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How To Tell If Your Vehicle Needs An Alignment?

Understanding tire wear and the importance of a wheel alignment can help the longevity of your tires and the performance of your vehicle.

maintenance 06-23-16 Share:

A wheel alignment measures your vehicles suspension (the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels) and adjusts the tires' angles to provide proper contact with the road. Understanding tire wear and the importance of a wheel alignment can help the longevity of your tires and the performance of your vehicle. When a technician at Wiygul Automotive Clinic performs a wheel alignment, they are focusing on three things:

1) Camber

This is the inward or outward angle of a tire when looking from the front of a car.  Too much inward or outward tilt (also known as negative and positive camber) would indicate the need for a wheel alignment. Without proper angling, the inside or outside of your tires will wear faster than the center tread. Here’s an example of camber wear:

Proper camber plays an important role in the quality, stability, and performance of your car. Our technicians use the specific vehicle manufacturer angle recommendation for each vehicle they service.

2) Toe

A toe alignment refers to the angle that your tires turn inward or outward when viewed from above. Proper toe settings will allow the least amount of resistance to occur when your tires go around. Heel/Toe wear occurs when one area of a tread block is wearing quicker than the area around it. Here’s an example:

Feathering is another type of tire wear that occurs from poor toe alignment. Tires become feathered when the tread is smooth on one side but rough on another.

3) Caster

The caster allows your vehicle to drive straight with little or no steering. It also allows your steering wheel to turn back to the ‘drive straight’ position after making a turn. Depending on your vehicle, you will have a positive or negative caster. The type of vehicle you drive determines the caster settings.

Keep your car performing its best and tires lasting their longest with proper maintenance. Visit one of our 8 convenient locations for your wheel alignment.

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8 convenient locations

6001 Lane Drive
Alexandria, Virginia 22304

703.751.1040

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed
310 S. Pickett Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22304

703.751.6766

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed
5665 Burke Centre Parkway
Burke, Virginia 22015

703.764.1700

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed
8007 Malcolm Road
Clinton, Maryland 20735

301.856.8119

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed
9205 Livingston Road
Fort Washington, Maryland 20744

301.265.9600

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed
630 Grant Street
Herndon, Virginia 20170

703.435.3000

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed
11728 Sunset Hills Road
Reston, Virginia 20190

703.437.7070

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed
137 Saint Patricks Drive
Waldorf, Maryland 20603

301.632.6701

Mon-Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun: Closed

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When you bring your family’s car to Wiygul Automotive Clinic, we take your trust in us seriously. We take the time to get to know you and your vehicle. In addition, we will send you service reminders and maintain service records that help keep your car’s factory warranty valid - which means you don’t have to go to the dealer for service.

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