Tire alignment, aka wheel alignment, help your Mercedes tires perform correctly and help lengthen their life. A proper Mercedes alignment will improve handling and prevent your vehicle from pulling in one direction or vibrating strangely on the road.
Alignment refers to adjusting a car or truck’s suspension, which is the system that joins a vehicle to its wheels. A Mercedes alignment does not adjust the vehicle’s actual tires or wheels. Adjusting the tire angles and affecting how they make contact with the road is the key to a correct Mercedes alignment.
How Do I Know My Mercedes Alignment is Correct?
There are a number of behaviors to tell if your Mercedes alignment is off. Have you noticed any of these indicators?
- Uneven tire wear
- Steering wheel vibrations
- Vehicle pulling to either the left or right
- Off center steering wheel while steering straight
If so, you should bring your vehicle to J&T Automotive to have it inspected. We utilize the same state of the art Hunter alignment machines as the Mercedes-Benz dealer, but at a much better price. A J&T Automotive technician will check your Mercedes alignment for these 3 main components: Camber, Toe, and Caster
Refers to a tire’s inward or outward angle when observed from the front of your Mercedes. Too great an inward or outward tilt, otherwise referred to as negative and positive camber, respectively, denotes incorrect alignment and will require adjustment. Worn ball joints, bearings, and other wheel-suspension components might contribute to misalignment of the camber.
Different from camber alignment, toe alignment is the degree to which a tire turns inward or outward when observed from the top.
The caster angle of your Mercedes-Benz assists balanced cornering, stability, and steering. It is specifically the angle of your steering axis when viewed from your Mercedes side. If your caster is positive, the steering axis will have a driver side angle. Conversely, negative caster indicates the steering axis tilts toward the front of your Mercedes.
Importance of Proper Mercedes Alignment
Incorrect tire or wheel alignment may cause your tires to wear early and irregularly. The following are types of excessive tread wear misalignment attributes:
This type of tire wear occurs when tread is smooth on one side, yet sharp on the other side. This is typically an indicator of improper toe alignment.
Type of tread wear that shows inner or outer tread wear that is drastically greater than the wear on the center of the tread. Positive or negative camber is the cause of this type of tread wear.
Heel or Toe Wear
Occurs when sides of a tire tread block wear down quicker than the other in a circumferential course. When your hand moves over the tread it will appear and feel like a serrated blade when viewed from the side. Heel or toe wear might be an indicator of under inflation and/or deficient rotation.
If you have any of these abnormal wear patterns, bring your vehicle to J&T Automotive and one of our technicians will inspect your Mercedes alignment. Although avoiding premature tire wear is an excellent motive to keep your Mercedes alignment in check, the effects of improper alignment may also impair overall performance of your vehicle. A Mercedes that pulls to either side or steers unpredictably, more than likely, has an issue with the alignment.
Mercedes Tire Balancing
Different than tire alignment, tire balancing refers to compensation for weight imbalances in the tire and wheel combination, this service is routinely performed at the same time as a wheel alignment. Two types of tire/wheel imbalance, which require adjustment, are static balance and dynamic balance.
Static balance addresses balance on the single level of vertical movement that may produce vibration. A dynamic imbalance, on the other hand, addresses balance on two levels of both vertical and lateral movements. Both imbalance types need the use of a special machine to balance things out.
In order to balance your tires, a J&T Automotive tech will mount them on the precise rims and inflate you tires to manufacturers specifications. Each tire will then go on the center bore of our state of the art balance machine which spins the tire at a high speed to measure the imbalance of the rim and tire combination. The machine indicates the weight quantity the tech should add to balance out the tire in specific areas.
Tire balancing is vital for correct tire maintenance for the same reason as wheel alignment, which is the deterrence of early tread wear. By aligning and balancing your Mercedes tires every 5,000 to 6,000 miles will help extend their performance and life expectancy.