Today we continue our series on Wheel Alignments. Take a look and then let us know how we can help you understand your vehicle maintance needs better!
A car alignment is actually an elaborate process that brings the car’s suspension into its proper configuration, positioning and adjusting components so that wheels are aligned with one another and the road surface. Buckeye Honda has specifically trained technicians that excel at aligning vehicles. At Buckeye Honda the alignment is guaranteed for 12 months or 12,000 miles!
The alignment machine used at Buckeye Honda feature clamp-like devices that are attached to the wheels of the car (which is raised up in the air) and that link to a computer that helps make precise measurements. Our trained technicians will also inspect to make sure that no suspension components are excessively worn or broken.
An alignment essentially requires squaring a car’s wheels and axles with each other so that they’re moving in the same direction. Maintaining proper alignment is fundamental to preserving both your car’s safety and its tread life. Wheel alignments ensure that all four wheels are consistent with each other and are optimized for maximum contact with the surface of the road. The way a wheel is oriented on your car is broken down to three major components; camber, caster, and toe.
Camber is the angle of the wheel relative to vertical, as viewed from the front or the rear of the car. If the wheel leans in towards the chassis, it has negative camber; if it leans away from the car, it has positive camber. The cornering force that a tire can develop is highly dependent on its angle relative to the road surface, and so wheel camber has a major effect on the road holding of a car. It’s interesting to note that a tire develops its maximum cornering force at a small negative camber angle, typically around neg. 1/2 degree. This fact is due to the contribution of camber thrust, which is an additional lateral force generated by elastic deformation as the tread rubber pulls through the tire/road interface (the contact patch).
Buckeye Honda will check your alignment for free! Call 740-653-7678 Today!
Caster is a bit harder to conceptualize. Caster is the angle to which the steering pivot axis is tilted forward or rearward from vertical, as viewed from the side. If the pivot axis is tilted backward (that is, the top pivot is positioned farther rearward than the bottom pivot), then the caster is positive; if it’s tilted forward, then the caster is negative.
Positive caster tends to straighten the wheel when the vehicle is traveling forward, and thus is used to enhance straight-line stability. The mechanism that causes this tendency is clearly illustrated by the castering front wheels of a shopping cart. The steering axis of a shopping cart wheel is set forward of where the wheel contacts the ground. As the cart is pushed forward, the steering axis pulls the wheel along, and since the wheel drags along the ground, it falls directly in line behind the steering axis. The force that causes the wheel to follow the steering axis is proportional to the distance between the steering axis and the wheel-to-ground contact patch-the greater the distance, the greater the force. This distance is referred to as “trail.” Next time you are out shopping take a look at a shopping carts front wheels and you will see what we mean.
Buckeye Honda Offers a 4-wheel alignment for only $79.95 including a 12mo-12,000 warranty!
Toe is perhaps the easiest of the three to visualize. For minimum tire wear and power loss, the wheels on a given axle of a car should point directly ahead when the car is running in a straight line we call this “zero toe”. If the tires were pointing away from each other we would call that “tow-out” and if the tires were pointing toward each other we would call that “tow-in”.
To better understand Toe, stand up and put your feet straight out. Now point your left foot slightly left and your right foot slightly right and now try to walk. You can tell that your shoes will wear out a bit more on the outsides and you probably can’t run as fast. Now do it with your feet facing slightly inward. Again harder to walk or run and you can feel that there would be irregular wear on your shoes. This is what happens to your tires.
Every auto manufacturer has specific alignment specs for each car they build. What might be the proper alignment for a 2012 Honda Civic might be different than what should be done on a 2009 Toyota Camry. Buckeye Honda has all of the specs for every vehicle not to mention the technology and know-how to properly align any vehicle. Not sure if you need an alignment? Call us today to set up a free alignment inspection. If you do need an alignment we will warranty the work for One Full Year, even if you hit a pot hole or debris. We are here to help you take care of your vehicle.
Call the Award Winning Buckeye Honda Service Department Today at 740-653-7678 to set up your alignment! Your tires and wallet will thank you!