Nissan Wheel Alignment in RI
Many drivers are unaware of just how easily a vehicle’s wheel alignment can be knocked out of position and how that can affect handling. A simple hit on a speed bump or pothole, for example, is enough to displace it. So, what exactly is a wheel alignment? Read on.
What is the Alignment Procedure?
During the process of a wheel alignment, your vehicle’s camber, toe, and caster positions will be checked. The camber refers to the inward or outward angle of a specific tire when it’s viewed from the front. If one is turned too far inward or outward, it will need to be returned to the proper neutral position. With the toe alignment, the inward or outward alignment of both tires will be checked but from the the top of your vehicle instead of the front. If the tires are angled inward, this is called a toe-in alignment, and when it’s out, naturally, it’s toe-out. Last, the caster alignment helps maintain your vehicle’s steering and stability. When your steering axis is viewed from the side, the trained eye can tell whether the caster is negative or positive. If it’s positive, the steering axis will tilt toward the driver, and when it’s negative, the tilt faces towards the front of the vehicle.
What Are the Causes of Poor Alignment?
Many factors contribute to improper wheel alignment. As mentioned above, slight impacts (potholes, speed bumps, minor accidents, etc.) and general wear of suspension components like the shocks and springs can lead to misalignment of your wheels. You’ll notice almost immediately if the wheel alignment is off because the steering wheel will favor left or right when you let go of it. What’s more, when the wheels are misaligned your car’s ability to turn in either direction will be noticeably reduced. This can cause uneven tread wear, leading to sooner than necessary replacement of those expensive tires. Regular maintenance will effectively prevent these bad effects and keep you and others safer on the road.
Taking Your Nissan in For an Alignment
You should have your alignment checked every year or so (or twice yearly depending on the severity of driving conditions), ideally by a Nissan-certified technician. Doing this ensures that it’s given the proper care and attention it deserves from a specifically trained professional who understands your particular model. And whenever your vehicle is in for service, those Nissan-certified technicians can perform a full safety inspection on your vehicle to make sure that no mechanical issues are developing.