Tire alignment refers to the regulation of the vehicle’s suspension. The suspension is the car’s component that attaches the wheels of the car to the vehicle’s body. The misconception in tire alignment is that people think it is the same as aligning the car’s wheels or tires. In reality, tire alignment is simply fixing how the car’s tires make contact with the road by adjusting the tire’s inclination. Some examples of tire alignment are front-end tire alignment and 4-wheel tire alignment.
People who are unfamiliar with tire alignment can easily confuse the two. By the end of this article, you will be able to identify the difference between the two kinds of tire alignment.
Front-End Alignment vs 4-Wheel Alignment Differences
A front-end alignment is also known as a two-wheel alignment for cars. This is a process wherein a car technician uses an alignment machine to fix the front wheels of the car. This process requires the right experience and knowledge by the car technician in order for it to be done properly. This process usually includes using a camber, toe, and caster adjustment. It is a complex process because it involves thorough measurements of the vehicle and maneuver to ensure that the front-end is going to be fixed onto its right angle.
A front-end alignment will help you adjust the vehicle’s suspension components to their proper angles. It is essential to make sure that you can drive your car without any complications or issues as much as possible. When your vehicle’s wheels are within their proper alignment, you can be assured that you will save money and extend the life of your vehicle in the long run because it decreases the need for additional auto repair services.
Furthermore, your use of your car will be prolonged because front-end alignment helps you enhance your gas mileage. This also helps decrease the steering column’s resistance and enables you to handle the vehicle more naturally. This makes your car more manageable and offers a smoother ride.
Reasons why your front wheels or front-end falls out of alignment
1. Driving on bumpy roads, such as going on scattered hard debris and cracked roads
2. Hitting obstacles without knowing
3. Driving over a pothole
4. Bad driving habits such as screeching the car or not driving properly in general.
A 4-wheel alignment refers to adjusting all four wheels of the vehicle to ensure the vehicle drives straight. Technicians perform 4-wheel alignment on all-wheel-drive models that have independent suspensions, unlike the front-end alignment. Although the process does not differ too much from each other because a 4-wheel alignment also requires a front, toe, and caster adjustment while the vehicle’s rear wheels receive a toe and camber adjustment.
Getting a 4-wheel alignment will also help you make sure that the car can be driven on the road properly without the strange vibrations and make it easier to steer. With the vehicles we have today, it is common to have a 4-wheel alignment for cars like small SUVs and vans.
Reasons why your 4-wheels fall out of alignment
1. Sudden impact from an obstacle such as bumping into a curb or going too fast when going past a speed bump.
2. The suspension components of your car become loose or worn out due to poor shocks and struts.
3. Getting a bad vehicle modification such as lifting. Doing this can affect the car’s suspension, which was intended to work within a specified height determined by the manufacturer. If you modify the height of your vehicle, a professional will advise you to adjust the suspension as well.
Importance of Tire Alignment
It is essential to maintain proper tire alignment to prevent your vehicle from pulling to the left or right. When you encounter issues like misaligned tires, you are exposing yourself to a huge risk of getting into accidents and creating potentially dangerous driving hazards on the road. When the tires are out of alignment, and you keep driving, the tires wear down faster, and will eventually be incongruent to each other. This can result in a change of appearance and worn-out tires. Improper car alignment can also affect your vehicle’s fuel economy. Get a wheel alignment check today to make sure your car is safe on the road.
Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE
Our team has learned one thing: automotive problems are as varied and unique as the customers who bring them to us. Fortunately, our decades of experience in auto service and repair also mean that our skilled network of professionals is ready to accommodate an impressive scope of automotive issues. Contact us today.
- Why Is My Car Smoking Under The Hood?
- Classic Car Spring Maintenance Checklist
- How To Tell If Your Car Was Damaged By A Pothole
- How To Build An Emergency Car Kit