The West Service Center, Inc. Guide for Chesapeake Drivers: Alignment Inspection

Uneven tire wear, the auto pulling to one side or a steering wheel that is off-center are signs for Chesapeake car owners that their wheels may be out of alignment.

When doing an alignment inspection, the service specialist will inspect your tires for uneven wear as well as suspension and steering parts for signs of wear or damage. He’ll also compare your current alignment with the automobile manufacturer’s settings.

Your vehicle owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to check alignment. Of course, this recommendation is based on normal driving. If you have been in collision, hit a curb/pothole, frequently drive off-road around Chesapeake, or notice any symptoms of misalignment, have your West Service Center, Inc. service specialist perform a key alignment check.

Give us a call

West Service Center, Inc.
757-487-4420
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323

West Service Center, Inc. News and Videos for Chesapeake: Signs of An Alignment Problem

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Chesapeake motorists often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like an accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object.

While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Chesapeake driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well.

Furthermore, your automobile  can lose alignment over time with just normal driving. When your wheels are out of alignment, West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake can return your wheels to the vehicle manufacturer factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an alignment check every year or two. 

Give us a call

West Service Center, Inc.
757-487-4420
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment For Chesapeake Automobiles

Chesapeake auto owners may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel’s off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn’t feel like it handles right as they drive down Chesapeake, Virginia streets and highways.

When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Chesapeake, Virginia are great ways for Chesapeake car owners to knock their car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

The team at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, Chesapeake auto owners who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be pricey. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let’s discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake? First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s centerline. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, vehicle manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval for having alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Chesapeake area. It’s better for Portsmouth motorists to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at West Service Center, Inc. when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in Virginia.

Come see us at  for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you.

Straight And True In Chesapeake: Wheel Alignment

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Most Chesapeake folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Chesapeake auto owners is a periodic alignment inspection.

Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more expensive than an alignment check in Chesapeake. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Chesapeake.

Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your van. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the van may not steer properly.

One or more wheels on your van can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Chesapeake street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Suffolk driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your van, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any West Service Center, Inc. service specialist will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or West Service Center, Inc. service advisor can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider an automotive analysis more often. Ask your honest tech for a recommendation.

If your van is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your van pulls to one side when you drive around Chesapeake. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.

Chesapeake auto owners should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.

When you get an automotive analysis, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.

This may seem like a lot of bother for Norfolk car owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Chesapeake residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.

Power Steering Service At West Service Center, Inc. In Chesapeake

Many Chesapeake drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Chesapeake as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.

The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.

Power Steering Service At West Service Center, Inc. In ChesapeakePower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects van components from rust and corrosion.

Chesapeake car owners should be aware that manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule.
At West Service Center, Inc., the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many Chesapeake car owners don’t realize how critical it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

Chesapeake drivers should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Chesapeake includes an inspection of steering components.

If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your West Service Center, Inc. advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call West Service Center, Inc. today at 757-487-4420.

Tracking True In Virginia: Wheel Alignment In Norfolk

Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Norfolk and Suffolk car owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Chesapeake expressway or surface street.

When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive van suspension problems.

Tracking True In Virginia: Wheel Alignment In Norfolk

But the big issue for Norfolk, Suffolk, and Chesapeake car owners is safety. When your van wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake.

When undergoing an alignment service at West Service Center, Inc., your van is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.

Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.

Suffolk drivers should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Chesapeake service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in Virginia that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.

Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Norfolk drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.

That’s why manufacturers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your van owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Robert West or your service advisor at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake.

One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at West Service Center, Inc. is cheaper for Norfolk motorists than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service At West Service Center, Inc.

When all of your vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Chesapeake can cause your van’s wheels to be out of alignment.

Driving for an extended time in Chesapeake when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded Virginia interstate. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.

Here are some alignment basics from West Service Center, Inc.:

The first adjustment is called toe or do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire.
The next adjustment is called camber or do the wheels tip in or out at the top.
And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.

The ideal alignment for your van was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at West Service Center, Inc. starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your honest West Service Center, Inc. technician will look at tire condition.

From there, the van is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to van auto manufacturers’s specifications.

Your van owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at West Service Center, Inc. before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.