Certified Mechanic performing an alignment - Ace Auto Repair Utah

You may have noticed lately that your car is pulling to one side or the other or the steering wheel has developed an annoying habit of not staying centered even when you’re pointing the car straight ahead. You might have also noticed that the tread is completely worn off of some spots on your tires, even though it’s too soon to need new tires. It may be time for a wheel alignment, a fairly inexpensive adjustment that can save you from premature tire replacements and frustrations with some of your car’s behaviors.

Do You Need Wheel Alignment Services in West Jordan, Utah?

Schedule a wheel alignment service appointment today at Ace Auto Repair.

What is a Wheel Alignment Service?

Wheel alignment is an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension components, performed in order to bring the direction of its wheels back to a square angle with the centerline of the vehicle’s chassis. There are significant consequences of neglecting necessary vehicle alignment service, including awkward handling, reduced fuel efficiency, and especially very rapid, abnormally extreme wear on areas of the affected tires.

What are the Benefits of Wheel Alignment?

There are some very important benefits of continuously maintaining your car or truck’s suspension in proper alignment. All these particular benefits are fundamental to the safety, performance, and fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and to protecting your tires from abnormal or uneven tire wear. The major benefits of proper alignment include:

  • Enables proper handling of the vehicle while driving
  • Improves driving safety, by enabling better handling
  • Allows a normal rate of wear on tires
  • Facilitates normal efficiency of fuel use
  • Contributes to optimum overall vehicle performance
  • Reduces resistance of pavement against tires, for smoother riding

Why are Wheel Alignments Necessary?

Wheels that are not properly aligned on a car or truck can cause the vehicle to drift or pull to the left or right. Having the errant suspension parts adjusted to realign the wheels, eliminates risks of potential accidents from driving a vehicle that is not handling properly because of wheel misalignment. Uneven and extreme wear on tires, due to the increased road friction caused by misalignment of wheels also leads to preventable high costs of premature tire replacements and fuel waste.

How Will I Know if My Car Needs an All Wheel Alignment Check?

The only way to be sure that your vehicle does or does not currently need a wheel alignment is to have a trained auto service technician perform a check using a machine designed for assessing alignment. But, here are some indicators that your vehicle might need a car alignment:

  • You feel your vehicle pulling to the right or left while driving.
  • The car or truck is not handling as well as usual.
  • One or more tires show uneven wear only in certain areas.
  • The steering feels loose or crooked.
  • The steering wheel is not centered when the car is going straight forward.

NOTE: If noise is associated with wheel misalignment, it is typically caused by unusual wear on the tires. This means that the tires are actually the cause of the road noise. So, when tires have become abnormally worn and are causing road noise in this way, having a wheel alignment is necessary, but the alignment will not remedy the problem of noise caused by the already distorted tires.

Signs You Need Vehicle Alignment Service

Routine wheel alignments should be included in periodic auto maintenance. This will allow you to correct any slight misalignment before some areas of one or more tires become abnormally worn. Becoming misaligned usually happens gradually, so have the alignment checked at least once per year, or twice per year if the roads you normally drive have a lot of potholes, ruts, or bumps. Here are some of the common reasons why a vehicle may need an alignment:

  • Age — Normal settling of a vehicle’s suspension system can happen over time, as well as the loss of tension in springs and of resilience in rubber bushings (which cushion against movement and reduce noise), can lead to an eventual need for car realignment.
  • A Heavy Impact — Hitting a bump or pothole, or swiping a tire against a curb, or driving over debris, or other jolting events can cause wheels to be forced out of alignment.
  • Driving Aggressively — Abusing the car’s suspension can affect wheel alignment.
  • Overloading a Vehicle — Carrying heavy loads can wear out or even bend suspension components, such as strut mounts, bearing plates, tie rods, and/or ball joints, which can cause wheel misalignment.
  • Auto Accidents — Even a small impact with another vehicle, or an animal, or an object can knock wheels out of alignment.
  • Improper Lifting of the Vehicle — Having the vehicle lifted or lowered while inspecting or working on it can affect alignment.
  • Working on the Suspension or Steering — Replacing parts of the suspension or steering system can result in the misalignment of wheels.
Wheel alignment infographic - Wheel alignment services in West Jordan, UT

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Types of Wheel Alignment Services

There are three types of wheel alignment. Your auto service technician will advise what kind of alignment is best for your vehicle type:

  • Standard Alignment — This is a front-end alignment. It’s the most basic alignment. However, this type of alignment is not recommended for current model vehicles of any make or model, as it is less accurate than more advanced alignments because it does not ensure alignment of rear wheels.
  • Thrust Alignment — Thrust alignment is more accurate than front-end alignment only, for vehicles that do not have rear suspension systems that are adjustable. The front wheels are aligned with the average trajectory of the two rear wheels, which is called the thrust line.
  • 4 Wheel Alignment — All four wheels of the vehicle are aligned with the centerline of the vehicle. 4 wheel alignment is the most accurate method of wheel alignment, and is the most recommended approach by manufacturers for vehicles that have adjustable rear suspension.

The majority of vehicles on the road today are alignable at all four wheels, whether they’re rear-wheel-drive, front-wheel-drive, or 4-wheel-drive. If a vehicle can have all four wheels aligned, then all four wheels should be aligned, to ensure the greatest possible accuracy.

How Much Does a Wheel Alignment Cost?

The cost of a wheel alignment typically depends on the vehicle type, the kind of alignment you have done, the auto shop’s pricing policies, the region of the country where you have the service performed.

All reputable auto service shops inform car owners of which alignment type is best for their particular kind of vehicle and how much it will cost prior to starting any work. To find out if the alignment is covered under your vehicle warranty, check your owner’s manual for the warranty commitments.

At Ace Auto Repair, we provide visual alignment inspections free of charge. If we recommend having a wheel alignment done, but then discover during the work that the alignment is actually good and cannot be improved by the process, there is no charge to our customer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wheel Alignment

The time it takes to align your wheels can vary depending on the vehicle and the specific alignment issues. Typically, an alignment might take 30 minutes to an hour for a standard vehicle. In some cases, wheel alignment could take longer, especially if additional repairs are needed or if the alignment issues are severe. However, for the best results, it's highly recommended to have it done by professionals like us at Ace Auto Repair, as we can ensure the job is done correctly and safely.
Improper wheel alignment can lead to uneven tire wear. If your wheels are not aligned correctly, certain areas of your tires may experience more stress and friction than others, causing them to wear down unevenly and at an accelerated rate. This can shorten the lifespan of your tires significantly. Regular wheel alignment checks from a professional repair service, such as Ace Auto Repair, can help ensure your tires last as long as possible.
Yes, driving over potholes, bumps, or other road imperfections can definitely lead to wheel misalignment. These impacts can alter the angles of your wheels, causing them to deviate from the manufacturer's specifications. If you regularly drive on roads with such conditions, having your wheel alignment checked regularly at a professional service center like Ace Auto Repair is a good idea.
While certain vehicle maintenance tasks can be performed at home, a wheel alignment isn't typically one of them. Wheel alignment involves precise adjustments and specialized equipment that most individuals cannot access at home. Moreover, a faulty alignment could lead to more serious issues. Therefore, bringing your vehicle to a professional service like Ace Auto Repair is highly recommended to ensure your wheel alignment is done correctly and safely.
No, wheel alignment and balancing are two different procedures. Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other for optimal handling and tire wear. On the other hand, wheel balancing ensures that the weight of the wheel and tire is evenly distributed around the axle to prevent vibration at high speeds. Both are crucial for maintaining the performance and longevity of your vehicle, and both services are offered by professionals like us at Ace Auto Repair.
While it's possible to drive a vehicle with misaligned wheels, it's not recommended. Misalignment can lead to uneven tire wear, poor handling, lower fuel efficiency, and even safety issues over time. If you suspect your wheels might be misaligned, bringing your vehicle to a professional service like Ace Auto Repair for a wheel alignment check as soon as possible is best.
Driving with unaligned wheels can lead to several issues. It can cause premature and uneven tire wear, reducing the lifespan of your tires significantly. It can also cause poor vehicle handling, making your car drift to the side, which could lead to safety concerns. Misaligned wheels can also decrease your fuel efficiency. For these reasons, having your wheel alignment checked and corrected by professionals like us at Ace Auto Repair is suggested.
Several signs could indicate your wheels might be misaligned. These include uneven or rapid tire wear, your vehicle pulling to one side while driving, a steering wheel that is off-center when driving straight, and a noticeable reduction in driving comfort. If you notice any of these signs, it's best to bring your vehicle to a professional like Ace Auto Repair for a wheel alignment check.
Yes, wheel alignment can significantly affect your vehicle's fuel efficiency. Misaligned wheels can create uneven tire wear and increased friction, causing your vehicle to work harder and use more fuel to move. By ensuring your wheels are properly aligned by a professional service like Ace Auto Repair, you can optimize your vehicle's fuel efficiency.
Whenever you replace your tires, it's a good idea to check your wheel alignment. Even if your old tires wore out evenly, the added grip from the new tires might highlight misalignment that was only noticeable after. Proper wheel alignment ensures that your new tires wear evenly and last as long as possible. We at Ace Auto Repair recommend getting a wheel alignment check whenever you get new tires.
It's a good practice to check your wheel alignment after replacing tires. New tires can often highlight any existing alignment issues that may not have been noticeable with old, worn-out tires. Proper alignment ensures even wear on your new tires, helping to extend their lifespan and improve overall vehicle performance. For the best results, you should consult a professional service center like Ace Auto Repair when you replace your tires.
Wheel alignment can indeed affect your vehicle's braking efficiency. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear, reducing the tire tread that comes into contact with the road. This can impact your vehicle's ability to brake promptly and efficiently. Misalignment can also cause the vehicle to pull to one side, making braking feel unsteady or unstable. If you're noticing any issues with braking, it's best to bring your car to a professional like Ace Auto Repair to check your wheel alignment and other potential issues with your braking system.
Misaligned wheels can definitely cause noticeable steering problems. You may find your vehicle veering to one side while driving straight, or the steering wheel might be off-center despite your vehicle moving in a straight line. Misalignment can also cause a shaky or vibrating sensation in the steering wheel. These issues can make driving more difficult and potentially unsafe. Therefore, if you're experiencing any steering problems, it's crucial to have a professional like those at Ace Auto Repair check your wheel alignment as soon as possible.

Where Can I Get a Wheel Alignment Near Me?

Ace AutoRepair is a family-owned auto service center in West Jordan Utah, specializing in repairs for all makes and models of cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. We serve our customers throughout the greater Salt Lake City area. We offer all three kinds of wheel alignment services and free assessments of wheel alignment.

All mechanics on our team of top-rated auto technicians are ASE Certified and keep up to date on vehicle and service industry advancements and other relevant changes. All our service work is guaranteed!

If you think your vehicle may need a wheel alignment or need other service, contact Ace Auto Repair, West Jordan UT

Call Ace Auto Repair for a Free Quote on Wheel Alignment Service in West Jordan, Utah

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