Will My Alignment Be Checked? When most people bring their car or truck to an auto body repair facility the main thing they are concerned about is how will their investment look when they get it back. At Long Pond Auto Body we go way beyond just what you see on the outside.
Many accidents no matter how minor can also do damage to mechanical areas of your vehicle. We look for those hidden damages at the same time we are looking for what you see on the surface. Many times all you may need is a simple front or complete alignment to make sure your vehicle handles just the way it did the day you bought it.
Sometimes however parts may need to be changed in order to bring your alignment back to factory specs. This is something you or your insurance company should never overlook. Not paying attention to this could result in future front or rear end damage as well as premature tire wear and pulling to one side or the other while driving down the road.
There are quite a few collision repair shops that will not take this extra step when going over the repairs you may need. make sure you ask before making that commitment if this will be looked into along with your other work. We know you want your car or truck to look good, and so do we! But we also want it to drive good as well. Your safety and the premium quality work we put into your vehicle is what matters most.
Now should you get a two-wheel or four-wheel alignment? At any rate the technician will put a sensor on each wheel. In a two-wheel alignment rear toe and thrust angle is checked. Then all the adjustments are made on the front wheels. This happens on cars that don't have rear wheel adjustments, but can determine if there is something wrong with the back wheels.
In a four-wheel alignment the rear wheels are adjusted to specification before any front wheel adjustments are made. In relation to the added work, the four-wheel alignment does costs more. All vehicles should be 4-wheel aligned. Two-wheel alignments have become obsolete because they align only the front wheels to the vehicle's centerline. A 2-wheel alignment assumes the rear wheels are already aligned with the geometric centerline.
Two-wheel alignments may save you a little money up front if this is something you want done and not related to the accident your insurance is paying for, but your vehicle's handling and tire tread life will be compromised. Now, before any wheel alignment is done, the car will be road tested so the technician can see what the vehicle is doing. Then the front end will be thoroughly inspected for worn, bent or broken parts. We will check that the tires and wheels match and that the tires pressures are set correctly.
Older cars could have the camber, caster and toe adjusted. On most modern cars, this is no longer true. On all cars toe is adjustable but front McPherson struts set caster and camber. The theory is that as long as these components are not bent or broken, the alignment will always be set properly. Notice we said "in theory." In the real world, other things besides the struts can be thrown slightly out of adjustment causing the wheel to be thrown out of line. In cases such as this, some aftermarket manufacturers make kits that can be installed to allow caster and camber adjustment.
How often should you have your wheels aligned? Some manufacturers recommend as little as 10,000 miles. Personally, we feel once a year is a good interval between alignments. A yearly alignment can add thousands of miles to your tires over the years. That's money in your pocket in tires not bought and extra fuel not burnt. Of course if you buy new tires, that's an excellent time to have your wheels aligned.