Wheel Alignments in Santa Rosa, CA
Located in Santa Rosa, CA and for over 25 years Spring Works has provided its guests and automotive shops with a very high level of wheel alignment service. Our Specialized Certified Technicians consistently perform meticulous automotive wheel alignments. We utilize the best alignment equipment and expertly trained techs to perform the best wheel alignments on the west coast. We align cars, light trucks, heavy trucks, trailers, and motor homes. With elite equipment, highly qualified, and highly skilled technicians on the job, you can rest assured your wheel alignment will be done right.
A wheel alignment adjusts your vehicle's suspension and steering to ensure your vehicles tire are aligned correctly. When your vehicle goes out of alignment, even just a little bit, your vehicle will handle more poorly, and your tires will start to become unevenly worn. You might notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side, or your steering wheel might not be pointing in the right direction when you’re going straight.
You might need a wheel alignment if you regularly drive on poorly maintained roads, hit a huge pothole, or hit a curb. Any of these factors can cause your wheel to go out of alignment. You might not notice that your wheel needs to be aligned immediately, but you’ll notice a difference once you have a wheel alignment! Your vehicle will drive smoother, and you will start seeing savings at the gas pump since properly aligned vehicles require less energy to move.
You should have your wheel alignment checked every 12,000 miles to avoid costly repairs down the road. If you think your wheel needs to be aligned, or if it’s been more than 12,000 miles since your last wheel alignment, make an appointment for a wheel alignment today.
Wheel Alignment Pre-Inspection
Prior to every alignment an inspection must be performed to determine if any of the parts responsible for holding the tires in alignment are worn, damaged, or missing. We perform a multi-point steering and suspension inspection prior to each alignment to ensure that you vehicle can be properly aligned. We do not improperly align vehicles with worn, damaged or missing parts.
Wheel Alignment Service
You should bring your vehicle in for a wheel alignment if you’ve hit a curb or pothole, or if your vehicle is showing signs of being misaligned. Worn suspension parts can lead to misalignment and can cause a major hazard for you when you’re driving. If you have worn suspension parts, we can replace them during servicing.
A great wheel alignment starts with utilizing the best alignment equipment available and having an expert alignment tech perform the alignment. We use a Hunter Hawkeye Elite alignment machine and a Hunter Laser machine. Our techs go through over 400 hours of advanced Spring Works alignment training, so you can rest assured, knowing that your vehicle is in good hands when you bring it in.
Wheel Alignment Repair
Making correct adjustments to a vehicle’s wheel alignment measurements is a precision practice. Our expert technicians can detect and solve alignment problems that you might not even be aware of. Even a little misalignment can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your tires, which means you might have to buy new tires sooner.
Wheel Alignment Diagnosis
Does your vehicle pull to one side when you take your hands off the steering wheel for a second while going straight? Are the tires wearing unevenly? Are your tires wearing out long before they should? Is your steering wheel not straight? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you want to have your alignment checked.
The very first step in aligning wheels is making sure your suspension and steering components are not worn, damaged, or missing. If the parts that are responsible for holding the wheel in alignment are worn, missing, or damaged there is no way to PROPERLY align the vehicle. The wheels simply will not stay in specification. You’ll need to replace these parts in order to have a properly aligned vehicle.
If your suspension and steering components are in good shape, the tires are not unevenly worn, the wear on your tires to determine where your vehicle is out of alignment. Once that has been determined, our technicians will get to work correcting the alignment at the source.
A properly aligned vehicle will improve handling, decrease gas mileage, and protect your tires from premature wear.
Wheel Alignment Camber, Caster and Toe
Did you know that if your toe is too positive or negative you could lose 20% or more of your tire tread? Improper toe settings can scrub off just a little rubber at a time and over time leave you scratching your head wondering where the rubber went. Some other typical causes of uneven tire wear are: not rotating the tires at recommended intervals, constantly driving windy roads, and over-enthusiastic cornering. Take a look at the chart below to better understand how camber, caster, and toe affect tire wear. Get It Done Right.
Camber refers to the top of the tire’s tilt, either inward or outward, when you look at the tires from the front. If your camber is negative, then the top of your tire is tilted inward (in to the fender well) and if the camber is positive, then the top of the tire is tilted outward.
Camber has a wide range of recommended settings and it can be customized for different vehicle handling. Adjusting the camber can account for any force changes that a vehicle encounters as it turns. For instance, if a driver is more aggressive, then they might want a higher negative camber. Negative camber allows the tire to have more surface contact in turns which increases traction. However, under normal driving conditions the tires tend to wear on the inside over time. A more conservative driver who doesn’t take hard corners might be better off with the camber adjusted closer to zero degrees.
If you notice premature wear on the inside or outside edge of your tires, the camber may need to be adjusted if it's out of spec or performance handling is not a priority. Excessive negative camber causes inside tire wear and excessive positive camber causes outside tire wear.
Think of the caster as a line that separates your tire’s ball joints into two sections: upper and lower. The caster can be neutral, positive, or negative, and refers to the steering axis’s angle. When your caster is aligned correctly, you’ll feel it in your steering. You’ll also feel more stable/responsive when you drive at higher speeds.
If your vehicle steering wheel does not return to center after making turns excessive cross caster difference is usually the issue. Caster adjustment create understeer (steers less than you turn the wheel) and oversteer (steers more than you turn the wheel). Positive adjustments make the response tighter and more responsive whereas negative camber adjusts reduce response. Cross differences in caster can create pulls to one side or the other when you drive. In some case caster is not adjustable and in set at the factory.
Toe refers to how the front of a tire is positioned, viewed from the front, inward or outward. If your tires are closer together inward the tires are said to be toed in and if the tires are further apart they would be referred to as toed out.
If your steering wheel isn’t positioned correctly (not centered) when you drive straight, then the toe may be out of specification. It is possible for the toe to be within specification and have a non centered steering wheel. Toe is the most critical of all the adjustments we perform. The tolerances are very tight.
If you think your vehicle needs a wheel alignment, schedule an appointment today!
Check out our Wheel Alignment blog.