Car Repair Tools | How It Works: Alignment Machines

Wheel alignment is an essential maintenance practice that needs to be performed on a regular basis. During an alignment, the car's suspension is adjusted, making the wheel's angle lie perpendicularly to the ground. This maintenance practice also enables both wheels to stay parallel to each other.

The Importance of Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment significantly affects how car handles. If your wheels are aligned improperly, the tires will wear prematurely and unevenly. Improper alignment can also cause tracking or steering problems.

Your car should have a wheel alignment done annually, or if you observe any of the following:

  • Steering wheel vibration
  • Uneven tread wear
  • Steering wheel being off center while driving straight
  • When your car pulls to the right or left
  • Basics of an Alignment Process

    The purpose of a vehicle alignment is to bring the vehicle’s suspension into proper position and configuration. An alignment machine is mounted to the vehicle's wheels after which it is connected to a computer for accurate measurements.

    Adjustments are then be made, using proper car repair tools, to several suspension angles responsible for the car's position and mobility. These include secondary angles which comprise of adjustments, for example Steering Axis Inclination. There are also primary angles that will be adjusted during this process as follows:

  • Caster. When improperly aligned, problems with line tracking will be experienced. This, however, has minimal effects on tire wear.
  • Camber. If it is too positive or negative, tire wear will occur frequently.
  • Toe. When the toe is misaligned, rapid tire wear will be seen.
  • There are several terms to learn in regards to wheel alignment:
  • Front-end and thrust-angle alignments.
  • These are performed when the vehicle to be aligned is not an all-wheel or a four-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Four-wheel alignment.
  • This is reserved for both front-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles, which have independent rear suspensions.

    Car Repair Tools | How to Select the Best Alignment Machine

    Trying to choose the best alignment machine can be a daunting task. You should be very careful when making your choice to get a long-lasting machine that will increase the longevity of your vehicle. Several factors should be considered when you are in the market for an alignment machine, including:

  • Opt for alignment systems that are modeled with car protection features, considering the total vehicle protection is essential to avoid wheel damage.
  • The best machines to go for are those made with videos to assist the technician with the alignment process. This will help ensure that your vehicle is being serviced properly.
  • Alignment machines need to be keen not to interfere with enhanced driver assistance systems (commonly known as ADAS), e.g., intelligent speed adaptation, tire pressure monitoring, night vision, etc. When wheel alignment adjustments are made mechanically, this is bound to happen. This will cost car owners a lot of money since electronic - system reset will be required after this.

    Keeping your vehicle’s wheels properly aligned helps to prevent costly repairs and accidents. Using a state of the art alignment system helps to make the job easier and quicker to do. Looking for car repair tools? From lifts and alignment systems, to air compressors and fluid service machines, Sega Equipment has been providing the highest quality products and unrivaled customer service to auto enthusiasts for over 25 years. We can help you, too!

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