What is a Wheel Alignment?
Dales Auto Service is equipped with the latest wheel alignment technology
We currently have two John Bean-3D computer alignment machines
Dales Auto Service will cater to all cars, light & medium trucks, SUV’s, and motor homes but are also able to align performance and modified vehicles as well. Renowned throughout the lower mainland for alignments on lowered vehicles, lifted 4X4’s, race cars / drag cars, we do it all with highly trained technicians and, more importantly, pride.
“ICBC-approved technology allows our technicians to complete wheel alignments with precision and accuracy”
Whether it’s as simple as a basic 4-wheel alignment or an in-depth performance 4-wheel alignment, an alignment itself in its most basic form consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of these adjustments is maximum tire life and a vehicle that tracks straight and true when driving along a straight and level road.
Why Customers Choose Dale’s Auto Service:
At Dale’s, a proper wheel alignment always starts and ends with a road test. Our technicians will inspect the front end and steering linkage for wear before performing the alignment. The tires should all be in good shape with even wear patterns.
Since 1989 when we relocated to the lower mainland we have performed and estimated 135,ooo+ wheel alignments and that is being conservative.
Pulling problems are not always related to wheel alignment. Problems with tires (especially unequal air pressure and radial ply tire pulls) and loose suspension parts can also be responsible. It is up to our wheel alignment technicians to determine the cause and inform you of what is required to successfully perform the alignment. If you have a tire with excessive camber wear, for instance, and you correct the alignment problem that caused that wear, the tire will now be making only partial contact with the road. Tire wear will continue. Our experienced alignment technicians know how to set up your vehicle to maintain good tire wear, get the most performance handling aspects out of your tires and provide a straight-ahead ride with the steering wheel centered.
If you know anything about wheel alignment, you’ve probably heard the terms Camber, Caster and Toe-in. Below is a description of each of these alignment angles and how they affect handling, vehicle performance, steering and tire wear:
Wheel Alignment Angles 101:
Camber is the angle of the wheel, measured in degrees, when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the top of the wheel is leaning out from the center of the car, then the camber is positive ,if it’s leaning in, then the camber is negative. If the camber is out of adjustment, it will cause tire wear on one side of the tire’s tread. If the camber is too far negative, for instance, then the tire will wear on the inside of the tread.
CAMBER WEAR PROBLEM
If the camber is different from side to side it can cause a pulling problem. The vehicle will pull to the side with the more positive camber. On many front-wheel-drive vehicles, camber is not adjustable. If the camber is out on these cars, it indicates that something is worn or bent, possibly from an accident and must be repaired or replaced.
CASTER is when you turn the steering wheel, the front wheels respond by turning on a pivot attached to the suspension system. Caster is the angle of this steering pivot, measured in degrees, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. If the top of the pivot is leaning toward the rear of the car, then the caster is positive, if it is leaning toward the front, it is negative. If the caster is out of adjustment, it can cause problems in straight line tracking.
The best way to visualize caster is to picture a shopping cart caster. The pivot of this type of caster, while not at an angle, intersects the ground ahead of the wheel contact patch. When the wheel is behind the pivot at the point where it contacts the ground, it is in positive caster. Picture yourself trying to push the cart and keep the wheel ahead of the pivot. The wheel will continually try to turn from straight ahead.
That is what happens when a car has the caster set too far negative. Like camber, on many front-wheel-drive vehicles, caster is not adjustable. If the caster is out on these cars, it indicates that something is worn or bent, possibly from an accident, and must be repaired or replaced.
Toe measurement is the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of the tires. It is measured in fractions of an inch in the US and is usually set close to zero which means that the wheels are parallel with each other. Toe-in means that the fronts of the tires are closer to each other than the rears. Toe-out is just the opposite. An incorrect toe-in will cause rapid tire wear to both tires equally.
This type of tire wear is called a saw-tooth wear pattern as shown in this illustration. If the sharp edges of the tread sections are pointing to the center of the car, then there is too much toe-in. If they are pointed to the outside of the car then there is too much toe-out. Toe is always adjustable on the front wheels and on some cars, is also adjustable for the rear wheels.
Modified Street/Track Wheel Alignment Set-up at Dales Auto Service HERE
CV Axles & U-Joints info at Dales Auto Service HERE
Shocks and Struts at Dales Auto Service HERE
Different Steering Systems at Dales Auto Service HERE