A Brief Guide to the Importance of Suspension Alignment for Those in Auto Careers

auto mechanic training

You’ve probably witnessed many a vehicle hitting bumps and potholes along the road. What you might not know is that the constant bumps and potholes a vehicle comes in contact with can affect the overall suspension alignment of a vehicle. When this happens, a vehicle may develop a tendency to pull to the right or left while driving. Other common consequences include the steering wheel beginning to vibrate, or the tires experiencing uneven tread wear.

If you’re an aspiring auto mechanic, you’ll probably deal with customers who come into the auto shop with suspension alignment issues. In turn, you’ll have to service and repair their vehicles. With proper hands-on training from ATC Cambridge, you’ll be prepared to operate and service both suspension systems and steering systems.

Read on to discover how to become a suspension alignment wiz when customers drive into your shop!

Know How to Check the Tires’ Toe After Auto Mechanic Training

A tire’s tread wear is affected by improper toe alignment. When properly aligned, tires will be parallel to each other in a straight-ahead position. However, when there is a toe-in, the fronts of the tires will closer to each other. In the case of a toe-out, the exact opposite occurs. After your auto mechanic training, you’ll know how to properly align the toe to make the wheels roll parallel. With your training and qualifications, you’ll be able to measure the extent of how far a vehicle’s tires turn inward or outward. Additionally, you’ll  check the difference in distance between the back end tires and front end tires,  making the proper adjustments as needed.

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After auto mechanic training, you’ll know how to check for toe-in alignment

Check for Improper Camber

Camber affects the suspension of a vehicle by controlling a vehicle’s directional maneuvering and tire wear. After mechanic school, you’ll know how to assess and determine improper camber alignment. Improper camber can be assessed by viewing the tilt of the tires, either vertically or from the front of a vehicle. When the tires tilt inwards, the camber is considered negative, and when the tires tilt outwards, the camber is considered to be positive. Too much tilting inward or outward are signs of improper camber. Improper camber may occur due to worn out ball joints and bearings, causing excessive tire wear and forcing the vehicle to pull or lean to one side.

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Adjusting improper camber prevents tire wear and promotes balanced vehicle handling

Assess Steering Stability by Checking the Caster Angle

The angle of the steering wheel, when viewed from the side of the vehicle, is known as a caster angle. You’ll have to check the caster angle in order to ensure that the vehicle’s stability and steering is balanced. The caster angle is based on the uppermost titling of the steering axis, either in a forward or backward direction. When the caster is forward, it’s negative, and when it’s backward, it’s positive. Improper caster may cause issues with straight line tracking. If the caster is unequal, vehicles may develop a tendency to pull to one side. If the caster is equal but too positive, the steering wheel will feel heavy when attempting to maneuver the vehicle, while a negative caster will make the steering wheel feel unusually light. In both instances, handling the vehicle is more difficult and even dangerous.  

Interested in auto careers?

Start your training at ATC Cambridge!

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