We are Jimmy and Leigh-Ann of Shift’N Gears Auto Repair, an ASE Master Certified full-service auto repair shop. We are here to offer some monthly tips, tricks and tales from the automotive industry. Whether you are fellow gearheads, garage aficionados, or maybe you think about blinker fluid (Hint, Hint, you don’t have any blinker fluid), we are here for you.

Balancing act: Staying centered!


Alignments are the needed choreography to make dances look beautiful and effortless; making sure each dancer (or wheel) is in the right place and angle. It’s all about making sure the wheels are facing the same direction, standing up straight, and not leaning in or out. When they’re perfectly aligned, your car moves smoothly, handles well, and tires wear evenly, just like a dance performance that’s in sync and looks awesome!

More Than One Kind:

The type of suspension that your vehicle has determines what kind of alignment your car will receive.

Front-End = Front axle only. This is the most basic type of alignment and is not always recommended for modern vehicles.

Thrust = A thrust alignment combines a front-end alignment with a thrust alignment to ensure all four wheels are squared with one another. This type of alignment is usually recommended for vehicles with a solid rear axle.

Four-Wheel = For all vehicles with adjustable/independent rear suspensions.

Typical alignment terms:

Toe = Even and parallel tire traction — Toe alignment is like aligning the wheels of a shopping cart to roll smoothly in the same direction.

Camber = Stability control — Think of adjusting the tilt of a book on a shelf. Just as adjusting the tilt affects how the book sits on the shelf and how it wears over time.

Caster = Directional control of steering — If Caster is off it gives a “squirrely” quality.

Thrust = Ensuring front and rear axles are parallel — If thrust is off your vehicle can look like a sidewinding snake, or in our area a wine-happy tourist.

The Benefits Add Up

Feel Safer = No drifting and Peace of mind

Extended Tire Life = Saves $, no premature tire wear here

Visit the Pump Less Often = Tires won’t drag, causing excess fuel consumption to keep moving

Avoid Expensive Repairs = Premature wear on steering and suspension mechanical parts. The damage will get worse the longer you wait.


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