Alignment Basics

An alignment is a normal part of maintenance and should be checked at least once a year depending on your vehicle, conditions of roads traveled, and miles traveled. This blog post will give you the basics about alignments and what symptoms are typical of an out of alignment vehicle. This is a basic breakdown, if you have any further questions we can help you with please feel free to call us at the shop (865)-691-3400.

What is an alignment?

Basically an alignment is a procedure of aligning the wheels front to back, side to side, and up and down. The measurements are usually performed by laser or HD cameras, these devices give precise angles and will show instantly any adjustments made. The changes are made by adjusting or moving front end components.

Alignment readings
Example of Completed alignment readings

What are the 3 main alignment specs?

The big 3 alignment specifications are Camber, Caster, and Toe.

Camber is the the measurement of how far in or out the top of the tire is in comparison to straight up and down.

Caster is the measurement of how far forward or rear the tire is vs the steering axis in comparison to straight up and down.

Toe is the measurement of each tire in comparison to straight forward, and also the total toe or the tires compared to each other.

Symptoms of bad alignment

  • Uneven tire wear
  • Shoulder tire wear
  • Steering wheel off center
  • Pulls to one side when driving
  • ABS/Trac Lights on the dash

Usually the first sign your alignment is off is the steering wheel being off center however any of the above symptoms should be a red flag for you to set up an appointment with your preferred repair shop.

Symptoms not typically caused by alignment

  • Vibration
  • Noises (clunks, pops, etc)
  • Pulls to one side while braking
  • Steering wheel shaking

All of those above symptoms are definitely a reason to bring your vehicle into a trusted shop. If you feel like you need an alignment of have any questions dont hesistate to contact us and we will help you come up with a plan to get your vehicle back to 100%.

— Joshua Shook Sr.

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