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How complicated is a BMW alignment?

In Alignment, Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Potholes, curbs and normal wear and tear can throw off your wheel alignment. Overtime, they can also cause abnormal tire wear, which will shorten the life expectancy of your tires.

Here are a few signs that your BMW needs a wheel alignment:

  • Your vehicle is pulling to one side
  • You notice abnormal tire wear
  • If your Automatic Driver Assist System (ADAS) is engaging when it’s not supposed to 
  • Your steering wheel isn’t centered

When performing a BMW alignment, you need to make sure that the auto repair shop has qualified automotive technicians, up-to-date wheel alignment machines, and current software to give your vehicle the best alignment.

On today’s complicated vehicles, one thing that often gets missed is recallibrating the steering angle sensor after performing a wheel alignment. This can affect steering, handling and braking.

Another thing to be aware of is to make sure that you may need to recalibrate the ADAS, which includes lane assist and vehicle avoidance systems. With all of the electronic systems tied together to make sure that everything is safe, a simple tire alignment isn’t so simple anymore.

Discount alignments are not always the best, as you may not have a knowledgeable mechanic working on your vehicle that would know about these systems. Setting the toe and letting it go is not a good alignment.

On many BMW models, there may not be an adjustment for camber and toe, but there are aftermarket parts that can be installed that will bring the alignment into specification. This will help your tires last a long time and allow your vehicle to provide the best handling.

Even when a BMW is new, they are set up to basic specs, but may not have an accurate alignment. After that, it’s recommended that when you get new tires — or every 30,000 miles — you should get your BMW alignment checked. If you live in the Northern Virginia area, your alignment should be checked once a year.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Mercedes alignment: Some things to know

In Alignmentby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

If your Mercedes is pulling to one side or if its steering wheel isn’t center, it may need an alignment.

Many factors, such as potholes, curbs and everyday use, can cause tires to go out of alignment.

There are alignment requirements — caster, camber and toe — that make sure your car travels straight and is able to maintain control.

Another thing to consider when getting your Mercedes alignment done, depending on the year, make and model, you may need to make sure the shop can recalibrate (Automatic Driver Assist System (ADAS). This has to do with lane assist and vehicle avoidance systems. Since the system works with the steering components, this system may need to be recalibrated.

How much does a Mercedes wheel alignment cost?

A standard tire alignment can cost between $95 and $250 for a Mercedes. This doesn’t include taxes and fees. The cost can depend on what make and model the Mercedes is, what special tools are required, and what adjustments need to be made that require special kits.

What can throw out your tire alignment?

The wheel alignment of a Mercedes may be impacted by curbs, potholes and everyday use. Tie rod ends, ball joints and other parts affect it, as well.

Is a cheap Mercedes alignment good?

High end European vehicles, such as Mercedes, require the right alignment equipment to calibrate the steering system correctly. It takes knowledge and special tools to make sure it’s done right. Sometimes your budget alignment place may not be the best for your vehicle.

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Jeep alignments impacted by tires, parts used in lift kit

In Alignmentby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Jeeps are very popular.

Not only are they rugged, but they’re also one of the easier vehicles to customize.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is equipped to perform alignments on stock Jeeps as well as Jeeps that have lift kits and larger tires.

A lifted Jeep’s alignment can be impacted by the type of tires used. They can give it a pull as it’s driven down the road.

The type of parts used in the lift kit is another factor.  

The higher quality lift kit, the easier it is to bring everything into specification.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire checks the suspension components, such as ball joints and bushings. They also check the steering components, including tie rod ends.

The alignment of a Jeeps should be checked when new tires are put on. It should also be checked once a year.

Jeeps owners who go off-roading should have the alignment checked at least twice a year or when they feel that there’s an issue as they’re driving down the highway.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is asking those who use their Jeeps for off-roading to power wash underneath the vehicle before bringing them in for an alignment.

This allows the repair shop to fix it more quickly.

5 things to have checked on your car this spring

In Alignment, Brake Fluid Flush, Cabin Air Filter, Cooling System, Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

With the winter fading away, and the weather finally starting to warm up with the onset of spring, it’s time to get your vehicle ready with a little ‘spring cleaning’ maintenance.

These are the top 5 things you should do, to get your car ready for spring:

5 things to have checked on your car this spring

Mercedes engine coolant flush

  1. Have your vehicle’s fluids flushed – including the coolant.

With winter on its way out, it’s a good idea to have all of your vehicle’s fluids flushed, checked, and refilled. It’s especially important for your coolant fluid to be flushed and topped off. Why? Because the warmer weather can raise the temperature of your vehicle, and coolant helps to keep things running smoothly.

“Given the fact that we’re going to start coming in to warmer weather, your car’s going to be running a little hotter because the ambient temperature’s going to be warmed up, so coolant’s a good fluid to get changed now,” said Rich Campbell, manager at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

  1. 5 things to have checked on your car this spring

    Checking tires at Steves Auto Repair and TIre

    Have your tires inspected.

All that driving in the ice and snow wears away at the tread on your tires, and over time that means your tires are going to need to be replaced. When its springtime and the snow and ice have cleared, that’s the perfect time to have your tires inspected by a technician. If your tires are worn down and losing traction, that can make a huge difference when stopping on wet spring roads, so it’s important to get them inspected.

“You need to make sure you’ve got adequate traction,” said Campbell.

  1. 5 things to have checked on your car this springHave your air cabin filter changed.

Cabin air-filter changes are an important part of maintenance year-round, but they’re even more important come springtime, because of the pollen and things floating in the air that can impair air quality.

“That cabin air filter filters your pollen, the dust, and getting ready for spring you want a good, fresh cabin air filter in there,” said Campbell.


Tail light bulb replacement at Steves Auto Repair and Tire

4. Are your bulbs out?

Bulbs go out on vehicles all of the time, and it’s important to get them replaced, no matter what time of year it is. But when you’re doing your ‘spring cleaning’ checkup on your vehicle, it’s worth checking if any of your lights are out, as they’re easily replaced during a trip to the shop.

  1. Have your alignment checked out.

Bouncing around on potholes and that unexpected curb following a big snow storm can really throw your vehicle’s alignment out of whack. If you notice your car’s pulling, even slightly, or you’re noticing a very rough ride, then that’s a pretty good sign that you may need an alignment service. Many drivers get them during the spring, because of those potholes, left by the snow plows, we mentioned earlier.

5 things to have checked on your car this spring

Wheel alignment at Steves Auto Repair and Tire

If you want to make sure your vehicle is road-ready for all of the trips and events you’ve got planned for spring, then make sure that you take your car in for some spring maintenance at Steve’s.

Noticing car problems after the big storm? Get them checked out at Steve’s Auto Repair

In Alignment, Fluids, Maintenance, Safety, Tires and Wheels, Transmissionby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Last weekend the entire area was pelted with more than a foot of snow, with up to almost three feet in some places! Even though the snow has stopped and you’ve managed to dig out your driveway to get back on the roads, you may be experiencing some car issues following the storm.

Here are some common problems that our technicians at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has seen following the blizzard, that you should get checked out as soon as possible:

  1. If you’ve been driving on icy roads in your neighborhood, hitting blocks of snow and debris on your travels, or even running into curbs hidden beneath the snow, then you run the risk of a flat tire. Our technicians will be able to assess the damage to your tires if you’ve got a flat, and make recommendations on repair or replacement.
  2. If you own a truck or you’ve been out plowing, the storm likely put a lot of strain on your vehicle. Particularly if you were moving over large amounts of snow, or were trying to plow streets, it’s not uncommon for a vehicle’s transmission to be damaged. We’re seeing several plows at our shop this week to fix transmission related issues.
  3. One the most common things we’re seeing is damage to vehicles’ windshield wipers. Even if you lifted them up before the storm, the weight of the snow on the front of your car, or placing the wipers back on the windshield before all snow and ice were completely removed can cause them to be bent or broken. This is something our technicians can quickly switch out for you, and get you back on the road in no time.
  4. When heading out on the road after digging your car out, you may have noticed some shaking and vibration while driving. While this could be another more involved issue with your vehicle, a lot of the cars we’ve seen this week were having this shaking in their car because ice and snow were still in the rim wheel of the tires, throwing off the car’s balance.
  5. Hitting curbs or icy patches won’t only cause a potential flat tire – it can also mess with your vehicle’s alignments. Particularly after hitting chunks of ice or other debris, if you notice your car pulling to one side on flat pavement, then it’s a good idea to bring your car to a shop to have it looked at.
  6. Not able to use your wiper fluid to clear your windshield? Drivers that didn’t check their washer fluid to make sure it was at appropriate levels and the right mixture before the storm may be having issues with using their wipers correctly, as the wiper fluid is frozen inside.

The storm may have kept you from going out, but don’t let vehicle issues stop you too. Our technicians and service advisers at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire can inspect your vehicle to make sure that everything’s in working order, and get you safely back out on the road this winter.