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The Importance of Wheel Alignment in Redmond, WA

The Importance of Wheel Alignment in Redmond, WA

Wheel Alignment, Uneven Tire Wear, Car drifts to One Side, Steering Wheel VibratesThe Wheel Alignment on your car can be affected by many factors, including road conditions, weather, driving style, and the number of miles you drive. Driving off-road, hitting potholes, bumping curbs, and speeding over those speed bumps are common causes for knocking your wheels out of alignment. Not to worry! There are also common signs that your vehicle may need a wheel alignment. These signs may include uneven tire wear, your car drifts or pulls to one side when driving straight, and/or your steering wheel vibrates when driving at higher speeds.

Thankfully, car manufacturers recommend specific time frames for Wheel Alignment service under normal driving conditions. So, check your owner’s manual to find out your car’s suggested maintenance schedule. Then, factor in your driving style, mileage, and road conditions to fine-tune your specific maintenance schedule. If you are unsure, a qualified auto shop can help you determine the perfect schedule for Wheel Alignment Service on your car.

What is Wheel Alignment?

Simply put, correct Wheel Alignment means that the angles of the wheels are adjusted to be parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. This allows your wheels to work in concert and respond accurately to the steering wheel.

A service technician puts your car on a special rack designed for wheel alignment. Next, sensitive sensors are attached to the wheels to figure out their exact positional locations. Then, that information is fed into a computer program that tells the technician how to adjust the wheel to correct its alignment.  

Types of Wheel Alignment

  • Four-Wheel Alignment: Most common service involves the adjustment of all four wheels.
  • Two-Wheel or Front-Wheel Alignment: Most simple form of alignment service involves adjusting just the front wheels.
  • Thrust or Rear-Wheel Alignment: This alignment service involves adjusting just the rear wheels.

Wheel Alignment Angles

  • Camber: The direction of tilt of the top of the tire. Tire tilts towards the center of the car (negative), tire tilts away from the center of the car (positive), or no tilt (straight or zero).
  • Castor: The direction of the front suspension in relation to the center point of the wheel. 
  • Toe: The most common adjustment deals with the forward-moving angle of the tires. Toe-in is where the tires point in towards the center of the car (think pigeon-toed). Toe-out is where the tires point out away from the center of the car (think duck waddle).

When Do I Need Wheel Alignment?

At the bare minimum, you should schedule a Wheel Alignment inspection at least once a year. Some car manufacturers recommend having a Wheel Alignment Service performed every six months. Always follow your owner’s manual recommendations for scheduling your Wheel Alignment Service. Of course, you may need to have a service before your normal routine maintenance due to road conditions, driving style, or an unexpected fender bender.

Common Symptoms & Safety Concerns

Be aware of how your car handles under normal circumstances. If  your car feels like it’s handling differently, driving rougher, or feeling unsafe in any way, bring it in for a diagnostic service right away. Wondering if your car currently needs a wheel alignment? Check out these common symptoms of a misalignment.

Uneven Tire Wear

Proper tire maintenance can substantially prolong the life of your tires. Uneven tire wear or tread wear is a common sign of misalignment, and can easily be seen without diagnostic equipment. A few types of tread wear are:

  • Shoulder Wear – one side of the tire tread is worn down more than the other side.
  • Feathered Wear – the rows of tread along the tire are worn on angles creating points or peaks.
  • Cupped Wear – there are excessively worn (or bald) patches among less worn parts of the tread.

Car Pulling, Drifting, or Vibrating Steering Wheel

Is your steering wheel turned slightly, either to the right or left, when driving straight? Are you constantly adjusting your steering wheel because your car feels like it’s drifting or pulling to one side? Does your steering wheel seem to vibrate as you increase your speed? Then you should schedule a wheel alignment service.

Poor Gas Mileage

You may also notice a decrease in gas mileage. When your wheels are misaligned,  your tires are working against each other and/or the road surface. Consequently, your car engine has to put out far more effort to get where you’re going.

Excessive Steering & Suspension Wear

Misalignment can cause a detrimental domino effect on other components in your car. Steering and Suspension components can experience excessive wear over time if you miss your routine Wheel Alignment Service. This excessive wear can create expensive repairs or replacements of prematurely worn parts.

Where Do I Get Wheel Alignment Service?

If you notice any of the above symptoms, bring your car in for a diagnostic service. A qualified technician can determine if a Wheel Alignment Service is needed to keep your vehicle operating efficiently and safely.  

ZahnTech Import Automotive provides honest and reliable auto repairs in Redmond WA. Our team of certified ASE technicians is ready to help diagnose and address any issues with your car’s Wheel Alignment. We use the latest equipment & our extensive knowledge, to get your car fixed right the first time 

Schedule a Service

ZahnTech Import Automotive  proudly delivers the best automotive repair experience in Redmond WA. Give us a call at (425) 861-8060 or visit us online to schedule an appointment for your Wheel Alignment Service today.

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Fall Vehicle Maintenance Service in Redmond, WA

Fall Vehicle Maintenance, Redmond, WA. Oil Change, Heater, Air Conditioning, Air FilterFall is fast approaching, so that means cooler weather is finally headed our way. Now is a great time to schedule any overdue or routine ‘milestone’ (30/60/90k miles) services. So schedule your Fall Vehicle Maintenance to get an oil change, replace dirty air filters, and inspect the heater & air conditioning systems before winter arrives. We all know how unpredictable weather can be in Redmond, WA. Don’t get caught in the wet & cold without a reliable heater and working windshield wipers.

Fall Vehicle Maintenance Items

Oil Change

Did you know that almost a quarter of the vehicles on the road today are driving with dirty oil? Your vehicle’s engine depends on clean oil to stay properly lubricated and cool. Operating your vehicle with dirty oil speeds up wear on internal engine components. It also uses more gasoline, making it less efficient. It’s a good practice to have your oil changed according to the schedule outlined in your owner’s manual.

Engine Air Filter

How often should you change the engine air filter? Well, that depends on several factors. The type of vehicle you have, your driving style, and the environment you drive in can all impact when you need a new air filter. Consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s replacement suggestions for your specific vehicle. If you notice the engine air filter is caked with dirt and debris between the routine maintenance intervals, go ahead and change it out for a new one.

Heater & Air Conditioning

The heater and air conditioning system in your vehicle is complex, with a lot of parts that must all work together. If even one of them is malfunctioning, it can throw off the entire system. Your service technician can run a diagnostic service to find any issues with your heater and air conditioning system. It is best to handle these concerns before you need a heater or defroster once the temperature drops.

Check Coolant Levels

You never want to drive with low coolant (antifreeze). Luckily, it is one of the easier things to inspect on your vehicle. There is a transparent plastic reservoir mounted near the radiator, or above one of the wheel wells. It will have fill line-markings molded into the plastic. If the coolant is low, add enough coolant to reach the appropriate marking. Always make sure to use the coolant formulated for your specific vehicle. You may also need to dilute the coolant with distilled water (be sure to follow the directions on the bottle or in your owner’s manual).

Cabin Air Filter

If you have noticed a reduction of airflow from the heater/AC vents, then it may be time to replace your vehicle’s cabin air filter. Allergy sufferers may also benefit from a new cabin air filter. Excess amounts of dirt and pollen in the cabin air filter can exacerbate seasonal allergies.

Clean Interior Vents

Make sure to check that your vents are free of dust, leaves, dead bugs, and any other debris that may have accumulated over the summer. The defroster relies on the vents right up against the front windshield, so be sure to keep loose items away from those vents.

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers should be replaced at least once a year. You may need to replace them every 3-6 months in environments that see a lot of rain or extreme temperatures during the year. To test your wipers, start with a clean windshield and wipe the wiper blades down with a damp cloth to remove excess debris. You’ll know it’s time to replace your wiper blades if you have streaks, skidding, cracked/damaged blades, or poor overall performance.

Fall Vehicle Maintenance in Redmond, WA

ZahnTech Automotive Service has experienced ASE Certified Technicians to diagnose and service your vehicle. We specialize in fair and honest work, on all makes and models of cars and trucks and provide premier customer service. We have all the latest equipment and knowledge to get your vehicle fixed right the first time. 

Schedule a Service

Call us at (425) 861-8060 or visit us online to schedule a service appointment today! We look forward to helping you get your vehicle ready for fall!

Location & Hours

15215 NE 90th St

Redmond, WA 98052

Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

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