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The Three Types of Wheel AlignmentFor many of us, a wheel alignment is something about which we know very little. The name sounds fairly explanatory: the wheels must be aligned. But there is a bit more (well, quite a bit more) to it than that. In short, though, there are three types of alignment jobs possible.

  1. A thrust alignment is where the front wheels of an automobile are aligned to the rear axle. It’s called a thrust alignment because the term “thrust” refers to the direction in which the rear wheels are pushing. This direction should match as closely as possible to the direction that the front wheels are facing when positioned forward; a mismatch here can create undue stress on your car’s suspension system and wheels, as well as reduce power and your likelihood of getting good gas mileage.
  2. A two-wheel alignment, or front end alignment only deals with the two front wheels. These wheels are aligned straight toward the geometric center of the automobile, and the rear wheels and thrust direction are left alone. The theory is that the rear wheels should already be aligned with the center of the car. Depending on what type of car you have, a two-wheel alignment may be all you need. In fact, before the widespread use of front wheel drive came into play, the two wheel alignments were the only alignments done for almost all cars on the road.
  3. In a four-wheel alignment, much as the name suggests, all four wheels on both axles are adjusted so they are parallel to each other, the ground, and the thrust angle of the car. Generally, the four wheel alignment should be done whenever possible and applicable, depending on the vehicle.

Contact your local auto repair shop to talk to your mechanic about choices and recommendations for which type of alignment is most preferable and beneficial to your car specifically.


If you are in need of wheel alignment in Westerville, Ohio or would simply like more information, give us a call at Kevin’s Car Repair LLC. Our mechanics have years of experience and can handle any repair job, big or small. At Kevin’s Car Repair, we are always honest, always fair!