Are the tires of your Toyota Prius wearing unevenly? Is your car pulling to one side? Does the steering feel sloppy?
These are some signs of a bad tire alignment.
Various issues can be mistaken for a wheel alignment problem.
The steering wheel shuddering when you press the brake pedal is one of them.
Tire alignments should be performed when new tires are placed on the vehicle, and once a year — especially when you commute or are driving in an area that has lots of construction or potholes.
When you get new tires, you need to get a four-wheel alignment, because if the rear wheels are out, it can cause the vehicle to feel strange going around corners.
If your Prius has Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), a point VSC calibration should be performed.
There are rear shims available to bring the rear wheels into the correct specifications, but they can only adjust so much. If the specs are out further than what can be done with shims, there could be bent components, such as a strut or spindle.
Another reason to make sure you have a good, four-wheel alignment is you can lose three miles per gallon if the tires are causing more resistance than they should be.
Toe, caster and camber are the main specifications that need to be checked during a wheel alignment.
Depending on where Toyotas come from and how well they’ve been maintained, a lot of rust can build up on the suspension components, especially where adjustments are made.
The rust can cause components the seize up. This may require some parts to be replaced in order to perform the alignment correctly.
Some replacement parts for the Toyota Prius that are from the factory don’t come with needed adjustments. Aftermarket manufacturers do produce parts that offer them.
This article was written by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire, an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer in Woodbridge. The auto repair shop performs various services, including oil changes, alignments and computer engine diagnostics.