2-Wheel Vs. 4-Wheel Alignment: What’s the Difference?

Most motorists are aware of the importance of a wheel alignment. Out-of-alignment wheels cause uneven tire wear and difficult steering. Depending on your car type, you may need either a 2-wheel or 4-wheel alignment. We’ll explain how the two differ to avoid confusion.

The Difference

2-Wheel Alignment

A 2-wheel alignment is also known as a front-end alignment. As suggested in its name, the technician performs alignment on only the front wheels. This may include a camber, toe, and caster adjustment. Some vehicles have a solid rear axle that doesn’t require adjustment.

With a 2-wheel alignment, the mechanic may also need to perform what is known as a ‘thrust angle adjustment.’ This is a procedure that allows the mechanic to determine that all four wheels are ‘square’ with one another.

4-Wheel Alignment

As you can probably guess, a 4-wheel alignment includes an adjustment of all four wheels. Your car will typically require a 4-wheel alignment if it’s an all-wheel-drive model with independent suspensions. Service includes a front toe and caster adjustment, while the rear wheels receive a toe and camber adjustment.

Know When You Require a Wheel Alignment

For consumers, you don’t really need to understand the exact difference. If you notice any symptoms of wheel misalignment, such as the car’s pulling to one side, then your car may need an alignment. The mechanic will determine whether a 2-wheel or 4-wheel alignment is in order.

Alignments may also require additional work, such as the use of aftermarket kits. This may be the case for modified cars or to compensate for previous collision damage.

We Perform 2-Wheel and 4-Wheel Alignments

Bring your car to Chuck’s Auto Repair if the steering feels a bit off. Allowing the issue to linger can result in serious premature tire wear. We perform both 2-wheel and 4-wheel alignment work for all vehicle years and models.

Wheel Alignment and Balancing

Serving motorists of the greater area Seattle

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