Are you thinking that you have bad wheel alignment since you noticed the car shaking or behaving strangely at higher speeds? And you are looking for tire alignment near me? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be quite a bit to cover on this topic.
- Tire Alignment
- Alignment vs Balancing
- Why Is It So Important?
- Alignment Angles
- Alignment Near Me
Doing good research online for a car service is always a good thing. Especially when it comes to simple jobs like tire rotation and tire alignment. There is a lot of competition on the market of who will offer the cheapest price and these services can almost always be found at a bargain price.
This is why you shouldn’t hurry too much and start learning about the places that offer this type of service and at what cost. Especially places that are known for offering quality service. Since after all, you need quality after all. Luckily, when it comes to tire alignment, there isn’t quite a lot to mess up. So, almost 99% of the places will give you the right service.
In this article, we are going to learn what is tire alignment, and then we will learn the difference between tire alignment and wheel alignment. We will also cover why this type of service is so important and the types of angles that are aligned.
Then we will cover the symptoms of bad wheel alignment for those that still doubt whether their alignment is good or not and then we will take a look at the tire alignment near me. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
What Is Tire Alignment
Now before we dive into more complex topics like the tire alignment near me, let’s first take a look at what is tire alignment in general. A lot of people are new to cars and are rather confused when it comes to this type of service and do not know what tire alignment is. So, what is tire alignment?
Well, a tire alignment is a procedure that is done at a shop. The goal of tire alignment especially front-end alignment is to make sure that all the angles of the wheels are in the recommended specification and that all the wheels are perfectly synchronized.
Tire alignment can be done manually if you are mechanically inclined. But still, even if it’s done manually, there is a chance that you could mess things up and miss the alignment even for a few degrees and end up with symptoms of bad alignment.
This is why, for the best results possible, it is recommended to take your car to a shop and perform computer alignment.
Once you get to the shop, your car will be placed on a machine, and on each wheel, there will be a device installed. And then the technician will be able to see all of the angles and adjust them accordingly by tweaking the suspension components. But what about the tire alignment near me? More on that, we will cover in a moment.
Alignment vs Rotation vs Balancing
Another topic that we would like to discuss before we learn more about the tire alignment near me and the best places for this type of service is the difference between tire alignment and tire rotation, also known as tire balancing.
This is a topic that confuses a ton of people out there. What is the difference between the two and whether or not you should do both of them on your car? Let’s find out.
Tire alignment as we mentioned previously is aligning all the angles of the wheels. More on which are these angles, we will cover more in a bit.
While on the other hand rotation or balancing is something different. Tire balancing is needed because not all rims come perfectly from the factory.
This means that the rim does not weigh the same all around. So, this could result in many issues that will appear consequently if driving like this, depending on how bad the rim is.
This is why, each tire when mounted on a rim, has to go through the tire rotating (and the cost) or balancing process. There the technician will see where the weight has to be applied and how much weight the rim requires.
Once they apply this weight, they’ll rotate the wheel once again and see if the wheel is good or not. If it’s not, they’ll add more weights, or if it’s good, then they’ll mount the wheel on the car.
Both balancing and alignment are essential in order for your car to drive perfectly on the road. But where can I find tire alignment near me? More on that, we are going to cover more in a bit after we learn more about why this is essential to do.
Why Is Tire Alignment So Important
So, why tire alignment is really important for you, and why you should try to find out the best tire alignment near me?
Well, there are many reasons behind this. But the most important reason is probably safety. Safety is your top priority and you have to make sure that the tires are all balanced and aligned properly. So much so, some even wonder if you really need an alignment after getting new tires.
When your tires are unbalanced and not aligned properly, there is a big chance that your car will not drive straight. And this action is probably something that you don’t really want from happening.
Since if the steering wheel does not drive straight when it tells it so, this will result in the car being completely unpredictable on the road and you having a problem controlling the vehicle. Especially at highway speeds.
Besides safety, there are also other things at stake like the health of your suspension components (or else suffer high repair costs). If the suspension components are not aligned as they should be, the chance of increased wear and tear is higher than normal.
As well as the chance of causing structural damage to the vehicle’s frame. Not to mention the tire wear, which can be rather abnormal. But more on that, we are going to discuss later on in the article. Now let’s take a look at the types of angles that are aligned on the car.
Types Of Alignment Angles
Now before we cover the best tire alignment near me, let’s take a look at the types of angles that are aligned during the tire alignment process.
There are three primary angles that are really important when it comes to 4-wheel alignment. And that are caster alignment, camber alignment, and toe alignment. So, let’s cover them before we learn more about the cost of wheel alignment.
Now let’s take a look at the first type of tire alignment angle before we cover the tire alignment near me. And this is the caster angle. So, what is a caster angle?
The caster angle is the angle that your front strut is following. One of the ends is the wheel hub (you can learn more in our guide on what a wheel hub replacement requires) and the other end is the strut tower.
So, the shock goes from the wheel hub to the strut tower. And this line of how the strut is mounted is basically the caster angle.
There is a negative caster where the strut tower sits before the wheel hub. Then there is zero caster, where the strut sits at 90 degrees, in other words, the strut tower and wheel hub are perfectly straight. And there is a positive caster, where the strut is mounted at a positive angle. On most modern cars, the positive caster is widely used.
The second most important angle that we are going to cover before we learn more about the tire alignment near me is the camber angle. So, what is a camber angle?
Well, the car camber angle is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheel and the vertical axis of the vehicle when you see the vehicle from the front.
There are also three types of camber angles. The first type is the positive camber, where the bottom of the wheel is tucked inward, and there is zero caster where the wheel lays perfectly flat. And also there is a negative camber when the bottom of the wheel is pointing outward.
Camber is one of the angles that are most widely manipulated by race car engineers in order to achieve more controllability of the car while cornering. And usually, negative camber is the angle that most racers pursue to achieve in order for their car to handle the best.
Even though, for the most ideal application on the road, your camber should be close to zero or slightly on the negative side for maximum safety. But what about tire alignment near me? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
And the last type of angle that we are going to cover when it comes to front-end alignment is the toe. So, what is toe?
Well, the toe is also a very important angle that greatly affects how the car drives. And along with camber, it is one of the most manipulated angles when it comes to racing.
This is the angle at where your wheel is pointing basically. If the wheel is pointing inward, you have toe-in. If the wheel is perfectly straight, then you have zero toe. Or when the wheel is pointing outward you have toe-out.
Also, in this aspect, it is highly recommended that the toe angle is close to zero if you want to avoid having one of the symptoms of bad tire alignment. And more on these symptoms, we are going to elaborate next.
Symptoms Of Bad Tire Alignment
We have covered all the tire alignment angles that are essential when it comes to proper tire alignment. Now let’s take a look at the symptoms of bad wheel alignment.
Knowing the symptoms is really going to help you out when it comes to determining if you need tire alignment or not. So, let’s cover them quickly before we start discussing more about tire alignment near me.
1. Uneven Tread Wear
The first symptom of bad tire alignment that we are going to cover before we learn more about the tire alignment near me is uneven tread wear. So, what is uneven tread wear? Some might know this better as inner tire wear.
Well, uneven tread wear is simply a situation when your tires are not wearing evenly. One tire might wear more quickly than the other. For instance, you might be wondering what causes tire wear on the outside. Maybe, you notice how the outside of the front tires wearing. Or both of them to wear quickly.
And most importantly, these tires will have wear marks. They might wear on the inside of the tire, or on the outside. Or even in the center in some cases because of bad camber angle.
They can also feather out and this situation is caused by a bad toe angle. Overall, uneven tread wear is probably one of the first and most obvious symptoms that indicate that you need to learn about tire alignment near me and sort out this problem.
So, when it comes to diagnosing, make sure that you check the condition of the tires and see if they wear evenly. And if they don’t, you definitely need a tire alignment to be done to your car. Now let’s move on to the next symptom of this problem.
2. Steering Wheel Not Straight
The second most common symptom of bad tire alignment is the situation when the steering wheel is not straight. So, what does this means?
Well, the steering wheel as you probably know, should be always perfectly straight when the wheels are straight.
And if the steering wheel is leaning at an angle to the side while the wheels are straight, it means that you have alignment issues.
Keeping the steering wheel perfectly aligned with the wheels is one of the most important things that you need to do. In order for your car to be perfectly drivable and predictable.
Since imagine that you drive a car and the wheel is not aligned properly, you can crash the vehicle in this situation and end up with heavy injuries. This is why learn more about the tire alignment near me and sort out the problem.
3. Car Pulls To One Side
The third symptom that is closely associated with bad tire alignment is the situation when the car pulls on one side. So, what this means?
Well, this means that even though you hold the wheel straight while you drive, the car is pulling to the right or to the left.
In this case, you have a bad tire alignment. In order to check the tire alignment, just hold the wheel loosely, and if the steering wheel pulls left or right and you have to adjust it, then this means that you need to find the best tire alignment near me and see what is causing the problem. But more on this, we are going to elaborate later on.
4. Vibrations On The Steering Wheel
The next symptom in our list of symptoms that indicate learning the need for tire alignment near me is the vibrations in the steering wheel.
So, why do these vibrations appear? Well, these vibrations often appear because of worn suspension components like bushings, ball joints, tie rod end links, etc.
Feeling vibrations on the steering wheel is not something normal. This is why if you start noticing these vibrations while you drive your car, it is important that you address the problem as soon as possible.
5. Car Feels Unsafe At High Speeds
The last symptom in our list of symptoms that indicate a need for tire alignment near me is the situation when you are experiencing symptoms at high speeds.
This might include vibrations and strange noises coming from the front end of the car. So, why is this the case?
Well, if the wheels are aligned poorly, the faster you go, the worse the symptoms will be that the car produces. So, this is why if you start noticing something weird from the front end, at high speeds.
It is really important that you take things further and diagnose the problem. But how you can diagnose a badly aligned vehicle and look for tire alignment near me? Well, let’s elaborate more on that in the following chapter.
How To Tell If You Need A Tire Alignment
Now let’s take a look at how you can diagnose a car that desperately needs a tire alignment near me. What are the tell-tale signs that you need to perform this service?
The first signs are probably the drivability signs that you need to do this service. This is the case as we mentioned previously when you start noticing vibrations from the steering wheel, the car does not drive perfectly straight, it pulls on one side. These symptoms are usually a dead giveaway of this problem.
The next sign that we are going to cover is visual information. For example uneven tread wear. If the treads are not worn evenly and you have either inner or outer tire wear, it means that the car needs an alignment. Also, tire feathering is a common thing, when the tire simply chips away and feathers out.
So, you get the idea of how you can diagnose the problem and determine if you need to learn tire alignment near me. Now let’s take a look at how to find a good tire alignment.
Tire Alignment Near Me
Now let’s take a look at how to find tire alignment near me. How to find a good and cheap location at the same time? Let’s elaborate.
As you probably know, across the country there are a ton of chains that are working with cars. Also known as service centers. Some of them are Firestone Complete Auto Care (they’re pretty cheap too if you’re wondering how much does an alignment cost at Firestone), Goodyear, Valvoline, Mr. Tire, Jiffy Lube, and others.
But when it comes to dirt-cheap services, you should definitely check the wheel alignment cost at Walmart and Costco. Especially if you have a Costco card (it offers quite a few perks, if you happen to be thinking about how much is gas at Costco), you can get these services very cheaply. This is why we recommend these two places to check first.
Also, you can go to Groupon.com. On this website, there are a ton of offers available. But what is most important, you can look for offers in your area. And these offers are often with big discounts in comparison to the standard wheel alignment. So, this is also another good way to get this service on a budget.
Tire Alignment Near Me – Wheel Alignment Cost
So, we learned more about the tire alignment near me. Now let’s take a look at the tire alignment cost and learn more about the prices.
The standard two-wheel alignment cost usually goes anywhere between $50 and $75 in most cases. If you are looking for a 4-wheel alignment cost, you can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $150 – on the costlier end of wheel alignment cost.
But if you go on Groupon, then you will probably get an even lower offer than this, like $40 for a bargain wheel alignment. So, try your luck over there before you decide to spend a ton of money.
Tire Alignment Near Me: In Conclusion…
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to tire alignment. First, we learned what is tire alignment and how is different from tire balancing (and the costs). Then we learned why these two procedures are really important.
Then we discussed the tire alignment angles, as well as the symptoms that your car produces when you have poor alignment. Lastly, we learned where to find tire alignment near me and what cost.
FAQs On Tire Alignment Near Me
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is An Alignment
A wheel alignment is a special procedure that is taken on a vehicle to adjust the camber, caster, and toe angles on the wheels. In other words, this procedure is meant to make your car drive straight.
Where To Get An Alignment
There are a ton of places where you can do this type of work. Namely, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Jiffy Lube, Valvoline, Goodyear, and Mr. Tire. But the cheapest places where you can do this type of work are probably Walmart and Costco.
How Long Does An Alignment Take
Tire alignment usually does not take a lot of time. It can take about 20 to 30 minutes on average. Depending on whether you do only the front or all four wheels.
Do I Need An Alignment After Replacing Tires
If your car was aligned well before replacing the tires, then you probably don’t need alignment. You only need to balance the tires. But if the tires were unevenly worn or you did some suspension work, you will also have to align them as well.
How Much Does An Alignment Cost
Usually, a tire alignment for the front wheels costs between $50 and $75. And for 4 wheels, it cost between $100 and $150. $50 is usually the bare minimum for this type of work. Even though sometimes if you find coupons, you can get it even cheaper.
How Much Is A Frond End Alignment
A front-end alignment usually costs between $50 and $75. And the cheapest places where you can find this service are probably Walmart and Costco.