European luxury vehicles require a level of care that matches their quality and prestige. Ensuring that your luxury car is running smoothly and maintaining its optimal performance means paying attention to every detail, including your car's wheel alignment.
At Euro Motorworks, we understand the importance of proper car maintenance for luxury European vehicles. Wheel alignment is critical to maintaining your vehicle's safety, handling, and performance. Here's everything you need to know about wheel alignments and their importance to your car.
What is a wheel alignment for a luxury vehicle?
A wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of your vehicle's wheels to the manufacturer's specifications. As you drive your luxury European car, your wheels will naturally come out of alignment, especially as you encounter potholes, road debris, and uneven terrain. Resetting your wheel alignment improves your steering ability and restores the quality of your drive.
Different Types of Wheel Alignment Specifications
Proper alignment ensures that your luxury European car's wheels are straight and track evenly, helping to prevent uneven tire wear and improve fuel efficiency. The four types of alignment specifications are toe, camber, caster, and thrust.
Toe defines the angle your tires turn inward or outward when viewed from above. Think of it like this: look down at your feet and turn your toes toward the center or the sides. When your luxury service specialist needs to reset the toe alignment, they’ll ensure that your tires face forward and to the center.
Camber refers to your wheels' inward or outward angle when viewed from the front. Correct alignment specifications may actually have the tops of the wheels and tires leaning slightly inward, instead of being perfectly vertical. This is known as “negative camber,” and is used to enhance stability and help with cornering.
The caster refers to the angle of your car’s steering axis, as viewed from the side. The proper caster adjustment keeps your car tracking straight and helps the vehicle return to a straight-ahead position after driving around a corner or a curve.
Your technician will evaluate the thrust during a comprehensive service in which they test for a four-wheel alignment. The thrust is a measurement of how parallel the front and rear axles are to each other, and to the centerline of your vehicle. Proper thrust adjustment ensures that all four car wheels will track straight down the road, preventing “crabbing” and uneven wear of your tires and suspension. Maintaining the thrust is crucial to preventing severe misalignment and tire damage.
Signs that It’s Time for a Wheel Alignment
If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be time for a wheel alignment:
- Vibration through the steering wheel
- Car pulls to one side and won't track straight
- Steering wheel is not centered when driving straight
- Uneven or quickly wearing tires
If you’ve experienced a severe collision, consulting a luxury European vehicle technician can help you ensure that your car is in good condition to drive. Additionally, regular maintenance can keep your wheels in the correct position if you drive on uneven or extreme terrain.
Why is Wheel Alignment Important?
Proper wheel alignment is important for all cars, but especially for luxury European vehicles, which require a higher level of performance and handling. Wheels that are properly aligned allow you to drive straight with ease and provide the high-quality ride that the engineers had intended. Ensuring that your luxury car's wheels are aligned correctly provides the following benefits:
- Improved tire life: Wheels that are properly aligned will wear evenly, giving you the longest lifespan for your tires.
- Smoother ride and better handling: When your wheels are correctly aligned, you won’t have to worry about constantly pulling your car to drive straight.
- Optimal fuel economy: Properly aligned wheels reduce drag and inefficiency that waste gas and energy.
How to Make Your Wheel Alignment Last
Maintaining your wheel alignment is not a one-and-done situation. You should have your wheel alignment checked with every regular maintenance appointment. However, here are some tips for keeping your wheel alignment intact:
- Avoid road hazards if possible: One bad pothole hit can destroy your alignment. If you have the time, take a smoother route to protect your alignment.
- Drive gently: Aggressively hitting potholes at high speeds magnifies potential damage. Take it easy when the roads are in bad shape.
- Don’t overload your vehicle: Carrying unnecessary weight in your trunk or cargo area will not only reduce your fuel economy, but it will also increase impact and damage to your wheels, tires, and suspension.
We’re Indy’s Premier Auto Service Center
Our team of skilled technicians at Euro Motorworks specializes in servicing luxury European vehicles. We have the expertise and equipment to perform a precise wheel alignment on your luxury car, ensuring that it meets the manufacturer's specifications. With service as our top priority, our team of experts is here to help you keep your car in prime condition for 2023. Contact us today to request an appointment!