Signs of An Alignment Problem

Signs of An Alignment Problem

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Kalispell drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like an accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object.

While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Kalispell driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well.

Moreover, your car  can lose alignment over time with just normal driving. When your wheels are out of alignment, Loren’s Auto Repair in Kalispell can return your wheels to the vehicle manufacturer factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an alignment check every year or two.

Loren’s Auto Repair
406-755-7757
1309 US Hwy 2 West
Kalispell, MT 59901

Loren’s Auto Repair Auto Tips and Car Care: Alignment Inspection

Uneven tire wear, the car pulling to one side or a steering wheel that is off-center are signs for Kalispell auto owners that their wheels may be out of alignment.

When doing an alignment inspection, the technician will inspect your tires for uneven wear as well as suspension and steering parts for signs of wear or damage. He’ll also compare your current alignment with the auto maker’s settings.

Your vehicle owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to check alignment. Of course, this recommendation is based on normal driving. If you have been in collision, hit a curb/pothole, frequently drive off-road around Kalispell, or notice any symptoms of misalignment, have your Loren’s Auto Repair service professional carry out an essential alignment check.

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Loren’s Auto Repair
406-755-7757
1309 US Hwy 2 West
Kalispell, MT 59901

Straight And True In Kalispell: Wheel Alignment

Most Kalispell 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 Kalispell car owners 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 expensive than an alignment check in Kalispell. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Kalispell.

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

One or more wheels on your Subaru can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Kalispell 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 Big Fork driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your Subaru, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Loren’s Auto Repair service specialist 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 Loren’s Auto Repair in Kalispell, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or Loren’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 an inspection more often. Ask your professional and courteous technician for a recommendation.

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

Kalispell motorists 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 automotive analysis, 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 Columbia Falls auto owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Kalispell residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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

Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service At Loren’s Auto Repair

Hello Kalispell drivers! Let’s talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly in Kalispell.

It can even damage your suspension system, which is a steep repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Kalispell auto owners and their passengers.

It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday MT driving. Kalispell road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal Kalispell expressways and surface streets can gradually put your Subaru tires out of alignment.

So it’s good auto advice to have your Subaru’s alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your Subaru tires might be out of alignment, you should take your Subaru into Loren’s Auto Repair now.

When you take your Subaru in for an alignment in Kalispell, your professional and courteous Loren’s Auto Repair technician will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be corrected in order to get good alignment of the wheels.

If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the Subaru will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the auto maker’s specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

There are three types of critical adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle’s tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.

The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you’ll be able to steer where you want to go in Kalispell. Drive safely.

Kalispell Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when you’re out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You’ll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse – you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.

The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is castor. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.

There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension – it should be checked to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s center line. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, a technician at Loren’s Auto Repair can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match.

Loren’s Auto Repair
1309 US Hwy 2 West
Kalispell, MT 59901
406-755-7757

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It’s better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

Power Steering Service At Loren’s Auto Repair In Kalispell

Many Kalispell drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Kalispell as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.

The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Loren’s Auto Repair in Kalispell use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.

Power Steering Service At Loren's Auto Repair In KalispellPower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects Subaru components from rust and corrosion.

Kalispell car owners should be aware that manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule.
At Loren’s Auto Repair, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many Kalispell drivers don’t realize how critical it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

Kalispell auto owners should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Loren’s Auto Repair in Kalispell.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Kalispell includes an inspection of steering components.

If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your Loren’s Auto Repair advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Loren’s Auto Repair today at 406-755-7757.

All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service At Loren’s Auto Repair

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 Kalispell can cause your Subaru’s wheels to be out of alignment.

Driving for an extended time in Kalispell 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 MT 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 Loren’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 Subaru was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Loren’s Auto Repair starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your professional and courteous Loren’s Auto Repair technician will look at tire condition.

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

Your Subaru 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 Loren’s Auto Repair before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment For Kalispell Automobiles

Kalispell car owners may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel’s off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn’t feel like it handles right as they drive down Kalispell MT streets and expressways.

When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Kalispell, MT are great ways for Columbia Falls car owners to knock their car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, you’ll have to replace your tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be pricey. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let’s discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at Loren’s Auto Repair in Kalispell? First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s centerline. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval for having alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Kalispell area. It’s better for Whitefish car owners to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Loren’s Auto Repair when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in MT.

Come see us at Loren’s Auto Repair for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you.

Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment For Your Kalispell Subaru

Imagine you’ve left Kalispell and you’re up in the arctic on a dog sled.

Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground fast. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.

That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you’re covering less ground for the same effort.

You’re wasting kibble.

Alignment The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that’s pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the car; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You’re wasting gas.

So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. Get it checked right away if you feel the car pulling to one side.

Sometimes we bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take the wheels out of alignment as well.

Loren’s Auto Repair
1309 US Hwy 2 West
Kalispell, MT 59901
406-755-7757

So make sure you’re tracking straight. You’ll save gas and your tires’ll last longer. Now, mush!

Heading on a Trip? Consider a Pre-trip Inspection

North Americans love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than the road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now you can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle’s perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding byways or super-highways? Mountains or plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage? Lugging a trailer or roof top carrier? Will it be dusty?

Armed with the answers to these questions, you can start a trip inspection to help you prepare your Kalispell vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our Kalispell customers prefer to go through this exercise with an automotive service advisor at Loren’s Auto Repair to get their input and make sure they haven’t left anything out.

A great place to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job – you wouldn’t want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure.

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you’ll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that’s pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous.

And don’t forget your brakes. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have your belts and hoses inspected. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Your engine air filter will be important. For every gallon of gas you burn, your car will filter and use 12,000 gallons of air. If the filter needs to be changed, you’ll notice the fuel savings on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it’s due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don’t need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your vehicle? If so, it could as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it’s an exhaust leak it could be fatal on a long trip. Of course you’ll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren’t getting the cold air you used to.

Are you wiper blades still working well? If not, that is quick and inexpensive to fix. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven’t changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all come into focus as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the world’s largest ball of string, would you?



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Steve Waatti
Steve Waatti
17:44 05 Apr 18
Best Shop in town. Very clean and well organized. No extra BS charges or anything fishy. Full vehicle inspections with oil changes. Very knowledgeable crew. I bring all my personal and company vehicles to Loren's. Highly recommended.
Ricky Chevy
Ricky Chevy
21:04 15 Jan 18
Excellent service!! We are from Wisconsin and found Loren's on the web. They were able to fly in a new front axle and get us on the road in just 3 days at a very reasonable price. A quick follow up visit for adjustments allowed us to continue our vacation as planned. Absolutely recommend them. Mark was personable and knowledgeable, they offered a shuttle service and John was a great technician for our Xterra!!
Monica Taylor
Monica Taylor
21:37 08 Nov 17
Lorens never disappoints! They continually meet above my expectations. They met competitive rates, they have been upfront with charges and even gave me a loaner vehicle while doing their repairs. I will only ever use this shop. Mark at service desk is amazing and very knowledgeable!
Erika Myhre
Erika Myhre
14:03 29 Aug 17
I'm out here in West Glacier on vacation. During the trip, we hit a pothole and the exhaust started making a loud noise. We figured a hole had rusted open or something similar. We called Loren's Auto Repair to get it checked out, and they were awesome with recommendations. They let us explain the issue and then confirmed what we thought it was. They weren't able to get us in before we left, but they were kind enough to suggest a mechanic in town that possibly could squeeze us in. This conversation was a sign of trust and good business. The prices they quoted were fair and had excellent customer service. Thanks!
Hallie K
Hallie K
02:04 06 Jan 18
This was the best car repair shop I have ever done business with. For being a young woman, who honestly doesn’t know a ton about cars, they were very thorough in explaining things and I trusted that they weren’t trying to rip me off based off my lack of knowledge or me being a young girl. Too many times have mechanics/car maintenance men try and rip me off. Once someone tried to charge me $180 for an oil change! Ridiculous. But not with these guys. They were awesome. My car broke down at a horrible time when I was busy with work and about to go on vacation. I had my car towed there and didn’t have time to stop by. They inspected it very soon after that, and got ahold of me. Then I was out of town for a couple weeks and they let me keep my car there. Even when I got back they had put it in the shop the night before so all the snow would melt. They were very friendly and even have a complimentary shuttle service when needed. I wish I could give the names of all the people who helped! Chad was awesome and answered all my questions and my dads when he called from a state away haha! The young girl who picked me up from the shuttle was super nice and has good people skills. If I ever have car problems again they will definitely be who I go to. Thanks guys!
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