12th Street Auto Care Center is proud to be ASE and AAA certified. That means you can trust our mechanics to thoroughly inspect your car, truck, van or SUV’s wheels. Our technicians have been specially trained to care for every part of your vehicle, so if you need an alignment, we’re ready to help. Trust 12th Street Auto Care Center to provide friendly, professional service every time.
Wheel alignment matters for your car, van, truck or SUV because without it, your vehicle wouldn’t be able to move in a straight line. When you come to 12th Street Auto Care Center for a wheel alignment, your technician measures the angles of your wheels to ensure all the parts are positioned correctly. If they aren’t, they can’t work together to create a smooth driving experience. Here’s a quick explanation of how your mechanic measures your wheel alignment.
When inspecting your tires, your mechanic will take a look at whether they’re leaning. If you stand in front of your vehicle and look at the tires, they should face straight toward you. If the tops of the wheels seem to be tilting toward each other, they are experiencing what’s called negative camber. If the tops of the wheels seem to be tilted away from each other, they are at positive camber — but don’t misconstrue the word “positive” as a good thing. Your tires can be misaligned without being visibly obvious, but if they are this bad, you’ll need to get an alignment ASAP.
When standing to the side of your vehicle, your tires should be centered. If they aren’t, the steering axis is likely experiencing a bend, break or tilt. When the wheels appear to be more forward than they should be, they are at negative caster. If they’re more toward the back of your car, your wheels are at positive caster.
To measure the toe, you would need a bird’s-eye-view of your car. From this angle, if the front of your tires are tilted toward or away from each other, the alignment is off. If your wheels are facing toward each other, it’s called toe-in. If they’re facing away from each other, it’s toe-out.
Though misalignments can be visible to the naked eye, that isn’t always the case. Most measurements must be taken at 12th Street Auto Care Center with special tools to see whether anything is off, even if it’s only by a centimeter or two. If anything is misaligned, other parts of your front end system can warp, bend or break.
If there isn’t an obvious misalignment, consider these signs that point to a problem with your front end.
- Rapid tire wear
- Loose steering
- Squealing tires
- Uneven tire wear
- Vibrating steering wheel
- Car pulls to left or right
- Steering wheel is crooked when driving straight
When you notice something is wrong with your vehicle, even if it just feels like it’s driving a little differently, call 12th Street Auto Care Center. Our certified mechanics are more than happy to take measurements and realign anything that is out of place.
Napa Service Assistant
You don’t have to be an expert to know that preventive maintenance is the best way to make sure your vehicle is running properly. Use our interactive vehicle tool to learn about the maintenance and services your NAPA AutoCare Center can provide.