Mazda Wheel Alignment in Springfield MA
The proper alignment of your Mazda’s wheels is one of the keys to safe and responsive driving. When the wheels are misaligned, it affects your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, tire wear, handling, and maneuverability. Incidents such as minor accidents or hitting potholes or bumps are usually the cause when the wheels fall out of alignment. On this page, we’ll talk about why you should routinely have your vehicle’s alignment checked and maintained by a Mazda-certified technician.
What Goes into an Alignment?
When a technician inspects your vehicle’s wheel alignment, he will look at the camber, toe, and caster alignments. The camber alignment refers to the inward or outward angle of a specific tire when it’s viewed from the front. When it’s turned too far inward or outward (also known as negative and positive, respectively), the improper alignment will need to be adjusted. Worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-based suspension parts could be the cause. Then there’s toe alignment, which is the extent at which both of your car’s tires turn inward or outward as seen from above. If the tires are angled inward it’s called toe-in alignment, and when they’re facing out, it’s toe-out. Finally, there’s the caster alignment, which helps with your vehicle’s steering and stability. It’s the angle of your steering axis when viewed from the side; if the caster is positive, the steering axis will tilt toward the driver. When it’s negative, it tilts toward the front of the vehicle.
Why Proper Wheel Alignment is Essential
In time, your vehicle’s wheels will inevitably be forced out of alignment, and depending on the severity, it could end up affecting other systems and costing you more in repairs. For example, tires will wear unevenly when the wheels are not properly aligned, causing dangerous tread loss in spots. So, it’s best not to ignore the following warning signs:
- the car pulls one way or the other when you let go of the steering wheel
- the steering wheel isn’t straight when the car is driving straight forward
- the front end shimmies after you hit a bump
- the tires show uneven tread wear, especially at the edges
Taking Your Mazda in For Service
Our Mazda-certified technicians understand your vehicle inside-out and are well-versed in how to keep it running its best. Regular alignment checks are, of course, an important part of that maintenance. The factory-trained technicians at Balise Mazda will perform in-depth inspections as needed to make sure that your wheel alignment – as well as the rest of your vehicle – conforms to all safety and performance standards. Your technician will also check your tires for signs of uneven wear, which can cause a blowout or other loss of vehicle control.