Front End Versus 4-Wheel Alignment, Which Do You Need?

Wheel Alignment in Clarksburg, MD

What’s the difference between front end alignment and wheel alignment?

Improper wheel alignment can cause issues for you and your vehicle. If your wheels aren’t aligned, you may see extensive or uneven tire wear and may experience lane driving and a less-than-smooth ride. Proper wheel alignment is important to your vehicle’s maintenance to ensure safe and smooth driving conditions.

What’s the Difference?

The term “wheel alignment” is a little misleading since your mechanic likely won’t touch the actual wheels when the alignment is done. Instead, they will adjust the suspension and steering systems to bring your vehicle back into alignment.

Front End Alignment is also known as a two-wheel alignment. If you opt for a front-end alignment, your mechanic will align only the front two wheels. Some vehicles have fixed axles on the rear wheels, so they do not need the rear wheels to be aligned. Your mechanic will ensure that each wheel's alignment is square with the others by aligning the front wheels.

A Four-Wheel Alignment is exactly what it sounds like. Your mechanic will align all four wheels of your vehicle independently. If your vehicle is an all-wheel drive model, you’ll need to have a 4-wheel alignment.

When Do You Need a Wheel Alignment?

If your vehicle pulls to the left or right when you’re driving straight, it’s time for an alignment. If you’ve included alignment in your preventative maintenance plan, follow the schedule you set up with your mechanic and the manufacturer. See your mechanic for a wheel alignment according to the schedule. When you take your vehicle to your mechanic, they will let you know if a front-end or 4-wheel alignment is best for you and your vehicle.

If it’s time for an alignment for your vehicle, call AutoStream Car Care in Clarksburg, MD, to make an appointment to have our talented mechanics align your vehicle, whether it be a front-end alignment or a 4-wheel alignment.

Written by Doug Grills