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Welcome to Schmidt Auto Care | Springboro, OH

You hit the road with a full tank of gas, windows down, your favorite playlist on shuffle. You expect a smooth ride, but as your hands grip the steering wheel, you notice that it starts to shake. You might have turned up the bass, but not so high that the car should be shaking like this. What other explanation is there? An earthquake? A road that turned from pavement to cobblestones?

In all likelihood, none of these things would account for your shaky wheel. In fact, the most likely culprit is one that most people might not even think of the alignment.

In situations like this, your vehicle most likely needs a wheel alignment. In fact, while most people think of safety features as brakes, traction control, and airbags, the wheel alignment in your vehicle can be just as essential to keep you and your passengers safe.

Wheels and tires play a huge role in your vehicle, and they need to be properly aligned to help the vehicle drive straight, turn corners, and even stop reliably. Improper wheel alignment leads to many problems, from poor handling to excessive tire wear.

At this point, you might ask yourself, how much for a wheel alignment? While the wheel alignment costs are at the forefront of many drivers’ minds, let’s take a deeper look at why a proper wheel alignment is so important and what exactly a wheel alignment even is.

What Is A Wheel Alignment?

The term “wheel alignment” is a little misleading. Despite what the name might imply, a wheel alignment is actually an adjustment to a car’s suspension.

A wheel alignment, put simply, is the process of adjusting a vehicle’s steering and suspension to ensure that the vehicle's tires are hitting the road surface at the proper angles.

While you drive, specific actions, such as hitting a pothole or driving on rough roads, can cause the angle of your vehicle’s tires to be altered, disrupting their alignment with one another and the surface of the road. When the wheels move out of place or are angled improperly, this can cause issues with steering and handling, as well as the smoothness of the ride.

To fix this issue, a mechanic will adjust different suspension angles. Generally, they will use an alignment machine in addition to a visual inspection to analyze the steering angle of three checkpoints. The technician then compares the recorded angles with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What are these three checkpoints, though?

Camber

The first checkpoint, the camber, is the angle between the road and the tire when looking from the front of the vehicle straight-on. This determines how much of the tire’s tread meets the road, which impacts how the tires wear.

Toe

The toe is another checkpoint, the angle of the front of the wheels in relation to the back of the wheels. This can affect the wear of the tires as well as stability when turning.

Caster

Casters are the third checkpoint. Casters are the angle of the steering axis when looking at the wheel straight on from the side of the car. To create this angle, you can draw an imaginary line between the steering mechanism’s upper and lower ball joints. The caster affects the stability of the vehicle at higher speeds.

So What Does A Mechanic Do?

The technician uses the aforementioned alignment machine and a visual inspection to analyze the different angles of the camber, toe, and caster and then compare the angles to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended ranges.

Then, with the help of the alignment machine, the technician precisely adjusts the three checkpoints as needed until they are all within the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

After the angles have been adjusted, the car is taken on a final test drive to verify that the adjustments are accurate and any alignment issues have been resolved.

Why Does A Wheel Alignment Matter?

A car’s tire alignment can be significantly affected by anything that jolts or jars the vehicle, from running over a pothole to hitting a curb. While larger driving jostles can affect a car’s wheel alignment, tire balancing deteriorates over time, even with careful driving.

After these jolts to your car, or throughout normal wear and tear to your vehicle, it is vital to ensure you have appropriately aligned tires to ensure that the car rides, steers, and handles just as well as the manufacturer intended.

Tire alignment ensures you get the best out of your vehicle. Getting car suspension repairs benefits your car (and your wallet) over time by providing your tires with better contact with the road’s surface, which extends the lives of the tires and improves traction on slick roads.

Other benefits to having your wheel alignment checked include reducing tire rolling resistance and allowing for better absorption of shock, resulting in improved gas mileage and a smoother drive.

Improperly aligned tires can also cause excessive wear on steering and suspension parts. Getting your wheel alignment checked can reduce this issue and save you time and money by preventing costly repairs or a dangerous mechanical problem down the road.

Proper wheel alignment helps achieve optimal performance with the following:

  • Better gas mileage
  • Improved handling
  • Reduced uneven wear and tear on tires
  • Smoother and more stable turns
  • Reduces pull on your steering wheel, letting your car drive straight without pulling to one side or the other

What Happens If I Skip the Wheel Alignment?

There are more benefits to an alignment job than just a smoother ride, and there are several reasons you don’t want to go too long without making sure your tires are aligned correctly. When your wheels aren’t in the correct position, it can cause reduced vehicle control, which can be dangerous while driving even on paved roads in the best conditions.

Issues like uneven tire wear can also be more than just a pesky annoyance - it can be dangerous. Uneven tire wear can lead to decreased traction, which can make rainy or icy roads extra dangerous. When angles are misaligned, it can also cause the vehicle to pull to one side or even make the steering wheel feel loose. These factors, in combination, can put you at a higher risk of getting into an accident.

Signs Your Car Needs A Wheel Alignment

Generally speaking, if you need a wheel alignment, your vehicle will let you know. Some signs might be obvious, while others might be less noticeable. When you do notice them, however, it means it's time for a tire alignment.

Some indicators that your vehicle’s wheels need to be aligned include:

  • Shaking steering wheel
  • Car shaking when driving
  • Car steers to the left or right when the steering is in a neutral position
  • The steering wheel looks like it is off-center when you’re going straight
  • Steering feels loose
  • Rapid or uneven wear and tear on your vehicle’s wheels
  • Tires squealing

Sometimes these signs can be caused by problems outside of a wheel alignment, so it is important to let a mechanic check your vehicle with their specialized equipment to determine the root cause.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these indicators.

The Tire Wear is Uneven

Take a look at your tires — if one has more wear than the others, it's likely the wheels need an alignment.

The Steering Feels Loose

If your car has a delayed response when turning the steering wheel, it's time to have it checked out. This can be very dangerous since you're unable to control the vehicle properly. (Especially with winter coming!)

The Car Pulls to One Side

Does it feel like your car is yanking you to one side while driving? It's probably an alignment issue. If the vehicle veers to one side after removing your hands from the wheel, grab hold of it and steer directly to a mechanic.

The Steering Wheel Vibrates

If your hands are shaking on the wheel, a trip to the shop may be in order. A vibrating wheel isn't just a sign of misaligned tires— it's also really aggravating.

How Often Do You Need To Get A Wheel Alignment?

As a general rule, it is a good idea to have a four-wheel alignment every time you purchase new tires. Beyond purchasing new tires, the answer largely depends on how you drive and what kind of road surface or conditions you frequently encounter.

If you regularly drive along rough or bumpy roads, or if you find yourself frequently hitting potholes or curbs, your four wheels are likely to be knocked out of alignment more often. A driver like this would benefit from stopping by an alignment shop and checking their steering components frequently.

If the main road surface you encounter is well-maintained roads, you’ll probably find yourself visiting alignment shops less frequently.

Regardless of the road conditions you find yourself on, occasional potholes or rough terrain. It is a good idea to get your alignment checked at least once a year. If you drive less than 6,000 miles per year, however, you can probably go every other year unless you see signs that suggest your tires are out of alignment.

How Much For A Steering Wheel Alignment?

Since there are different types of alignments, the costs vary.

A front-end alignment (a two-wheel alignment that adjusts the front two wheels only) will generally cost you anywhere from $50 to $75. A four-wheel alignment (for all-wheel-drive vehicles) runs between $100 to $150 on average.

The total cost is dependent on other factors as well, such as the warranty length, make and model of the car, and labor costs.

Factors That Impact Cost

How much you pay for a wheel alignment can vary depending on a few factors.

Make And Model

For luxury cars, the answer to the question of wheel alignment cost is going to be more expensive than your run-of-the-mill SUV or sedan. This is because some luxury vehicles require specialized equipment or are just more complicated jobs because of engineering design.

Most makes and models will need a four-wheel alignment to align both the front and rear wheels, which typically costs a little more than two-wheel alignments.

Condition Of The Suspension

If the components of your suspension are damaged or worn and need to be replaced, this can cause your alignment work to be more expensive.

The Type Of Shop

Work done at a dealership will cost more than going to a local mechanic. Local labor costs are generally less expensive while still delivering fantastic results.

Where You Live

If you live on the coasts, expect to pay more than in other areas. Wheel alignment costs also differ from city to city and shop to shop.

Additional Service

When you get your service done, your wheel alignment cost might go up if you have additional work that needs to be done. This might include a tire rotation, checking the tire pressure, or any other additional services that a mechanic might find connected to your alignment.

We're Here to Straighten Out Your Car Problems (Literally)

If you’ve read this article and are thinking about how you probably need to get your alignment checked, don’t fret. While there are plenty of places that you can go to get your tires aligned, Schmidt Auto Care is here to provide you with the best auto care services. We can align your tires and offer a variety of other services as well!

It is essential that your vehicle is performing optimally to ensure the safety and well-being of the driver and any passengers. Keeping your tires aligned can save you money over time, improving your car’s fuel efficiency and lifespan. At Schmidt Auto Care, we use the latest precision alignment tools to ensure your car receives the highest-quality treatment.

Come to Schmidt Auto Care to get fast, high-quality service. We use the latest precision alignment tools to ensure your car receives the highest-quality treatment. How much is a wheel alignment with us? Contact us today to find out!

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A wheel alignment can improve your car's handling and reduce tire wear, but how much is a wheel alignment from a trusted shop?

You hit the road with a full tank of gas, windows down, your favorite playlist on shuffle. You expect a smooth ride, but as your hands grip the steering wheel, you notice that it starts to shake. You might have turned up the bass, but not so high that the car should be shaking like this. What other explanation is there? An earthquake? A road that turned from pavement to cobblestones?

In all likelihood, none of these things would account for your shaky wheel. In fact, the most likely culprit is one that most people might not even think of the alignment.

In situations like this, your vehicle most likely needs a wheel alignment. In fact, while most people think of safety features as brakes, traction control, and airbags, the wheel alignment in your vehicle can be just as essential to keep you and your passengers safe.

Wheels and tires play a huge role in your vehicle, and they need to be properly aligned to help the vehicle drive straight, turn corners, and even stop reliably. Improper wheel alignment leads to many problems, from poor handling to excessive tire wear.

At this point, you might ask yourself, how much for a wheel alignment? While the wheel alignment costs are at the forefront of many drivers’ minds, let’s take a deeper look at why a proper wheel alignment is so important and what exactly a wheel alignment even is.

What Is A Wheel Alignment?

The term “wheel alignment” is a little misleading. Despite what the name might imply, a wheel alignment is actually an adjustment to a car’s suspension.

A wheel alignment, put simply, is the process of adjusting a vehicle’s steering and suspension to ensure that the vehicle's tires are hitting the road surface at the proper angles.

While you drive, specific actions, such as hitting a pothole or driving on rough roads, can cause the angle of your vehicle’s tires to be altered, disrupting their alignment with one another and the surface of the road. When the wheels move out of place or are angled improperly, this can cause issues with steering and handling, as well as the smoothness of the ride.

To fix this issue, a mechanic will adjust different suspension angles. Generally, they will use an alignment machine in addition to a visual inspection to analyze the steering angle of three checkpoints. The technician then compares the recorded angles with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What are these three checkpoints, though?

Camber

The first checkpoint, the camber, is the angle between the road and the tire when looking from the front of the vehicle straight-on. This determines how much of the tire’s tread meets the road, which impacts how the tires wear.

Toe

The toe is another checkpoint, the angle of the front of the wheels in relation to the back of the wheels. This can affect the wear of the tires as well as stability when turning.

Caster

Casters are the third checkpoint. Casters are the angle of the steering axis when looking at the wheel straight on from the side of the car. To create this angle, you can draw an imaginary line between the steering mechanism’s upper and lower ball joints. The caster affects the stability of the vehicle at higher speeds.

So What Does A Mechanic Do?

The technician uses the aforementioned alignment machine and a visual inspection to analyze the different angles of the camber, toe, and caster and then compare the angles to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended ranges.

Then, with the help of the alignment machine, the technician precisely adjusts the three checkpoints as needed until they are all within the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

After the angles have been adjusted, the car is taken on a final test drive to verify that the adjustments are accurate and any alignment issues have been resolved.

Why Does A Wheel Alignment Matter?

A car’s tire alignment can be significantly affected by anything that jolts or jars the vehicle, from running over a pothole to hitting a curb. While larger driving jostles can affect a car’s wheel alignment, tire balancing deteriorates over time, even with careful driving.

After these jolts to your car, or throughout normal wear and tear to your vehicle, it is vital to ensure you have appropriately aligned tires to ensure that the car rides, steers, and handles just as well as the manufacturer intended.

Tire alignment ensures you get the best out of your vehicle. Getting car suspension repairs benefits your car (and your wallet) over time by providing your tires with better contact with the road’s surface, which extends the lives of the tires and improves traction on slick roads.

Other benefits to having your wheel alignment checked include reducing tire rolling resistance and allowing for better absorption of shock, resulting in improved gas mileage and a smoother drive.

Improperly aligned tires can also cause excessive wear on steering and suspension parts. Getting your wheel alignment checked can reduce this issue and save you time and money by preventing costly repairs or a dangerous mechanical problem down the road.

Proper wheel alignment helps achieve optimal performance with the following:

  • Better gas mileage
  • Improved handling
  • Reduced uneven wear and tear on tires
  • Smoother and more stable turns
  • Reduces pull on your steering wheel, letting your car drive straight without pulling to one side or the other

What Happens If I Skip the Wheel Alignment?

There are more benefits to an alignment job than just a smoother ride, and there are several reasons you don’t want to go too long without making sure your tires are aligned correctly. When your wheels aren’t in the correct position, it can cause reduced vehicle control, which can be dangerous while driving even on paved roads in the best conditions.

Issues like uneven tire wear can also be more than just a pesky annoyance - it can be dangerous. Uneven tire wear can lead to decreased traction, which can make rainy or icy roads extra dangerous. When angles are misaligned, it can also cause the vehicle to pull to one side or even make the steering wheel feel loose. These factors, in combination, can put you at a higher risk of getting into an accident.

Signs Your Car Needs A Wheel Alignment

Generally speaking, if you need a wheel alignment, your vehicle will let you know. Some signs might be obvious, while others might be less noticeable. When you do notice them, however, it means it's time for a tire alignment.

Some indicators that your vehicle’s wheels need to be aligned include:

  • Shaking steering wheel
  • Car shaking when driving
  • Car steers to the left or right when the steering is in a neutral position
  • The steering wheel looks like it is off-center when you’re going straight
  • Steering feels loose
  • Rapid or uneven wear and tear on your vehicle’s wheels
  • Tires squealing

Sometimes these signs can be caused by problems outside of a wheel alignment, so it is important to let a mechanic check your vehicle with their specialized equipment to determine the root cause.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these indicators.

The Tire Wear is Uneven

Take a look at your tires — if one has more wear than the others, it's likely the wheels need an alignment.

The Steering Feels Loose

If your car has a delayed response when turning the steering wheel, it's time to have it checked out. This can be very dangerous since you're unable to control the vehicle properly. (Especially with winter coming!)

The Car Pulls to One Side

Does it feel like your car is yanking you to one side while driving? It's probably an alignment issue. If the vehicle veers to one side after removing your hands from the wheel, grab hold of it and steer directly to a mechanic.

The Steering Wheel Vibrates

If your hands are shaking on the wheel, a trip to the shop may be in order. A vibrating wheel isn't just a sign of misaligned tires— it's also really aggravating.

How Often Do You Need To Get A Wheel Alignment?

As a general rule, it is a good idea to have a four-wheel alignment every time you purchase new tires. Beyond purchasing new tires, the answer largely depends on how you drive and what kind of road surface or conditions you frequently encounter.

If you regularly drive along rough or bumpy roads, or if you find yourself frequently hitting potholes or curbs, your four wheels are likely to be knocked out of alignment more often. A driver like this would benefit from stopping by an alignment shop and checking their steering components frequently.

If the main road surface you encounter is well-maintained roads, you’ll probably find yourself visiting alignment shops less frequently.

Regardless of the road conditions you find yourself on, occasional potholes or rough terrain. It is a good idea to get your alignment checked at least once a year. If you drive less than 6,000 miles per year, however, you can probably go every other year unless you see signs that suggest your tires are out of alignment.

How Much For A Steering Wheel Alignment?

Since there are different types of alignments, the costs vary.

A front-end alignment (a two-wheel alignment that adjusts the front two wheels only) will generally cost you anywhere from $50 to $75. A four-wheel alignment (for all-wheel-drive vehicles) runs between $100 to $150 on average.

The total cost is dependent on other factors as well, such as the warranty length, make and model of the car, and labor costs.

Factors That Impact Cost

How much you pay for a wheel alignment can vary depending on a few factors.

Make And Model

For luxury cars, the answer to the question of wheel alignment cost is going to be more expensive than your run-of-the-mill SUV or sedan. This is because some luxury vehicles require specialized equipment or are just more complicated jobs because of engineering design.

Most makes and models will need a four-wheel alignment to align both the front and rear wheels, which typically costs a little more than two-wheel alignments.

Condition Of The Suspension

If the components of your suspension are damaged or worn and need to be replaced, this can cause your alignment work to be more expensive.

The Type Of Shop

Work done at a dealership will cost more than going to a local mechanic. Local labor costs are generally less expensive while still delivering fantastic results.

Where You Live

If you live on the coasts, expect to pay more than in other areas. Wheel alignment costs also differ from city to city and shop to shop.

Additional Service

When you get your service done, your wheel alignment cost might go up if you have additional work that needs to be done. This might include a tire rotation, checking the tire pressure, or any other additional services that a mechanic might find connected to your alignment.

We're Here to Straighten Out Your Car Problems (Literally)

If you’ve read this article and are thinking about how you probably need to get your alignment checked, don’t fret. While there are plenty of places that you can go to get your tires aligned, Schmidt Auto Care is here to provide you with the best auto care services. We can align your tires and offer a variety of other services as well!

It is essential that your vehicle is performing optimally to ensure the safety and well-being of the driver and any passengers. Keeping your tires aligned can save you money over time, improving your car’s fuel efficiency and lifespan. At Schmidt Auto Care, we use the latest precision alignment tools to ensure your car receives the highest-quality treatment.

Come to Schmidt Auto Care to get fast, high-quality service. We use the latest precision alignment tools to ensure your car receives the highest-quality treatment. How much is a wheel alignment with us? Contact us today to find out!

Pin It
Lauralee Schmidt
Schmidt Auto CareAuto Repair Shop in Springboro, OH

$$$

285a Hiawatha Trail, Springboro, OH 45066937-514-7860contactus@schmidtautocare.com
Mon:08:00am - 07:00pm
Tue:08:00am - 07:00pm
Wed:08:00am - 06:30pm
Thu:08:00am - 07:00pm
Fri:Closed
Sat:Closed
Sun:Closed
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