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Wheel Alignment Angles: Explained

Who’s Your Angle Architect? -- West Automotive Group

Just as construction workers know the importance of angles in building, so do automotive technicians understand the relationships of wheels and vehicle components to one another. Builders generally express their concerns about ensuring that a structure is square, while mechanics work with angles by addressing a vehicle's wheel alignment. If your car is out of proper alignment, the angles underneath are off. This makes your auto vulnerable to suspension system wear, premature tire tread damage, and reduced ride quality and handling. To ensure that your auto's angles are aligned and that your car can operate at its best, bring it to the certified technicians at West Auto Group in Escondido, California.

The Angles of Wheel Alignment

When you bring your vehicle to us for proper wheel alignment, we determine the appropriate method according to what kind of auto you have. A front-wheel drive with an adjustable rear suspension or an all-wheel drive will need to have all its wheels aligned. In contrast, most others will need only a front-wheel alignment. It is possible, however, that the rear wheels will also need to be adjusted relative to the car's center through thrust-angle alignment.

Regardless of your vehicle's specific requirements, wheel alignment is a process of squaring the axles and wheels so that the moving parts are similarly oriented. This is done by adjusting the major suspension angles: the camber, caster, toe, and thrust. Camber is the amount of tilt to the right or left, while caster represents the slope of the imaginary line that can be drawn through the upper and lower ball joints. This slope impacts steering. Toe refers to the difference in distance between the back and front of the front tires. Thrust is the relationship of the rear axle to the front wheels. Bringing these angles into acceptable relationships with each other is important to enabling your steering to be straight, your steering wheel to be centered, and your wheels to move as they should.

The Angle Architects

We work on all makes and models of cars. This is important, particularly if you drive a specialty car such as a German import. These have an independent suspension system where each wheel reacts independently, making it even more crucial that you choose an establishment with experience in aligning cars like yours. Builders rely on engineers to plan correct structural angles on blueprints. While automotive engineers are responsible for this planning in pre-production, it's the technicians who fix cars daily that bear the responsibility of correcting your auto's wheel alignment. Therefore, you should rely on the certified technicians at West Automotive Group in Escondido, California, for wheel alignment no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. Our membership in the NAPA AutoCare network assures you that we're reputable, knowledgeable, and always helpful.

Written by West Automotive Group