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Phil's service

Vehicle ownership isn't just common but is largely a necessity in modern America. While some urban residents can, in theory, rely on public transit systems, most Americans must commute to their day jobs. That helps explain why there are approximately 289.5 million registered vehicles on the road.

Of course, a big part of owning a car is keeping up with the maintenance of that car. You must do things like getting the oil changed, replacing brake pads, and flushing the coolant system. Don't forget about changing the timing belt.

Something that slips a lot of people's minds is a car alignment. Not sure what an alignment is or what it does for your car? Keep reading for a breakdown of the essentials.

What Is a Car Alignment?

In essence, a car alignment adjusts elements of your vehicle's suspension system so that all four of your car's tires aim forward. Over time, the wheels and tires can begin angling slightly.

For example, the front two tires can start to toe in. That's when the tires subtly point toward one another if you could see them from above.

The wheels can also develop a positive or negative camber. If you could see your tires from the front, it would appear that the tops of the tires leaned toward or away from each other.

These kinds of wheel angling can cause problems for your vehicle that we'll cover in the next section.

Signs You Need an Alignment

There are several signs that your vehicle alignment is off. Some of the more common signs include:

  • The vehicle pulls left or right
  • Shaking or vibrating at speed
  • Bumpy sensation while driving
  • Uneven tread wear on tires
  • The steering wheel doesn't return to center

If you notice one or more of these problems, the odds are good that your car needs an alignment.

Car Alignment Process

The car alignment process requires specialized tools, which makes it a job for professional mechanics or auto technicians. The process typically happens in several key steps.

Test Drive

The mechanic or tech will normally take the vehicle on a short drive. This test drive lets them see what the vehicle does on the road and can help pinpoint the problem.

Suspension Inspection

After the test drive, the car will go up on a lift. The mechanic can then inspect the major components of the suspension system.

When your car goes out of alignment, it puts extra strain on the rest of the suspension. If the car stays out of alignment for long enough, it can actually damage other parts of your suspension.

If the mechanic or tech finds damaged parts, they will typically consult with you and then replace the damaged components.

This must also happen first because any repair work carried out on the suspension near the wheels could potentially alter wheel alignment. It's one of the reasons why you always get an alignment when you get new tires.

Alignment

Once any necessary repairs happen, the true alignment begins. The tech will typically clamp a specialized tool to the wheels that provide information about their overall alignment.

An alignment typically makes four key adjustments.

The toe adjustment makes sure that the tires don't point out away or in toward each other when viewed from above.

The camber adjustment ensures that the wheels don't tilt in or away from each other when viewed straight on.

The caster adjustment moves the steering axis forward or backward to make sure the steering wheel returns to center and the car doesn't drift.

The thrust adjustment makes sure that the rear axle remains in parallel with the front axle. It also keeps the rear axle in proper relation to the car's centerline.

Length of Alignment

Assuming your vehicle only needs an alignment, it will normally run somewhere between an hour and two hours. If the suspension requires repairs, it can extend the length of the appointment. In most cases, the mechanic or tech can give you an estimate for the extra repair time.

Car Alignment Benefits

A car wheel alignment provides several benefits. It typically improves your fuel efficiency. It also extends the working life of your tires.

It helps you avoid damage to other parts of your suspension and the sometimes expensive repairs that go with that damage. Your car should also ride smoother on the road.

When Should You Get an Alignment?

You can avoid most of the alignment problems by getting them as a preventative maintenance measure. The exact timing will vary depending on your driving habits.

If you only drive your car 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year, an alignment every six months will usually do the trick. If you put a lot of miles on your vehicle every year, you should aim for an alignment appointment every 6000 miles or so.

Car Alignment Cost

Car alignment costs can vary based on a few factors. Two-wheel alignments cost less than four-wheel alignments. As a note, most vehicle manufacturers recommend four-wheel alignments for modern cars.

Your location can also drive up the price or mean you get a bit of a break on the cost. For example, operating costs run higher in large cities, so prices can reflect that. As a general average, you can expect costs to run between $100 and $150.

You should contact your preferred auto repair shop for local pricing. If you're new to an area, you can do an online search for "car alignment near me."

Car Alignment and You

Since your car's alignment doesn't affect your engine much, at least not beyond fuel efficiency, it's often easy to put off getting a car alignment service. You should keep that alignment on your vehicle maintenance to-do list.

While the problem might not feel pressing, an out-of-alignment car can cause suspension damage. It wears out your tires faster. Plus, it will eat into your fuel efficiency.

Those costs add up over time.

Phil's Service Auto Shop provides auto maintenance and repairs in the Kileen, TX area. To schedule a car alignment or other service appointment, contact Phil's Service today.

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Want to know what is the process of Car Alignment? Call our ASE Certified technicians at Phil’s Service for more information about needed wheel alignment.

Vehicle ownership isn't just common but is largely a necessity in modern America. While some urban residents can, in theory, rely on public transit systems, most Americans must commute to their day jobs. That helps explain why there are approximately 289.5 million registered vehicles on the road.

Of course, a big part of owning a car is keeping up with the maintenance of that car. You must do things like getting the oil changed, replacing brake pads, and flushing the coolant system. Don't forget about changing the timing belt.

Something that slips a lot of people's minds is a car alignment. Not sure what an alignment is or what it does for your car? Keep reading for a breakdown of the essentials.

What Is a Car Alignment?

In essence, a car alignment adjusts elements of your vehicle's suspension system so that all four of your car's tires aim forward. Over time, the wheels and tires can begin angling slightly.

For example, the front two tires can start to toe in. That's when the tires subtly point toward one another if you could see them from above.

The wheels can also develop a positive or negative camber. If you could see your tires from the front, it would appear that the tops of the tires leaned toward or away from each other.

These kinds of wheel angling can cause problems for your vehicle that we'll cover in the next section.

Signs You Need an Alignment

There are several signs that your vehicle alignment is off. Some of the more common signs include:

  • The vehicle pulls left or right
  • Shaking or vibrating at speed
  • Bumpy sensation while driving
  • Uneven tread wear on tires
  • The steering wheel doesn't return to center

If you notice one or more of these problems, the odds are good that your car needs an alignment.

Car Alignment Process

The car alignment process requires specialized tools, which makes it a job for professional mechanics or auto technicians. The process typically happens in several key steps.

Test Drive

The mechanic or tech will normally take the vehicle on a short drive. This test drive lets them see what the vehicle does on the road and can help pinpoint the problem.

Suspension Inspection

After the test drive, the car will go up on a lift. The mechanic can then inspect the major components of the suspension system.

When your car goes out of alignment, it puts extra strain on the rest of the suspension. If the car stays out of alignment for long enough, it can actually damage other parts of your suspension.

If the mechanic or tech finds damaged parts, they will typically consult with you and then replace the damaged components.

This must also happen first because any repair work carried out on the suspension near the wheels could potentially alter wheel alignment. It's one of the reasons why you always get an alignment when you get new tires.

Alignment

Once any necessary repairs happen, the true alignment begins. The tech will typically clamp a specialized tool to the wheels that provide information about their overall alignment.

An alignment typically makes four key adjustments.

The toe adjustment makes sure that the tires don't point out away or in toward each other when viewed from above.

The camber adjustment ensures that the wheels don't tilt in or away from each other when viewed straight on.

The caster adjustment moves the steering axis forward or backward to make sure the steering wheel returns to center and the car doesn't drift.

The thrust adjustment makes sure that the rear axle remains in parallel with the front axle. It also keeps the rear axle in proper relation to the car's centerline.

Length of Alignment

Assuming your vehicle only needs an alignment, it will normally run somewhere between an hour and two hours. If the suspension requires repairs, it can extend the length of the appointment. In most cases, the mechanic or tech can give you an estimate for the extra repair time.

Car Alignment Benefits

A car wheel alignment provides several benefits. It typically improves your fuel efficiency. It also extends the working life of your tires.

It helps you avoid damage to other parts of your suspension and the sometimes expensive repairs that go with that damage. Your car should also ride smoother on the road.

When Should You Get an Alignment?

You can avoid most of the alignment problems by getting them as a preventative maintenance measure. The exact timing will vary depending on your driving habits.

If you only drive your car 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year, an alignment every six months will usually do the trick. If you put a lot of miles on your vehicle every year, you should aim for an alignment appointment every 6000 miles or so.

Car Alignment Cost

Car alignment costs can vary based on a few factors. Two-wheel alignments cost less than four-wheel alignments. As a note, most vehicle manufacturers recommend four-wheel alignments for modern cars.

Your location can also drive up the price or mean you get a bit of a break on the cost. For example, operating costs run higher in large cities, so prices can reflect that. As a general average, you can expect costs to run between $100 and $150.

You should contact your preferred auto repair shop for local pricing. If you're new to an area, you can do an online search for "car alignment near me."

Car Alignment and You

Since your car's alignment doesn't affect your engine much, at least not beyond fuel efficiency, it's often easy to put off getting a car alignment service. You should keep that alignment on your vehicle maintenance to-do list.

While the problem might not feel pressing, an out-of-alignment car can cause suspension damage. It wears out your tires faster. Plus, it will eat into your fuel efficiency.

Those costs add up over time.

Phil's Service Auto Shop provides auto maintenance and repairs in the Kileen, TX area. To schedule a car alignment or other service appointment, contact Phil's Service today.

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Ron Phillips
Phil's ServiceAuto Repair Shop in Killeen, TX$$$503 S 2nd St, Killeen, TX 76541254-616-1659service@philsservice.com
Mon:08:00am - 05:30pm
Tue:08:00am - 05:30pm
Wed:08:00am - 05:30pm
Thu:08:00am - 05:30pm
Fri:08:00am - 05:30pm
Sat:08:00am - 04:30pm
Sun:Closed
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