Front End Alignment in Ann Arbor, MI
The front suspension of a modern new vehicle is a masterful combination of science and art. In addition to guiding your car perfectly straight on smooth, flat roads, it keeps optimum rubber on the road surface when turning, minimizes tire wear and drag, and also returns the steering wheel back to center position as you release the wheel after a turn.
If you stop for a minute and think about how many times you turn left and right in a typical day, you begin to recognize just how important these components are to your safety every minute you drive.
These days, our poor Michigan roads take a toll on the underside of your car, especially the steering and suspension components. Just think about how many times you’ve hit a big, hard pothole in just the past week! The rubber bushings in suspension components naturally wear out, and the metal components often get bent or even break when you hit that mother and father of all potholes on your way to work.
Fortunately, there are usually warning signs that alert you to suspension related issues before they become serious safety problems.
While many shops and those ‘quickie’ places will recommend checking alignment as often as every three months, we recommend a more cautious approach that normally suggests longer intervals, as long as you are vigilant about how your car drives and handles in your normal day to day routing. We recommend that you check your alignment anytime you experience any of these issues:
- Steering wheel is crooked while driving straight on a straight level road
- As soon as you notice uneven tire wear (we normally check this as part of a premium oil service)
- Unusual vibration in the steering wheel when the brakes are NOT applied
- Anytime your vehicle pulls to the left or right on a straight and level road.
Poor alignment can cause stability or handling problems, plus excessive tire wear. To check your alignment, our technician will attach sensors to each wheel being checked. Using a laser, the sensors detect if the alignment of the wheel has deviated from original manufacturer specification. Most of the time, a relatively straightforward adjustment can bring the suspension back into spec. If the variation is more significant, or if the technician notices a broken or bent part, we may recommend replacement of those damaged or worn parts before completing the service. This will make sure that any precision adjustments will ‘last.’
A good front end alignment is a great investment. It helps keep the vehicle safe and handling properly. It will also insure that you get the absolute longest life from your tires.
Call us or ask your service advisor about a front end alignment today.