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Request

What does I-CAR say about when a wheel alignment is needed?

Response

Per I-CAR curriculum: "Conditions that may affect wheel alignment angles include:

  • a direct impact to either a tire or wheel.
  • side collisions that result in a change of wheelbase or wheel position on the side of the vehicle impacted.
  • vehicle rollovers.
  • damage to any steering or suspension part.
  • replacement of any steering or suspension part.
  • damage or movement of the vehicle structure at any steering or suspension part mounting location

Vehicles that have left the road surface may have steering or suspension damage that is not immediately apparent with a visual inspection. Collision energy transfer through the vehicle can damage or move suspension parts that are not in the immediate impact zone.

If equipped, custom aftermarket suspension parts, tires, and wheels may result in measurements different than the original specifications for the vehicle wheel alignment."

 

"Typically an alignment must be performed to a vehicle if:

  • there have been repairs to steering or suspension mounting locations.
  • damaged steering or suspension parts have been replaced.
  • any adjustable part has been replaced.
  • damage or a position change of an engine cradle. An engine cradle that has moved or been damaged may compromise angles.
  • a vehicle that pulls / drifts to one side of the road, or a vehicle that does not handle or follow through a turn easily.
  • damage caused by repeatedly driving on rough surfaces. This may include potholes or off-road driving. Wearing of vehicle parts may also cause an alignment to be required. As different steering and suspension parts wear, the combined free play of the parts cause a vehicle to handle improperly and the vehicle alignment to change."