Our vehicle, be it a two wheeler, three wheeler or a four wheeler, is made of several different parts, which contribute in big and small ways to its efficient and proper working. One such important part is the front end alignment.
Front end alignment is not directly related to the working of the engine or any of its parts. Instead, it is a sort of service, fitted in the vehicle to set the chamber, toe in and caster in proper specifications, so as to hold the tires at place, enable efficient steering and provide easy handling of the vehicle.
Like all the other parts of the vehicle, front end alignment also becomes inefficient over a period of time and therefore it requires to be realigned.
How Does Working of Front End Alignment Affect the Vehicle?
Before moving on to know about the front end alignment costs, let us know something about its working. The definition of front end alignment itself gives an idea of its working. The front end alignment of a vehicle is made of three important parts, namely, caster, camber and toe in.
Whenever the steering is moved towards the right or left, the tires turn with the help of a pivot fixed to the suspension system. Caster is actually the angle of this pivot.
Pivot plays an important role in keeping the vehicle in a straight track, as if the pivot is too positive (leaning towards the back), then the steering becomes too heavy, whereas if the pivot is too negative (leaning towards the front), then the steering becomes too light and vehicle might get out of control.
Camber can be described as the angle of the wheel. When the wheel top is bending in, the camber is said to be negative and if it is bending out, then the camber is positive. Both of these conditions actually damage the tire and lead to a one side pull in the vehicle.
Toe is actually the measurement of the distance between the front and rear end of the tires. This distance is set in such a way, that the tires are parallel to each other.
Toe-in means that the frontal part of the tires have come near each other and toe-out denotes that the rear part of the tires have come closer. Toe-in will result in a quick tire wear. Be it front wheels or rear wheels the toe can always be adjusted.
How do I Know my Vehicle Needs a Front End Alignment?
Your vehicle might inhibit certain symptoms, if it needs a front end alignment. You might think about front end alignment, when your steering starts to shake or you could feel vibrations when you hold it. But this is not actually a problem related to front end alignment!
A front end alignment is generally necessary, when the front portion of the tires start pointing outwards or inwards. This problem can affect the tire tread and you could feel a force that pulls your vehicle towards the left or the right. The car would not be able to run in a straight direction then.
Moreover, disturbance in the original adjustment of the caster, might pull either of the tires in the front. This problem might not affect the wear of the tire. However, the front end might get pulled in one direction.
Sometimes a front end alignment might encounter shakes. The probable reason behind this is either the imbalance between the tires or unevenly worn-out tires. Unevenly worn-out tires lead to an imbalance in the tires and imbalance causes a disturbance in weight distribution between the tires.
What is the Cost of Front End Alignment?
Front end alignment prices mostly involve the labor charges involved in checking, repairing and test driving the vehicle. Therefore the costs differ from state to state.
A four wheeler front end alignment might cost you somewhere around USD 100 - USD 150, whereas a two wheeler alignment might cost about USD 50 - USD 90. But check your local charges, as these are the average costs.
When it comes to vehicle repair, you need to be prompt and concerned! It is important that you contribute your input by repairing it timely and only then expect the car to provide an output as hassle free driving. Hope this information proved sufficient to give you an overview of front end alignment cost and some other aspects related to it.