About This File
Automobile manufacturers have understood for many years that their products weaken and wear after a period of time. Springs weaken and begin to collapse. Suspension parts and steering parts wear out and become loose. Frames bend or collapse slightly. All of these things combine to make the car less pleasurable to drive. It is also more costly in terms of gas consumption, accelerated parts wear and increased tire wear.
To help decrease these problems, auto manufacturers designed a method of adjustment into the suspension and steering systems. These adjustments allow a technician to compensate for wear related changes. A set of specifications with allowable tolerances has been established by the auto manufacturers. Vehicles are measured and these measurements are compared to the specifications. Those measurements that are not within the allowable tolerances must be adjusted. These settings are referred to as the alignment angles. Just as any measured setting, such as brake rotor thickness, or spark plug gap, a reliable and accurate measuring device must be used. These alignment angles, when measured and adjusted to the recommended settings, should restore the vehicle’s handling, ride, and tire life to what they were originally designed to be.