Parkway Autocare St. Paul
Parkway Autocare St. Paul
1581 Ford Parkway Saint Paul

NAPA St. Paul Service

The Importance Of Good Wheel Alignment

The Importance of Good Wheel Alignment

Over time, a car or truck's wheels can go out of alignment due to continuous impacts with rough road surfaces and more severe impacts with potholes and curbs. There are several signs that you may need a wheel alignment, including:

  • You feel vibration through the steering wheel when the car is moving
  • The car cannot maintain a straight line without continuous steering wheel corrections
  • The steering wheel pulls to one side and is not centered
  • Tires have uneven wear and need replacement sooner than than expected

Driving a car with a bad alignment can be tiring for the driver and less safe. It can also waste gas and cause additional wear and tear on your suspension, so you should have the vehicle checked out by a qualified mechanic as soon as the symptoms of poor alignment are obvious.

What is a Wheel Alignment?

Wheel alignment service is how your mechanic returns your car’s wheels to their original factory settings by adjusting four specifications:

  • Toe
  • Camber
  • Caster
  • Thrust

The adjustments made during an alignment may include only the front wheels only, or involve all four wheels.

Toe: When looking down from above, the angle that tires turn inward or outward is called the toe. Just as when you look down at your feet, your toes can been turned inward, outward or straight ahead.

Camber: When looking straight at the front of the car from the outside, camber can be seen as the way the tires are tilted inward or outward. If the top of the tires are leaning inward it's called "negative camber", which can improve stability in corners in some vehicles.

Thrust: During a four-wheel alignment a technician will measure whether the front and rear axles are parallel to each other, and to the centerline of the vehicle. Correcting the thrust will ensure that all four wheels will track straight down the road, preventing “crabbing”.

Preventing Bad Wheel Alignment

While all vehicles will need an alignment sooner or later as the miles accumulate, there are a few things you can do to help your car stay in alignment longer. First, avoid hitting obstacles like potholes. This is especially important when cornering. If an impact is unavoidable, first slow down and roll over the obstacle with your foot off the brake. Avoid overloading the vehicle, which can make the suspension less effective at dampening impacts and send the shock into frame of the car. Finally, replace shocks and struts when they are worn out.

Parkway Auto Care
1581 Ford Pky St Paul, MN 55116

Phone: 651.698.3208
Email Us

We are a NAPA AutoCare Center in St Paul Minnesota, providing the following services:


Business Hours

Monday - Friday
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Closed Saturday & Sunday

NAPA St. Paul MN

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