What exactly is 4-wheel alignment?
Wheel alignment is very important to the health of your car or truck. For example, if you hit a massive pothole, your suspension may be bumped out of the calculated locations that the components have set. The elements that go into making your car go straight are collectively called “alignment”. Wheel alignment is sometimes referred to as “tracking” and consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are set to the specifications of the car maker. If your alignment is off or out it can cause excessive tire wear and steering problems. The general rule of thumb is to get your alignment checked at least once a year and anytime you install new tires. You should also have your alignment checked if the vehicle suspension sustains an impact like running over a curb or driving over a large pothole.
There are two main types of 4-wheel alignments. In both cases, the technician will place an instrument on all four wheels. The first type includes checking the rear toe and tracking, but all adjustments are made at the front wheels. This is done for vehicles that do not have adjustments on the rear. The second type is a full 4-wheel alignment where the adjustments are first made to the rear alignment, then the front is adjusted. A full 4-wheel alignment will cost more than the other type because more work is involved.
A proper wheel alignment will keep your tires wearing even and your vehicle driving properly.