Does Alignment Affect Ride Height?

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Does Alignment Affect Ride Height?

An alignment is a frequent element of vehicle maintenance, and it’s common to notice a few differences in your vehicle’s ride and performance following one. Does alignment affect ride height?

Because the tire position and pressure have been rectified, an alignment will usually result in only minor modifications in your ride height. If a mechanic lifted your vehicle, you may also feel that the springs are a little higher. Large variations in your vehicle’s ride height, on the other hand, should not be due to alignment.

When It Comes to Ride Height, How Vital Is It to Consider It?

The clearance space between the road and the bottom of the car is measured in ride height. This height has an impact on the car’s braking and cornering performance, including its center of gravity.

A pre-alignment check is just as critical as the ride height before beginning the wheel alignment process. During this inspection, pay special attention to the status of the tire and the depth of its treads, as well as the tire pressure and the condition of the bushings and suspension components, as these factors might affect the car’s ride height.

Ride height is generally overlooked by experienced persons because it is not essential to measure for every car. However, if assessed beforehand, it can impact the camber, toe, and readings of the angle of inclination of the steering wheel, as well as the caster.

Causes of Uneven Ride Height

Uneven ride height can result in a variety of issues, ranging from poor turning ability to uneven tire and suspension wear. To minimize unwanted damage to your vehicle, it’s critical to get to the source of the problem as soon as possible.

After an alignment, many individuals notice an uneven ride height since the alignment corrects how your automobile performs and makes disparities more visible. It can also help you notice uneven ride height if your wheels’ camber was out of standard before the alignment.

Here are some common causes of uneven ride height:

1. Tire problems

Uneven ride height and fluctuations in ride height might also be caused by your tires.

If you don’t rotate your tires often enough, they’ll create an uneven wear pattern, which will have a significant impact on the performance of your vehicle over time. As other components in your car are stressed, that wear pattern could either affect or play a part in your ride height.

Tires with excessive wear, on the other hand, can cause problems because they won’t work correctly without tread. Excessive tire wear causes a variety of issues, but one of the most common is an uneven or changed ride height.

2. Suspension bottoming

Suspension bottoming is a common source of uneven ride height and a symptom that your suspension system’s springs and other load-bearing elements are worn out.

Suspension bottoming occurs when the total travel distance of your suspension system begins to decrease. It can be influenced by the load in your car, but if that’s the case, you should see an improvement in performance as soon as you clear it.

Of course, if you haul high loads on a frequent basis, your suspension system will wear out considerably faster than if you don’t.

3. Improper camber

This is one source of uneven ride height that an alignment may be able to address. The camber of the wheels, or the little tilt of your tires, is utilized to ensure that the stress of driving is spread equally across your tread.

When that angle is off, it can cause not just wear and tear on the wheels and tires, but it can also result in uneven ride height in extreme circumstances. If this is the cause of the problem, you’ll usually notice side-to-side uneven ride height rather than front-to-back uneven ride height.

Conclusion

Most mechanics will check your vehicle’s ride height during routine maintenance and again during your next alignment, as the ride height is crucial to getting the alignment right.

If you have regular maintenance for the car, such as alignments, tire rotations, and tire replacements, ride height is unlikely to be an issue.