An alignment is not a tangible part of your vehicle. The word describes how the wheels and tires are angled on a car or truck.
When you purchase an alignment, you are not buying a product, you are buying an adjustment to those angles, so they match manufacturer specifications.
When engineers design a car, they determine the wheel alignment that will cause the least amount of wear to the tires and result in optimal performance. Before a new car leaves the assembly line, the alignment is set to these specifications.
In a perfect world, these angles would never change. But the truth is, when you drive your car, the wheels encounter many bumps, holes, jolts — and maybe even an accident. All of that can cause alignment to shift.
There are two types of alignments; front-wheel alignments and four-wheel alignments.
The type of alignment you need will depend on the type of car you drive and how your drive it. On most cars built in the last 10 years, the alignment can be adjusted at all four wheels. On all trucks and SUVs with rear wheel drive, only the front wheels need to be adjusted. Others cars may be easily adjusted on front, but require special tools and procedures to adjust the rear.
However, just because a car can be adjusted at all the wheels doesn't mean it necessarily needs it. Often, just the front wheels need to be aligned.
At Downing Street Garage, we’ll help you know what you need to keep your vehicle driving smoothly.