Having proper camber, caster, and toe properly aligned is very important for the safety, performance, and longevity of your car. In this article we will discus the detriments to having a bad alignment and why not getting one will cost you more money in the long run. Part of living in New York City, is dealing with bad roads. Pot holes are everywhere and they test your car’s suspension to its limits. This will cause old worn parts to fail and that will throw your alignment off.
What makes for a good alignment?
A good alignment means that your car has a tendency to want to drive itself straight at all times. When you are driving down a straight road and as your car is moving the steering wheel is perfectly centered and your car doesn’t pull in any one direction. Also when you apply the brakes on a straight road your steering wheel will also perfectly center itself. Your car’s suspension is engineered from factory to track straight and with a good alignment your suspension will work as intended. This will ensure all your suspension components last a long time without service or replacement.
What is a bad alignment?
A bad alignment is pretty much the exact opposite of what was stated before. Your steering wheel be crooked and need a lot of slight input for your car to drive straight. Your car will have a vague on center feel. When you keep your steering wheel centered on a straight road your car will want to pull to the left or right. When you apply the brake at speed, your car will also want to veer left or right requiring you move the steering wheel in the opposite direction to stay in your lane. Driving with a bad alignment can be annoying, but also expensive if the issue goes on ignored.
As your suspension components aren’t calibrated to work as intended, they will experience excessive strain and wear out faster. Things you can expect from driving with a bad alignment are;
- Uneven and excessive tire wear
- Premature wear of suspension bushings
- Reduced braking performance
Problems caused by a bad alignment
As your alignment is off, your wheels will not point straight and will be cocked in or out. This will wear out the inner or outer part of your tire tread much faster. This will mean you will need to purchase mount and install new tires much sooner. Your suspension bushings are made out of rubber, which are designed to flex and compress as your drive to give your car a smooth luxurious feel. When your alignment is off, some bushings will be under more strain as your car will not want to track straight. As the wheel’s camber or caster will be off, your tire’s contact patch with the road will be reduced. When you apply your brake there will be less friction against the road to stop your car.
All these problems can be avoided by simply making an appointment and taking your car in for alignment. A simple alignment can save you hundreds of dollars from needing to buy new tires or needing expensive suspension work. Tolima’s Auto Center in Long Island City offers laser guided alignment service for cars, trucks, and fleet vehicles. Feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions.