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Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire: Who we are and what we do

In Alignment, Inspection, Maintenance, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has been serving the Woodbridge area for more than 32 years.

We are located at 2603 Hanco Center Drive – off Route 1 and Neabsco Mills Road – and provide a variety of services to meet your vehicle’s needs.

Services offered at Steve’s Auto Repair

State inspections and emissions inspections are among the services we offer.

Our technicians also perform oil changes and tune ups, and take care of your check engine light if it turns on.

During oil changes, they conduct mini state inspections. We will look over your vehicle and point out anything that may be a safety issue, a maintenance issue, or a service we recommend based on its mileage.

If you notice a strange noise or your car is acting strange, we can help with that too.

Steve’s Auto Repair is also able to service vehicles that use Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), including camera and targeted systems.

To keep you updated while your car is at the shop, our technicians perform digital inspections that provide you with photos, videos and information about repairs and recommendations.

Tires and tire services available

Steve’s Auto Repair is an authorized Goodyear Tire dealer. If you’re driving on or past Neabsco Mills Road, you may notice our big Goodyear sign.

We also sell other types of tires, including Kelly, Dunlop and Hankook. If you’re looking for new tires, our staff is happy to help you find the right fit for your vehicle and budget.

In addition to selling tires, we do mounting, balancing, tire rotations and tire repair.

Our technicians perform wheel alignments, as well.

Pick up and drop off services

There are many ways you can drop off your car for service.

“You can either drop it off in the night owl night service or you can come into the office during hours that we’re open,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said. 

We are open between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Staff members are also available to meet you in the parking lot and collect the keys and information.

Need a ride? We also have a free shuttle service that can pick you up or drop you off.

A pick up and delivery service is available, as well. Please give us a call to arrange it.

More about Steve’s Auto Repair

Some repair shops try to hit you for everything at once, because they are concerned you won’t come back.

We want to give a good evaluation of your car, so you know what condition it’s in. We don’t care about getting the sale today, we want to take care of you and your family for many years.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is a family-owned business. We support local non-profits and believe in the importance of giving back to our community.

“If you’ve been here before, we really appreciate you coming,” Whitling said. “If you haven’t been here, please give us a try.”

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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How much does a wheel alignment cost?

In Alignment by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Like state inspections, wheel alignments should be done annually. This service can help you get the most out of your tires by preventing them from wearing out too soon, saving you money in the long run.

The type of alignment needed is based on the vehicle. Two-wheel alignments, which are also called front-end alignments, are performed on most pickup trucks. Four-wheel alignments, on the other hand, are conducted on most cars.

While doing an alignment, we check a few adjustments, such as caster, camber and toe. Caster is the angle of the wheels toward the front or back. Meanwhile, camber describes how they slant inward and outward. Toe refers to where the wheels are in relation to the center of the vehicle.

The wheels are inspected and a test drive is performed, as well.

How much is a wheel alignment?

The cost of a wheel alignment can be affected by different circumstances, including how old a vehicle is, the make and model, and the type of alignment needed.

An alignment costs between $80 and $188. This is how it breaks down, according to the type of vehicle.

The wheel alignment cost of a 2 wheel alignment or a 4 wheel alignment costs about $100. That is before any discounts or coupons.

If you have a GM truck, you could be looking at $146, due to the upper control arm adjustments needed. It takes a bit longer to do this service.

If you have a lifted truck and/or aftermarket suspension parts, it could cost $188. 

These costs do not include additional services that are needed. This includes suspension components becoming worn or seized by rust, bushings that have gone bad, and needing special parts, such as ball joints and adjustable control arms that would need to be installed to bring an alignment back into the correct specifications.

For vehicles that only need front end adjustments – which you could normally do a two wheel alignment on – the back may be modified with shims on the backing plates to bring the toe and camber into the right specs, even if they aren’t on car adjustments.

Cars that have toe specifications on all four wheels may require other parts to change the caster and camber. 

Vehicle safety systems, such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), could impact the cost, because after getting an alignment there may be a system that needs to be recalibrated.

Shopping for a cheap alignment only based on price isn’t a good idea. 

Many places will technically put the readings in the green, but it may not be a good overall alignment. The manufacturers provide a range of adjustments. Even if they may be in the green, if the tires are pointed slightly to the left, it could cause the vehicle to pull while going down the road.

Our technicians look at the overall alignment, not just trying to turn the screen green.

Sometimes, even though the specifications may be technically just outside the green zone on the screen, it isn’t always necessary to replace parts to compensate for it. The amount of wear would be so minuscule, repairs may not be needed. 

That’s the type of information our technicians and service writers bring to our customers to help them make the best decision about a wheel alignment.

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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Why is my vehicle swaying from side to side?

In Alignment, Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Is your vehicle swaying from side to side?

It could be a sign that a part needs to be replaced.

This was the case with a 2004 Ford F250 that was dropped off. Our customer, who bought the truck recently, felt like it was wandering. He compared it to the swaying of a boat.

There were no braking problems or steering wheel issues. The driver also didn’t feel any vibrations.

Brian checked out the truck and determined that it needed a new drag link. This part connects the steering gear box and tie rod ends and is usually found on larger vehicles, such as trucks and vans.

New drag link.

After the drag link was installed, we performed a wheel alignment.

We recommend having wheel alignments – also known as “tire alignments” – performed once a year, or when you get new tires or steering suspension components.

Others vehicle swaying causes

A bad drag link isn’t the only possible reason why a vehicle is swaying. 

Loose suspension parts, such as ball joints and tie rods, may also cause it to feel unstable.

Tire wear can also impact steering.

In order to pass the Virginia Safety Inspection, the minimum tread depth of a tire is 2/32 of an inch. Manufacturers may recommend replacing the tires between 3/32 of an inch to 5/32 of an inch.

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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Wheel alignments: when and why we recommend them

In Alignment by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Our vehicles need different kinds of upkeep to continue performing the way they were designed.

Wheel alignments are one form of maintenance that should be performed on a regular basis.

This service might not sound crucial, but it offers various benefits that can be seen in the long run. Helping your tires last by preventing uneven and premature tire wear is one perk.

When to get wheel alignments

Wheel alignment measurements.Car alignments should be performed every 15,000 miles or once a year. They are also recommended whenever you purchase new tires, or after steering and suspension parts are replaced.

It’s a good idea to get an alignment if you notice certain symptoms. An uncentered or crooked steering wheel is one indicator that a tire alignment should be performed. You may also notice the car pulling to one side and tire wear on the inner or outer edges.

Different road conditions, such as potholes, construction zones, curbs and speed bumps can throw off alignments. 

Suspension wear could have an impact, too. Worn, bent or broken suspension parts may lead to a bad tire alignment. These components include lower control arms, ball joints, idler arms and tie rod ends.

How we perform tire alignments

There are two different types of wheel alignments. A four-wheel alignment is required for most vehicles, and a two-wheel alignment is used on most pickup trucks.

When conducting an alignment, the tires are checked before the car is taken for a test drive. Then, the vehicle is placed on a rack and targets are secured to the tires. 

Tire alignment targets on Toyota Sienna.The wheel angles measured by the targets are read by cameras. Our automotive technicians are able to use this information to make any needed adjustments.

We check different specifications – caster, camber, toe and thrust angle. 

Caster refers to how wheels are angled forward or backward, and camber is how they go in or out. Toe is the term used to explain how far to the left or right the wheels are from the car’s center. “Thrust angle” describes the rear axle’s position in comparison to the center and front axle.

On top of looking at these different parameters, our technicians confirm that there aren’t any problems with the suspension components. They also measure the ride height.

If the car uses driver assist, an Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) system reset may be needed after the alignment is complete.

What aren’t wheel alignment problems

Some symptoms may seem like a wheel alignment problem but are actually connected with a different system or issue.

Drivers might feel their car pull and think it’s a bad wheel alignment when – in reality – a tire needs to be replaced.

Vibration is another concern that our customers have brought up. Normally, this has to do with tire balancing.

Meanwhile, a steering wheel that shudders as you step on the brake pedal could be rooted in a brake problem.

If you aren’t sure if a car alignment is needed, reach out to an auto repair shop or mechanic you trust. They should be able to track down the problem and get your vehicle driving the way it should be.

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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Servicing vehicles with driver assist

In Alignment, Maintenance, Safety by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Today, many vehicles use Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS).

For the automotive field, servicing vehicles with driver assist has started to become a challenge, even when it comes to regular maintenance.

Parts of the ADAS system can include: adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, pedestrian detection, collision avoidance, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, cross traffic alert, surround view, blind spot detection, park assist, rear collision warning, and rear park assist/back up park assist with surround view.

Some of the things that work with the sensors are: long range radars, LIDAR, cameras, short-medium range radars, and ultrasound.

Driver assist features graphic.

Driver assist

Driver assist resets

Depending on the vehicle, there are different levels of ADAS system resets — some of them are passive, some are hard resets where you have to use targets.

Some vehicles have different radar set ups and blind spot detection, which require different targets on certain vehicles, and they can be kind of tricky to reset.

Replacing a windshield with the incorrect kind of windshield may not allow the ADAS system to work correctly. Even body shops putting metallic paint on a car can impact the sensors located on the front bumper.

An ADAS system reset may also be needed after a wheel alignment or if technicians remove the bumper to replace the timing belt.

Why ADAS system resets are important

Another challenge is that a lot of people don’t know that a reset is needed. There’s no direct warning light for ADAS, unless you have a driver’s information center. So, you could be driving the car and not know the system isn’t set up correctly to help you in an emergency situation. 

In extreme conditions of the ADAS system not working correctly, the car may try to compensate for your regular driving.

So, if your vehicle has an ADAS system and you bring it to a repair shop, you may want to ask them if the work will affect your driving assist system. That way you can make sure that it does get reset.

What we see is a lot of people in the industry don’t even know that they’re supposed to do it.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has invested in the complete ADAS system — everything from Fords, Chevys, Subarus, Mercedes, BMWs. We even can do the camera systems and the targeted systems.

It’s quite an investment, but we know that we need to make sure that we’re fixing these cars correctly, and we’re keeping your family safe on the road.

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.