Category: Alignment

All Lined Up (Alignment Inspection)

When you head down a straight road, does your vehicle pull to one side?  Do you feel vibration in any of the wheels? If you’ve noticed any of these things, it’s probably time for you to get your wheel alignment checked.

When your vehicle left the factory, its wheels were parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.  That maximizes traction for good steering and braking. Every time you take your vehicle on the road, normal wear and tear will affect your alignment. Hit a bump, a pothole or a curb and all those little knocks will add up

Bad alignment not only can cause your steering wheel to pull unevenly, it can also wear your tires out a lot faster than they should. In fact, if you look at your tires and see one side of the tread is a lot smoother than the other, it could be another sign of bad alignment.

Since different problems can cause similar symptoms, the first thing our trained technician will do is test drive your vehicle. Then, they’ll check the front end and steering linkage as well as look for tire wear.  Then, the technician will put your vehicle on a lift and use computerized diagnostic equipment to measure alignment angles so they can precisely align your vehicle’s components.

There are different kinds of alignments.  One is a front-end alignment that aligns components of the vehicle’s front axle.  Another is a thrust alignment that makes sure the front wheels are lined up with the direction the rear wheels are pointed.  A third type is four-wheel alignment which is usually used on all-wheel drive and  4-wheel drive vehicles.  It’s also recommended for front-wheel drive vehicles that have independent rear suspensions.  It makes sure the angles of all the wheels are where they should be relative to each other and also the vehicle’s body or frame.

Your steering wheel should be perfectly centered if you are heading straight down the road, so the technician will adjust it so it is. Finally, they’ll take your vehicle back on the road for a final test drive to make sure it’s performing the way engineers intended.

Your service adviser can recommend how often you should have your alignment inspection, since it depends on the type of vehicle you drive (SUV, sporty car, etc.) and your driving environment.  Properly aligned wheels can help your vehicle perform better and save you from expensive repairs down the road.

Autotronics of St. Peter
111 Jefferson Avenue
St. Peter, MN 56082
507.934.9290
http://autotronicsstpeter.com

The Autotronics of ST Peter Guide for St. Peter Drivers: Signs of An Alignment Problem

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Cleveland auto owners often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like an accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object.

While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday St. Peter driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well.

Additionally, your automobile  can lose alignment over time with just normal driving. When your wheels are out of alignment, Autotronics of ST Peter in St. Peter can return your wheels to the auto maker factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an alignment check every year or two. 

Give us a call

Autotronics of ST Peter
507.934.9290
111 Jefferson Avenue
St. Peter, MN 56082

Power Steering Service At Autotronics of ST Peter In St. Peter

Many St. Peter car owners have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in St. Peter as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.

The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Autotronics of ST Peter in St. Peter use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.

Power Steering Service At Autotronics of ST Peter In St. PeterPower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects minivan components from rust and corrosion.

St. Peter car owners should be aware that automobile manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule.
At Autotronics of ST Peter, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many St. Peter drivers don’t realize how vital it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

St. Peter motorists should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Autotronics of ST Peter in St. Peter.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are vital mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Autotronics of ST Peter includes an inspection of steering components.

If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your knowledgeable Autotronics of ST Peter service advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Autotronics of ST Peter today at 507.934.9290.