• An In-Depth Look at the Wheel Alignment Process

    When you think of collision repairs, you probably envision a crumpled bumper or major dents. But many types of collision damage are hidden. Even a minor fender bender, or hitting a pothole or curb can cause major mechanical problems. This is why you should always take your car to an auto body shop after a collision. Ask for an alignment inspection, since misalignments are one of the most common types of collision damage.

    Mechanic tuning aligner for wheel alignment

    Alignment Specifications

    A wheel alignment doesn’t actually adjust the wheels or tires. Rather, it’s an adjustment of the suspension system. A wheel alignment affects the angle at which the tires come into contact with the road. Every make and model of vehicle has its own alignment specifications. These are influenced by factors like the size, weight, and length of the vehicle, and what its specific use will be. Modern auto body shops use sophisticated, computerized equipment that already has the precise alignment specs for each model.

    Caster

    The body shop technician evaluates three main areas during a wheel alignment: The caster, camber, and toe. The caster is the angle of the steering axis. If you’re looking at the car from the side, a positive caster means that the steering axis is tilted slightly toward the driver. A negative caster refers to a steering axis tilted toward the front end.

    Camber

    Picture yourself standing in front of your car, looking at the tires. From this angle, you might see if the tires are tilted slightly inward (toward the center of the car) or outward. The inward or outward angle is the camber. An overly inward tilt is a negative camber, and vice versa.

    Toe

    Stand up and look down at your feet. You can turn them inward or outward without tilting them to the side. Now, picture your car tires doing the same thing. This angle is referred to as the toe. If the angle is either “toe in” or “toe out,” it needs an adjustment.

    After any type of accident, you can have your vehicle inspected for hidden damage at Michael J’s Body Shop. We’ve been providing reliable alignment and suspension repair services at our auto body shop in San Jose for more than 20 years. Call (408) 279-2070, and be sure to ask us about our lifetime warranty on collision repairs!

  • A Quick Look at Frame Measuring

    The frame of your car is designed to absorb force during an accident, whether you collide with another moving car on the road, hit a stationary object, or are hit by another moving car while you are stationary. The ability of the frame to absorb the force of the collision protects you and many of the internal components of the car, but the damage done to the frame needs to be considered by the auto body shop that is making repairs.

    The process of restoring the frame to its proper shape and size is complex, but your auto body shop can ensure that it is done correctly through frame measuring. By measuring the frame after collision repairs are made, the repair shop can be sure that it has been restored to its exact specifications, so that your car drives exactly as it did before your accident.

    Michael J’s Body Shop specializes in frame straightening services, including measuring, and can ensure that your vehicle’s frame is expertly restored to its original condition. For auto collision repairs in San Jose, call (408) 279-2070 today.