine business not requiring a dealer's knowledge like relining brakes, flushing the cooling system, etc., and he said "we only do 2-wheel alignments" and called the service adviser's suggestion "upselling". Where your AWD comes into play is with the necessity to regularly rotate your tires. It adjusts the angles of your vehicle’s wheels to original specs for best gas mileage, proper road contact, a … Here in Vermont, if the alignment-adjustment points are not regularly moved (and lubed) They just rust in place and you are stuck with the alignment you have. There is a difference in checking the alignment and having the alignment fixed. I also wanted a 4 wheel alignment but the shop doesn't do alignments (found out after I already had the tires installed) so I am taking it to another shop tomorrow for that. Find out more about wheel balancing at ATS Euromaster *Our Computer Alignment Front & Rear can take in excess of 60 minutes and includes Toe adjustment to both the front and rear wheels where possible – some vehicles do not permit rear toe adjustment to occur due to vehicle design/manufacture. Replacing Wheel Bearings at Budget Brakes. It looks like you're new here. Copyright (c) 2011 Michael Palazzolo - Co-owner, Budget Brakes of Tennessee and Alabama. The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce tire wear and to ensure that vehicle travel is straight and true (without "pulling" to one side). The wheel alignment printout shows the wheel angles before and after the alignment. Budget Brakes provides free brake inspections and affordable automotive services. On other cars, the rear wheels are also adjustable.... hence, all 4 wheels should be chacked for alignment. 4-Wheel Alignment In Houston, TX. I know that the alignment is off for sure, the wheels camber in 3-5 degrees. Some cars have a fixed rear axel and therefore the rear wheels do not move meaning only a 2 wheel alignment is necessary, however if all 4 wheels have the ability to move a 4 wheel alignment will be necessary. Wheel alignment problems are more damaging than most drivers know. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons! Why Perform Four Wheel Alignment – Is it Really Necessary? 4) The four-wheel alignment uses techniques from both the thrust alignment and front-end alignment. On some cars, ONLY the front wheels are adjustable.... hence a 2-wheel alignment is approprate. Maintaining proper alignment is essential to preserving both your car’s safety and its tread life. In reality.... a 2- wheel alignment is called a "thrust alignment"... the rear wheels are treated as the FIXED point of reference and the front wheel are adjusted to match the rears best as possible. Technical Forums. Your vehicle's alignment might be in great shape. Not only does misalignment affect the handling of your vehicle, but it adds excessive wear and tear to your tires, suspension, and steering systems. A 4-wheel alignment refers to adjusting all four wheels, which is typically required on all-wheel-drive models, with independent suspensions. Michael Palazzolo - Co-owner, Budget Brakes of Tennessee and Alabama. 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