The suspension system in your vehicle is critical in providing safe handling and braking, as well as keeping you and your passengers comfortable and safe. If any part of the system is out of alignment, it can reduce the life of your tires as well as cause costly, unnecessary auto repairs.
Our professional, licensed technicians are highly experienced in suspension repairs and services. We use the latest technology and equipment to align, service and/or repair your auto suspension and steering system.
What causes wheels to become misaligned?
The impact of an accident, even a small fender bender, is one cause of wheel misalignment. Wheel alignment can be affected by hitting a curb, a pothole or encountering a speed bump at too high a speed. The alignment of your wheels are always changing. Bumpy roads and wear and tear in steering and suspension systems are contributing factors. These changes often go unnoticed because they are small and develop slowly over time. It is not uncommon for wheels to become misaligned within 12 to 18 months.
What are the benefits of proper wheel alignment?
Maintaining proper wheel alignment is fundamental to keeping your car running both efficiently and safely. Poorly aligned wheels cause your tires to wear unevenly and will need to be replaced more often. Left unchecked, unevenly worn tires can become a safety hazard. Additional benefits of correctly aligned wheels include reduced stress on suspension parts, enhanced vehicle stability, and improved braking conditions.
Benefits of proper frame alignment.
Besides crumpled body panels after a collision could be a more serious problem; a damaged frame. If this has occurred in a collision, it may be very difficult to re-align the vehicle. In addition to the frame, any suspension damage will affect the ride and handling characteristics. The result is an unsafe vehicle. To ensure the vehicle tracks straight, rides comfortably, and turns correctly the unibody and sub-frame must be repaired. Suspension components are mounted to these surfaces. If they are damaged, it will be near impossible to correctly align the vehicle and achieve maximum performance.
How do you know when it’s time for suspension repair? Your vehicle will usually tell you. Here are six things to watch for.
1. Vehicle rides rough
Most people can tell their shocks or struts are wearing out when they begin to feel every bump in the road, or when every bump causes the vehicle body to “bounce.” A rough ride is an obvious sign that your vehicle’s suspension needs work.
2. Drifting or pulling during turns
With a failing suspension system, you’ll often feel the vehicle “drift” or “pull” when you’re turning. This basically means the shocks are no longer keeping the vehicle body stable against the centrifugal force of a turn, increasing your risk of a rollover. If you feel this sensation while turning, bring your vehicle in to us.
3. Dips or “Noise Dives” when stopping
When the shocks are worn out, you’re likely to feel the vehicle body lurching forward and downward nose-first when you apply the brakes firmly. This can actually affect your ability to stop the car quickly (a bad suspension can increase stop time by up to 20 percent).
4. Uneven tire treads
Take a look at your tires. If you notice the tread is wearing down unevenly on your tires, or if you notice balding spots, this is often a symptom that the suspension isn’t holding the vehicle evenly, and therefore putting uneven amounts of pressure on the tires.
5. Damaged, “oily” shocks
If you can look under the vehicle, take a look directly at the shocks or struts. If they look greasy or oily, there’s a good chance that they are leaking fluid and therefore aren’t working properly. It’s probably time to get those shocks replaced.
6. The the “Bounce Test”
If you suspect your suspension is going bad (perhaps due to one or more of the symptoms we mentioned above), try this simple test. With the car in “park,” press down on the front of the vehicle with all your weight, “bounce” it a few times, then release. Do it again on the rear of the vehicle. If the car continues to rock or bounce more than 2-3 times after you release it, the suspension is wearing out.