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3 Alignment Issues To Address After A Collision

An auto collision doesn't have to result in obvious damages to wreck your car. Even small one-car and two-car collisions that don't even scratch the paint can affect your auto-alignment, such as a bumper strike or hitting a curb too hard. Messed-up alignment puts unnecessary wear on tires, while also affecting handling and safety. Further, alignment issues can place added stress on axles and the drive train of your car, which can lead to the need for more expensive repairs. 

There are three things that affect the alignment of your car.

1. Caster

Most people are aware of how caster works with tire alignment, even if they don't know the name. The caster simply means that all tires are aligned to face the same direction when the steering wheel is in the resting position. If your car pulls to the right or to the left, then the caster alignment is out. The steering wheel will also often be off-center when it is in the resting position if the caster alignment is the problem. 

Pulling is often more severe at higher speeds, but you may also notice it when turning. Tire wear will often be more noticeable on the tire most affected by the maladjusted caster alignment. 

2. Camber

Camber is when the centerline of the tire tilts. When looking at the tires head-on, while the steering wheel is in the straight resting position, they should stand perfectly vertical. If the tires tilt inward or outward at the top instead of standing vertical, then the camber has been affected by your collision. This is relatively common if something struck the tire or if the tire struck a curb or barrier. 

Your car can shake and shimmy when driving with camber alignment issues. Camber misalignment will also lead to additional stress on axles, ball joints, and the suspension system as a whole. 

3. Toe

Toe is similar to alignment but on the horizontal plane. Once again, take a look with the tires in the straight resting position. If both tires tilt inward toward each other, like they are pigeon-toed, then the toe alignment is out. The difference between camber and toe is that only the top of the tires tilt inward with camber, while the entire tires are pointing inward when the toe is affected.

Not only will misaligned toe affect the tire condition, but it also makes it difficult to handle your car through turns and when cornering. 

Contact an auto collision service if you suspect your vehicle's alignment was affected in your accident. 

For more information on collision repair, contact a company like Exoticar Paintworks Inc.