Archive for the ‘Alignment’ Category

Most Grand Rapids 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 Grand Rapids drivers 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 costly than an alignment check in Grand Rapids. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Grand Rapids.

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

One or more wheels on your sedan can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Grand Rapids 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 Byron Center driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your sedan, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Ervine’s Auto Repair service professional 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 Ervine’s Auto Repair in Grand Rapids, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or Ervine’s Auto Repair technician 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 a diagnostic examination more often. Ask your honest and efficient technician for a recommendation.

If your sedan 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 sedan pulls to one side when you drive around Grand Rapids. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.

Grand Rapids 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 inspection, 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 Kentwood car owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Grand Rapids residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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

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 Grand Rapids can cause your sedan’s wheels to be out of alignment.

Driving for an extended time in Grand Rapids 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 Michigan highway. 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 Ervine’s Auto Repair:

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 sedan was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Ervine’s Auto Repair starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your honest and efficient Ervine’s Auto Repair technician will look at tire condition.

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

Your sedan 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 Ervine’s Auto Repair before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.

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Ervine's, a Grand Rapids auto repair shop, provides a wide-range of car repair services from ASE Certified Master Technicians. In addition, we also offer free loaner cars, 24-hour automotive assistance, free Wi-Fi and Starbucks coffee while you wait in our comfortable lobby!

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  • Chelsea Vives:
    Awesome service!! They were extremely helpful and friendly! I loved how they were accommodating to the customers and being very organized with after hours drop-offs and pick-ups. They were also very quick with fixing my car which was great.


    Andy Krafft:
    Ervine's has provided great service for me throughout my college years! They do their best to make time for customers and understand the importance and value in quality service. Would definitely recommend!


    Erin O'Brien-Jenison:
    The staff is very friendly. The technicians take the time to explain repairs in detail. The loaner car service is very convenient for my family. Each of my experiences with Ervine's has been very positive.

  • Jamie Riehle:
    My car needed a lot of work and being relatively new to the area, I had to rely on online reviews. Ervine's got great feedback, so I made an appointment through their website. I was contacted almost immediately and scheduled very quickly. The repairs took a few days, but with the free loaner it was no big deal. They explained everything to me, helped me prioritize which repairs to do first, and Jamie even entertained my 5-year-old while I spent 10 minutes on the phone with my bank to get my payment to go through. I may have been able to find someplace a little cheaper, but you can't pay for the excellent customer service at Ervine's. The lobby is clean, has fresh coffee, and is very professional. As a woman I've been intimidated going into car shops but I never felt that way at Ervine's. I'll definitely be returning.

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  • Kaitlin McDowell:
    I had a great experience at Ervine's. I know very little about my car beyond turning it on, so I was relieved when the staff were willing to spend extra time explaining to me exactly what is going on and helping me to be an informed consumer. I also appreciated that they are not trying to sell something-- I did not actually need the repair that the dealership had told me to IMMEDIATELY deal with, and the folks at Ervine's were willing to tell me that when they could have made a buck doing the repair. The visit was so painless I even got to run errands while I was waiting using one of their fabulous loaner cars. Thank you so much!

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