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Tell your auto repair shop everything

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Details are key.

When dropping off your vehicle at an auto repair shop, it’s important to provide as much information as possible – whether it’s a noise you hear, work that has been done, or a recent incident. 

The driver of a Dodge Avenger brought their car in for a wheel alignment and explained that they had hit a curb.

Before performing alignments, our technicians complete a free courtesy inspection. During courtesy checks, they check various components, including the brakes and lights.

When looking over the Dodge Avenger, we noticed that a wheel and tire were damaged and that the wheel would shift back and forth when the brakes were applied. The lower control arm was broken, as well.

Auto repair shop
Broken lower control arm

Lower control arms are responsible for linking the frame with the suspension.

As one of the technicians removed the broken lower control arm, he saw that the subframe was bent and needed to be replaced.

auto repair shop
Old subframe

Providing details to your mechanic an idea of things we should be watchful for and steps we need to take to care of your car.

It can also prevent more damage from occurring.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Wheel alignments can help your tires last longer

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Potholes aren’t a rare sight in Northern Virginia, where a lot of road work and construction can be seen.

Because potholes can knock the wheels of your vehicle out of alignment, it’s a good idea to get the tire alignment checked once a year.

An alignment can also be impacted by curbs and suspension wear.

We also recommend having wheel alignments performed when you’re buying new tires.

Tires are a large investment in a vehicle and you want to make sure they last as long as possible. 

A crooked steering wheel, uneven tire wear, and a car pulling to one side are signs of bad wheel alignments.

If you put off an alignment, it can lead to tire wear problems.

Here are some issues that can be mistaken for a wheel alignment problem.

Our technicians use computer aided alignment with up to date specifications to make sure your tires are aligned properly. 

With today’s vehicles being technically advanced, it’s not just a matter of going under the car with the wrench and adjusting the toe, or the caster, or the camber. It’s also about making sure the steering wheel angle sensors are reset and — in some cases — ensuring the Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) are calibrated.

We do have an alignment system for the ADAS systems in a vehicle.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Buick tire alignments

In News, Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

While you’re driving your Buick, you feel that the car is pulling to one side.

It could be time for you to get a wheel alignment.

A vehicle pulling in one direction, uneven tire wear, and a crooked steering wheel are signs that a tire alignment is needed.

There are some issues that may be mistaken for a wheel alignment problem.

Curbs, potholes and suspension wear can cause tires to go out of alignment.

We recommend tire alignments when you get new tires and every 15,000 miles.

If you drive a Buick and don’t have an alignment performed regularly, you run the risk of having tire wear problems.

This not only means that your tires will wear out sooner, but there will also be a chain reaction of symptoms. 

For example, if you have a tire that wears out on the outer shoulders and it gets bad enough, then your car might start traveling to the left.

At that point, a new alignment won’t address the issue, because it has become a tire problem. 

We have state-of-the-art equipment, and specs for all makes and models.

Read about what occurs when you during tire alignments.

In addition to alignments, we provide an assortment of services, including repair for Buick cars and SUV’s.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Toyota Prius tire alignment problems

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Are the tires of your Toyota Prius wearing unevenly? Is your car pulling to one side? Does the steering feel sloppy?

These are some signs of a bad tire alignment.

Various issues can be mistaken for a wheel alignment problem.

The steering wheel shuddering when you press the brake pedal is one of them.

Tire alignments should be performed when new tires are placed on the vehicle, and once a year — especially when you commute or are driving in an area that has lots of construction or potholes.

Tire Alignment
Tire Alignment

When you get new tires, you need to get a four-wheel alignment, because if the rear wheels are out, it can cause the vehicle to feel strange going around corners. 

If your Prius has Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), a point VSC calibration should be performed.

There are rear shims available to bring the rear wheels into the correct specifications, but they can only adjust so much. If the specs are out further than what can be done with shims, there could be bent components, such as a strut or spindle.

Another reason to make sure you have a good, four-wheel alignment is you can lose three miles per gallon if the tires are causing more resistance than they should be.

Toe, caster and camber are the main specifications that need to be checked during a wheel alignment.

Depending on where Toyotas come from and how well they’ve been maintained, a lot of rust can build up on the suspension components, especially where adjustments are made. 

The rust can cause components the seize up. This may require some parts to be replaced in order to perform the alignment correctly.

Some replacement parts for the Toyota Prius that are from the factory don’t come with needed adjustments. Aftermarket manufacturers do produce parts that offer them.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Do I need a wheel alignment?

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Many people will call us to ask if we do wheel alignments when they’re trying to solve an issue that may not require it.

Some of these issues may include a vibration drivers are feeling in a steering wheel. A wheel alignment issue will have more to do with tire wear and how the vehicle tracks down the road — whether it’s going straight or pulling to one side.

wheel alignment wheel balance problem

Having a wheel alignment conducted regularly — once a year — can help save drivers money and prevent premature wear.

 

 

 

To take care of the wheel balance problem, we’ll need to remove the tire, place it on a wheel balancer, and place the correct amount of weights on it.

If it’s a tire issue and it’s a steel belt that is broken, then the tire would have to be replaced.

Another symptom that is mistaken for a wheel alignment problem is when you press the brake pedal and the steering wheel starts to shudder. 

steering wheel alignment vibration brake rotor

This is due to the brake rotors having too much run out — or what people refer to as “warped” — and this can be easily mistaken because so much of that vibration is transferred through the steering wheel, especially if it’s the front rotors that have the problem.

 

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what the problem is with your car. Just pay attention to what’s happening when — such as whether the vehicle is pulling to one side or the other, how fast you’re going, or whether you’re pressing on the brake pedal.

These bits of information will be very helpful to the auto repair shop in getting your vehicle diagnosed quickly and accurately.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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The importance of wheel alignments

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

You can get the most out of your vehicle’s tires through one check.

Wheel alignments, which should be conducted once a year, can prevent premature wear.

If you notice that the steering wheel isn’t centered or that it’s pulling to one sign, you may need an alignment.

Several conditions can cause tires to get out of alignment, including potholes, curbs and suspension wear.

Most cars nowadays require a four-wheel alignment. Even though most pickup trucks require a two-wheel alignment, it’s a good idea to make sure all the wheels are checked. This will ensure that something isn’t bent.

A qualified technician will be able to see if the castor, camber and toe are within specifications. They would also be able to evaluate if you need to replace any parts, such as ball joints, lower control arms, tie rod ends, and struts.

Read about what happens during an alignment.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

Getting the most out of your tires, with regular maintenance

In Tires & Wheels, Vehicle Alignment, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

When one of our service advisors or a manufacturers says that you’ll get a certain number of miles out of a set of tires, do they really mean it? The answer is yes – as long as you care for the vehicle properly.

We recently had a customer come in for service with a set of Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires that we put on his vehicle all the way back in 2013. The Uniroyal Tiger Paws are made to last around 70,000 miles. When our techs pulled the car into the shop, the tires had seen 69,403 miles.

While there are always exceptions, there’s an important reason that the customer’s tires made it up to the 70,000 mile mark. And that reason is proper maintenance.

“We did alignment checks every year. We’ve aligned the vehicle couple of times over that period of time,” said HomeTowne General Manager Rich Campbell.

If you want to get the most out of your tires, you’re going to want tire rotations every other oil change if you’re using standard oil, and every 5,000 miles if you’re using synthetic oil. You’re going to want to get alignments once a year, and bring your car into the shop regularly to check for any problems.

Save yourself some money by investing in proper maintenance, and really caring for your car.