Alignment

FlexBilt Customs has one of the best alignment racks money can buy at its shop in Opelika, AL.  The Hunter Elite wheel alignment machine is the most powerful wheel alignment machine on the market today, using four precision cameras to measure the position and orientation of targets mounted to each of your wheels without damaging or scratching your wheels.

Our wheel target attachments feature spring-loaded arms that grips the outside wheel and tire, eliminating metal-to-metal contact and subsequent rim damage. The Hawkeye Elite® wheel alignment system can show alignment results in minutes allowing our technicians to create the most smoothest, straight ride you can have! 

Alignments
Alignment Prices:
  • Standard car, small trucks or compact SUV's = $95.00
  • Full-Size trucks, most Jeeps, and full-size SUV's = $110.00 (up to 86" total width outside tire to outside tire)
  • Please note that our alignment rack stays busy, call for an appt.: 334.363.0168


 

Not many people realize, but a wheel alignment does not have a lot to do with your wheels & tires but more with your vehicle's front and rear suspension.  Suspensions, in general, are a very complicated and sophisticated engineered critical part of your truck, Jeep, or SUV.  The alignment is all about how your wheels & tires roll on the suspension they are on.  All good alignment shops work on three different ways your wheel are aligned.  All three are very important! 

First, your camber refers to the view of your wheels angle as you view it from the front of your vehicle.  If you see your wheel leaning to the right or left (either direction), your vehicle is said to have a misaligned camber.  Some vehicle owners actually request a lower camber (where the bottom of the tire is further out than the top of the tire).  However, engineers have proven that does not help the longevity of suspensions while hurting tire wear.

Opelika truck Alignment

What you need to know about Wheel Alignments:

Next, caster is the wheel & tire angle of the steering pivot as you are looking at the wheel from the side of the vehicle.  The easiest way to notice whether or not the caster is out of alignment is seeing if the wheel & tire is toward the front of the wheel well or toward the back.  All wheels & tires should be centered in the wheel well.   Having your vehicle out of caster alignment could cause your tires to hit the inside of your wheel well, wear unevenly, shake at higher speeds, or pull to one side when driving.  

Last, is a toe misalignment.  Toe is the most common misalignment and can havoc with both your suspension wear & tear and tire wear.  Toe refers to the angle of your wheels in relation to each other.  You will hear the alignment technician say "you have a toe-in misalignment" or "you have a toe-out misalignment".  The graphic above shows both a toe-in and toe-out misalignment.  The picture is an extreme case.  Please note that just a slight to in or out can cause accelerated wear on your tires and stress your front-end suspension significantly.   Having  your toe off of being aligned can cause a pull to the left or right and are often very dangerous for the driver and those around!


What can cause your truck or Jeep to come out of alignment?

The short answer is several things.  One of the more simpler explanations that happens a lot is taking a turn too sharp causing extreme strain on the front axle, suspension, and wheels causing the alignment to slip or shift out of place.  Of course, off-road terrain with deep pot holes and severe uneven roads over a few days time can jerk the alignment out.  Last, just over time driving a vehicle, turning hard, and hitting bumps over and over can eventually take your truck, Jeep, or SUV out of alignment.  

The most important take-away of keeping your vehicle in alignment is to make sure your suspension parts (tie rods, sway bars, ball joints, upper & lower control arms) are straight and in the proper position on the suspension.  Having to replace just a few of them can cost hundreds of dollars.  

What you need to know about Wheel Balance


While alignments are centered around your wheels angle, direction, and how they are positioned on your vehicle, while your wheels & tires balance is all about how smooth they roll.  With all the engineering, technology, and overall science that has gone into manufacturing wheels and tires as perfectly round as possible, no one has perfected it!   Still today, there are flat spots, thicker & thinner metal in areas, and imperfection within the tires themselves that make balancing not as easy as it sounds or what you would expect.  It is simply impossible to make a wheel and tire perfectly balanced.  As with most drivers on the road today, everyone has felt vibration, shaking, and pulling when driving a vehicle.  Just know when a wheel is just slightly heavier or lighter on one side vs. the other, you will feel vibration or shaking.  

Proper wheel balancing at professional shops are trained to fix this issue and get your wheels and tires as close as possible to being balanced and rolling smoothly.  Wheel balancing machines provide shops the ability to see where the imbalance is on each of the four wheels & tires you have on your vehicle.  Shop technicians that execute the wheel balance uses stick on weights to knock-on weights on your wheel to compensate for the imbalance areas on your wheel.  Some weights are grouped in one spot while others may require weights in multiple spots on the wheel to make it balance.  Once weights are added, the technician spins the wheel and tire again to see if it is balanced and will roll smoothly.  

Whenever you have your tires replaced at FlexBilt Customs, our technician will automatically conduct a wheel balancing service as a part of the installation process.  It is imperative or you can ruin a new set of tires very quickly as well as create an unsafe situation on the road with unexpected distractions to the driver with vibration, shaking, and/or pulling.  Please note, like an alignment going out, so can your tire balance go out as well.  Both stick on weights and knock-on weights can come off from bumps on the road, excessive heat/weather, or just time.  If you notice a new vibration or shake that wasn't there before, bring your vehicle back in for a re-balance!  All off-road vehicles, whether it is a truck or Jeep, need to have their tires checked at least twice a year if taken off-road more than a few times a year.  Trucks and Jeeps with the bigger 35", 37", and even 40"+ tires require special attention.