Wheel alignment adjusts the wheel angles so that they are parallel to one another and to the ground. Proper wheel alignment and related maintenance is critical to keeping a vehicle in top condition. Wheel alignment is also important for safety reasons--poor alignment can result in issues regarding uneven tire wear and tracking, as well as create steering problems.
How Wheel Alignments Are Performed
Wheel alignment technicians check an automobile's alignment by test driving it prior to servicing it. Test drives provide the technician firsthand knowledge of steering and tire performance, giving him important information that will allow him to effectively diagnose any issues.
Front wheel alignment service inspects and adjusts the alignment of the vehicle's front tires and axles. A car that regularly pulls to one side or has uneven tire wear indicates the need of a front-wheel alignment, especially when confirmed by a technician. As of 2010, front-end alignment can run approximately $30 to $70, depending on the company and location.
Four-wheel alignment inspects all tires, but technicians may perform it in two different ways. A wheel technician can inspect all four wheels but only service the two front wheels, or he can inspect and service all four wheels, which is known as a full four-wheel alignment. Full alignment services are more expensive than other types of alignment services because of the extensive work. As of 2010, this service can cost between $50 to $100 depending on the company and its location.
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