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How Can I Test My Car's Wheel Alignment?

Most car owners leave every inspection and maintenance work to a qualified technician, which is an excellent choice to make. When your car is due for a wheel alignment, you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or that your tires are wearing down excessively. While the best course of action is to bring your vehicle into our shop for an inspection, there is a way that you can inspect your vehicle to see if you might be due for a wheel alignment. First, let's dive deeper into what wheel alignment is,

 

What are Caster, Toe, and Camber?

 

When you take your vehicle to a professional mechanic, they'll primarily focus on three issues:

 

Camber

 

Camber refers to the inward or outward tilt of tires when viewed from the front. When the wheels appear angled, it's a sign of misalignment.

 

Caster

 

When viewed from the side, the wheel moves in a straight steering axis; with misaligned wheels, the caster angle shifts towards the driver or the vehicle's front. Technicians use caster angles to balance the steering, stability, and cornering.

 

Toe

 

Imagine viewing your toes while standing and you angle them inwards. Now imagine observing the vehicle wheels with a bird's view; if the wheels are turned inwards, that's a toe-in alignment. If they face outwards, it's a toe-out alignment.

 

Wheel Alignment Diagnosis

 

Start by inspecting the tire treads. If you observe the wheels from the front and notice saw-toothed treads, that's a toe problem, but if it's beveled wear, it indicates a camber problem.

 

To check for toe alignment, find a leveled ground and park the car. Jack the front wheels and secure the jack. Take a bright paint or spray can and draw a straight line that runs around the tire. Using a tape, measure the distance between the inner and outer edges of the tire from the line.

 

Repeat the same procedure on the backside of the tire. On both occasions, ensure that the tape is parallel to the ground level. Compare the two readings; the measurement that appears shorter than the tire center should be considered the actual toe.

 

To inspect the camber, park the car on level ground, place a straight rod across the wheel's center, and use an angle finder to determine the actual camber misalignment.

 

Are you facing wheel alignment issues with your car? Avoid driving problems by bringing your vehicle to our automotive repair and service center. We are professional technicians with friendly, expert, and cost-effective solutions.

 

Jordan Weine
Owner – Bay Diagnostic
Serving Brooklyn Since 1985

For over 35 years Bay Diagnostic has been a Brooklyn staple helping you get back on the road faster than the dealer can. A full-service automotive repair shop in Brooklyn that specializes in scheduled service, preventive maintenance and concierge service. At Bay Diagnostic, you will come to expect what the automotive repair experience should be, fast, easy and reliable. A one stop shop for your vehicle needs.

We proudly service Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini, Porsche, Smart Car and Volkswagen vehicles.

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