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Front End Alignment

Front end alignment achieves the crucial task of car and truck wheel balancing via both mechanics and machines that allow DIY jobs.

Keeping a vehicle well maintained will ensure that it is in best condition to be driven and is less likely to cause problems as you travel around. While the engine tends to be the focus of maintenance, it is also important to ensure that the wheels and tires are in good condition. When a car is undergoing maintenance, therefore, one of the things to consider is a front end alignment.

While driving around on a daily basis, it is not uncommon to nudge the wheels out of alignment. This can be done by knocking them too hard against curbs while parking or clipping an object such as a central divider while making a turn. While knocking the wheels out of alignment may be a minor thing that is not initially apparent, it can result in problems over time. It can cause the vehicle to pull to one side while driving and the car may drift even when on a straight, flat piece of road. It can also cause the tires to wear unevenly and this can make them more dangerous to drive on and mean that they need to be replaced sooner.

A front end alignment is basically a maintenance check to ensure that a vehicles tires are pointed straight ahead. Generally it is carried out in an auto shop by placing the car on a platform which allows the wheels to spin. A computer is usually used to check the alignment and by comparing the results of the test with a manufacturer’s specifications it can check if the wheels are in proper alignment. If they are not, an adjustment is made to bring them back into alignment and the test redone to ensure the adjustment was correct. Typically it should take no longer than an hour for the test to be carried out and for the benefits that it provides it can be worth checking when a car is getting an annual service or if it is considered that the alignment of a vehicles wheels is out.

Typically the cost for a front end alignment will depend on whether just the front two or whether all four wheels are being aligned. In generally the cost of a two wheel alignment should not be more than around $65 and this can rise to around $95 for a four wheel alignment. The cost will typically depend on the car being checked and the shop carrying out the work.

Most tire dealers and repair shops will have the equipment available to carry out a front end alignment and in most neighborhoods there should be a few options for having this done. Some of the bigger name tire store chains to consider include Firestone and Goodyear, although if you have a local repair shop that you use regularly they should have the capabilities to do a wheel alignment check.

Ensuring the wheels of a vehicle are properly aligned will make it handle better, be less likely to drift and allow the tires to wear evenly. A front end alignment is a simple check to ensure that wheels are properly calibrated and pointing straight ahead. If you feel that the tires of your vehicle are out of alignment it can therefore be a simple method of checking this and realigning the tires if required.

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