General Question

Coloma's avatar

How to know when you need an alignment on your car?

Asked by Coloma (47105points) March 2nd, 2012

I have just had my back brakes done, front still at 37 % and tires rotated, along with a complete safety check and my mechanic says everything is great on my car. He took it for a test drive after the brake job 2 weeks ago and said everything seems great, but, I notice when braking on steep downhill grades going 50–65 mph that the car seems to “shudder” and the steering wheel vibrates. This is only when braking at high speeds on a downhill grade. Is this an alignment issue? My last alignment was over 2 years ago, but, my newer tires are wearing well and my car drives perfectly straight with no hands on the wheel for a long distance, at least a block or so. Whats your expert opinion?

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13 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I should also add that I am not noticing any pulling to the right or left.

JLeslie's avatar

Usually I look for pulling one way or the other.

I think whe tires are rotated they are often also balanced, not sure if that is the same as an alignment? I don’t think it is.

Not sure what the shudder is. Maybe the brakes are not being applied evenly? Just guessing, I am no expert, and probably was no help. Hopefully a mechanic joins us.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Uneven tire wear on edges and “feathering” of tires for alignment.

Shuddering on braking is rotors that need to be “trued” or replaced caused by warped rotors, disc brakes, if it is drum brakes, the drums may need to be replaced or turned.

Coloma's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Hmmm…so, could my rotors be warped even if the front brakes test at 37%. That is just for the brake pads etc, right? But the rotors could be warped for some reason? What makes rotors warp?

filmfann's avatar

It sounds like one of your brake drums are cracked.

Coloma's avatar

@filmfann Back to the car doc…oh joy. lol

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Oh JOY…. Get themto check runout on the rotors and roundness of drums if applicable.

Coloma's avatar

Thanks guys…damn cars, always something. lol

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plethora's avatar

My last alignment was over 2 years ago

You need an alignment.

Coloma's avatar

@plethora Maybe…thanks. :-)

plethora's avatar

@Coloma And try changing the oil every 3000–5000 miles. That;s the single most important thing you can do to keep your car running.

Coloma's avatar

@plethora Yes, I’m always on time with my oil changes, just had it done, tires rotated 2 weeks ago, but, I am going to take her in for an alignment check this week. :-)

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