Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage
Steering, Suspension & Alignment Repair
If you’ve ever driven a new vehicle, chances are you remember what it’s like to have a smooth and comfortable driving experience. Unfortunately, after thousands of miles and quite a few years, your car may not be driving as smoothly and efficiently as it once did. While this is common in vehicles as they get older, once a vehicle hits the 50,000 miles mark and about every 50,000 miles from there on, it may be time to replace your car’s suspension system components and get a wheel alignment.
WHY WHEEL ALIGNMENTS ARE IMPORTANT
Understanding how important a wheel alignment is for your vehicle will help you see the benefits of having it done on a regular basis. The more you drive your vehicle, the more contact your wheels have with the road. Since your wheels are constantly exposed to road conditions, such as potholes, speed bumps, etc., plus the weight of your vehicle, the components of the suspension system, which provide support and help to steer and maneuver, are subject to significant wear and tear.
WHAT AFFECTS A VEHICLE’S WHEEL ALIGNMENT?
Maintaining your vehicle’s alignment is crucial to maintaining its safety, helping to steer and drive it, increasing the lifespan of your suspension system and preserving tire treads. Alignment affects braking, ride quality, and even fuel economy. An alignment ensures that all tires work together and remain in line at all times for proper contact with the road. To get a better understanding of how a wheel alignment works, you must first understand how your wheels function.
In order for your vehicle to maintain proper wheel alignment, the camber, caster, and toe-in all need to be aligned properly. Here is a brief overview of the camber, caster and toe-in:
Camber: the angle of the tire from the top to bottom, involves the angle of the wheels’ attachment and affects traction, handling, and cornering.
Caster: the angle of the tire from the front to back inside the fender well (kick out similar to a front wheel on a bicycle) affects stability and steering ability.
Toe-in: is the distance difference from the inside of the left wheel to the inside right wheel and affects stability, cornering, tire tread wear, and tire life.
A wheel alignment is like the tuning process for a piano. After it’s been played for a certain period of time, the keys need to be tuned so the piano can maintain proper sound and function. The same goes for your vehicle; after it’s been driven for a certain time, the wheels need to be readjusted and in some cases a four-wheel alignment may be required to ensure the vehicle remains safe, stable, and drivable.
If you notice your tires squeal when going around corners, if your tires are properly inflated, it’s likely your vehicle is in need of an alignment. Protect your vehicle and yourself by stopping by a Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage today for a free wheel alignment check with our state-of-the-art machines. You can trust our ASE certified technicians to inspect and repair your vehicle’s wheel alignment and suspension system properly.
As you drive down the open road, you expect to have a nice, smooth ride. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Many people find that as they go over bumps in the road, their vehicle is bouncing all over the road. Regardless of what type of suspension you have in your car, you need to take it in for regular maintenance and inspection of your suspension system.
At Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage, we work hard to make sure your vehicle rides nice and smooth all the time. Our team has extensive experience working on vehicles just like yours. With more than 100 years of combined experience in our ASE certified technicians, you can rest assured you are going to get everything you need and more.
The absorbers in your suspension system are what handles the abuse when your shocks rebound. The coil springs and leaf are what control how your vehicle handles on the road. These elements work in conjunction with one another to make sure you always maintain control of your ride. In addition to these components, your suspension system is also composed of rods, control arms, shafts, knuckles, joints and bushings. All of these components come together to provide you with a smooth ride.
If you start noticing that your vehicle isn't handling right or it seems to be hitting hard when you go over a bump on the road, you need to bring it in and have the suspension system looked at to determine what needs to be replaced. In keeping your suspension system in top shape, you can prevent additional damage to your vehicle. The team at Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage will take the time to go through and figure out what components are damaged or destroyed. Once you get your components back in working order, you will be able to enjoy a nice smooth ride as you head out on the road. With 100 years of experience, you can trust in our technicians to get it done for you.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR SUSPENSION SYSTEM
Your vehicle’s suspension system is made up of many different parts designed to connect the frame to the wheels. When working properly, the suspension system allows for the ideal amount of motion and stability between the wheels and the vehicle body. A healthy suspension system performs several additional important functions, including:
Keeping tires firmly on the road’s surface to extend tire life
Stabilizing steering for easy of handling and safety
Minimizing road noises and vibrations for increased comfort
Facilitating effective braking for maximum safety
SHOCKS AND STRUTS
Have you noticed that your vehicle has recently become more difficult to handle? If you’re missing the days when your commute was smooth and comfortable, it may be time to replace components of your suspension system. Here at Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage and auto repair, we employ highly-experienced Certified technicians who can inspect your struts, shocks and suspension to see if they are in proper working order.
Many people assume that shock absorbers are designed to handle everything necessary for your vehicle and give it the smooth ride you crave. The coil springs are designed to handle all of the bumps on the road. It's the absorbers that help the springs to rebound and handle all of the abuse that come from typical driving along the road. When all of these elements work together, it makes sure that you have complete control of your vehicle. Beyond these components, the rods, shafts, control arms, bushings, knuckles and joints also help keep the suspension working like it should.
Many front-wheel drive vehicles come with a suspension system that brings the control arms and shock absorbers together into one powerhouse of a unit. This can help eliminate the need for added components in your suspension system. Even though struts might be a little more expensive, they tend to do more than traditional shock absorbers. They are also cheaper to maintain since there aren't as many components involved.
The Motorist Assurance Program experts have determined that the useful life of a strut or shock is over at approximately 50,000 miles. Here at Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage, we recommend that you have your shocks, struts and suspension visually inspected each time you have your vehicle serviced. We can take a look at these vital elements of your vehicle and let you know if there are any problems that may be affecting the comfort or safety of your ride.
SIGNS TO INSPECT SHOCKS OR STRUTS
Thankfully, it is pretty easy to tell if your shocks or struts need to be replaced. Here are some of the most common signs to watch for:
Noticeable swaying or bouncing while driving (rough ride)
Leaning or “pulling” while changing lanes or turning
Unusual sound originating from the suspension system
Dipping forward of the front end when braking
Original parts that have not been replaced for 50,000 miles
Visually inspecting for oil leaks which indicate they have lost their charge.
If your vehicle is showing these warning signs, it’s best to have your vehicle inspected right away. There’s no reason to wait to replace the components of your suspension system. Because of new and improved technologies, in many cases, the aftermarket strut or shock is better engineered than the original factory installed parts.
It doesn't matter what needs to be replaced. You can trust in the team of certified technicians at Fred’s Wrigleyville Garage and auto repair, in Wrigleyville to step in and get your vehicle taken care of for you in a timely and efficient manner.