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This article brought to you courtesy of Karen Johnston of All About Automotive, Gresham Outlook Insider Automotive Expert.

Karen Johnston

Alignment is the geometry of the suspension system that is made up of several components working together to support and turn the vehicle. These components are made to fit in designated areas. In order for all four tires to work together to travel in the same direction and rotate simultaneously, wheels much be properly aligned. Even a minor divergence of the geometry can impact the vehicle's suspension.

Having the alignment on your checked regularly is important. A proper alignment on your vehicle, assists you with proper steering, good vehicle control, fuel economy and avoids excessive or uneven wear on your tires. Some of the symptoms for improper alignment or worn parts that affect the alignment are:

Tilted or off center steering wheel .

Poor returning ability of the steering wheel.

While driving pulling to one side.

Uneven or excessive tire wear.

The toe alignment of the vehicle is the difference between the front and rear of the corresponding tires, at the spindle height, as seen from the top of the vehicle. Toe in or toe out will increase tire scrub or feathering on the inside or outside edges of the tires.

The camber alignment is the inward or outward tilt of the wheel, from its top, as viewed from the front of the vehicle. Positive or negative camber can cause suspension and steering parts to wear out prematurely.

The caster alignment is the amount the steering axis is tilted from true vertical, backward or forward, as viewed from the side of the vehicle. Positive or negative caster affects turning ease, straight-line stability and steering wheel returning ability.

Having your vehicle in proper alignment is crucial for good vehicle control, braking ability and being able to keep safe tires on your vehicle, that will last their maximum life. Proper alignment can keep your car safe and it can be more economical when it comes to tire wear. In our next article we will discuss the uneven tire wear and the vehicle control and braking issues that can occur with a vehicle in poor alignment. Happy Motoring!

All About Automotive

139 NW 2nd Street

Gresham, OR 97030

503-465-2926

www.allaboutautomotive.com

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