During wheel alignment service, technicians square the car’s wheels and axles, putting them in the proper configuration for optimal performance. How do they do it? Machines make wheel alignment easier and more accurate for mechanics. In this post, the pros from Austin’s Automotive Specialists in Austin, Texas, explain that technology and how it works so you can better understand what goes on during wheel alignment service.
How can you accurately change the position of something without measuring? And how can you measure wheels? Technology helps technicians measure three or four different angles of wheel alignment: camber, caster, toe, and thrust. The first three of these refer to the way each wheel sits in the well, whether or not it is tilted, crooked, unbalanced, and so on. Thrust refers to the rear axle’s angle to the front axle. Each vehicle has a specific measurement for each of these four angles to create the perfect geometry for optimal performance.
How do technicians measure the camber, caster, toe, and thrust angles? Once the car is positioned on a rack lifted in the air and the steering wheel is centered, they can see how far each wheel deviates from its proper position and make corrections. They use devices that clamp onto each wheel and provide detailed measurements.
The clamp devices on each wheel (also called heads) usually consist of a camera unit, precision reflector, and an array of LEDs. Cameras use computers to communicate their position in reference to the others attached to each wheel. The central computer calculates results and creates a display for the technician. Heads can also use reflectors and LEDs to measure. The LEDs flash arrays for each reflector, and the camera captures patterned images, which the technician can use to make corrections.
Is all the effort necessary to align your vehicle’s wheels? You may not realize that good wheel alignment is the foundation of a healthy car. Without it, your car will surely struggle, develop problems, require repairs, and wear out faster. If you want to know more about why wheel alignment is so important, ask the technicians at Austin’s Automotive Specialists. We would be happy to tell you more! Visit our shop in Austin, Texas, for your wheel alignment service or to learn more from our experts. We look forward to seeing you!