Auto Repair Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My car’s steering wheel shakes at 60mph or faster. Could this be an alignment issue?

A: A vehicle that has vibration at highway speeds will frequently have a couple of contributing problems. In general, the principle causes for shaking come from an imbalance in fast rotating components such as tires, wheels, drive axles, u-joints, or the CV axles found in front wheel drive cars. Often, an alignment with a tire balance is sufficient to correct these problems. On other occasions, loose steering parts, worn tires, or worn suspension parts may need to be repaired in order to correct these vibration concerns.

Q: My tires are wearing on the inside edge and they are relatively new. Is this something alignment will take care of?

A: In most cases, yes. Any unusual wear or cupping seen on either inside or outside edges typically indicates a need for an alignment check.

Q: Recently my car has started to shake at lower speeds and it tends to pull to the right severely. Is this wheel alignment?

A: Possibly, but a severe vibration accompanied by a pull to the right or left at 40mph or less is often associated with tire separations and broken tire belts. Both of these conditions are very serious and can result in tire blow-outs. For safety reasons, an immediate inspection IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Q: My car vibrates when I apply the brakes. Is this related to brake problems?

A: Very likely. The symptoms presented by worn brake pads are usually associated with overheated and warped brake disks/rotors. Repairs are often confined to the replacement of pads and if in sufficiently good condition, the resurfacing of the disks on a brake lathe to remove any distortion or warp.

Q: There is a slight squeaking noise when I back up and at times the squeak will go away if I apply or release the brakes. It doesn’t do it every time and I don’t hear it going forward. What‘s the problem?

A: A slight squeak when making the first few stops may not be an indication of brake wear. But a persistent squeak while backing up may be the first indication of pad wear and eventual complete failure. The wear sensor present on most brake pads will many times only make noise while backing up. Generally, this noise will inevitably occur when moving forward as well. A quick brake inspection can determine the exact condition of the system components, followed with recommendations for remediation.

Q: The red brake light that comes on when I apply my parking brake is now staying on when I’m driving. What is causing this?

A: An illuminated red brake warning lamp may indicate a low brake fluid condition or other serious brake problem. A leak in brake system lines, defective seals in master cylinders or wheel cylinders can all produce a fluid loss resulting in the loss of braking. Any presentation of a red brake warning light indicates a serious brake problem that should be inspected as quickly as possible. Under no circumstances should brake fluid be added to the system without a professional inspection.

Q: My car is pulling to the right while I’m driving at highway speeds. Do I need an alignment?

A: A pull to one side while driving warrants an alignment check to determine the mechanical contribution of wheel position to steering accuracy. Many times, an alignment is sufficient to correct a pull. In others, alignment and tire rotation is required to remediate these issues.

Q: My Check Engine Light is on but the car seems to be running fine. Someone told me that this was a loose gas cap. Should I be concerned?

A: A Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon light is an indication of diminished engine performance or efficiency. While failures such as a loose gas cap may seem innocent, even loose fuel filler caps can cause evaporation of fuel from the gas tank and result in costs for more frequent fill-ups. More often are problems with various sensors or control components like fuel injectors, spark plugs, oxygen sensors, mass air flow sensors, throttle position sensors, or other devices designed to maximize the engine efficiency of you car. A quick scan by trained professionals can usually guide customers in determining whether to pursue further diagnostics and repairs. It is important to remember that “not knowing” the cause for the light places the car at considerable risk for major damage. There are several hundred fault codes monitored by the car’s computer. Some are serious, and some are not, but knowing the answer is better found out sooner than later.

Q: My car just clicks when I try to crank it up. The battery is good because the lights come on, the radio works and the battery is only about 3 years old. What could be going on?

A: There can be several contributors to a “no crank” symptom, including a weak or damaged cell in the battery, poor electrical conductivity in terminals, relays, or battery cables from corrosion, defective ignition switch, or a bad starter itself. While the presence of a working radio or headlamps indicated battery power is available, it is important to realize the differences in power requirements for these different systems. The amperage needed to run a typical radio is in the order of 5-10 amps, the headlamps 10-20 amps, but to start an engine, the required amperage is more in the ballpark of 300-400 amps. Fortunately, a quick scan with an appropriate diagnostic tool can often identify the issues within a few minutes and has considerable accuracy and reliability in helping solve these problems.

As always, the staff at QuickAlign is available for phone questions at any time during business hours. If an issue or inquiry should need to be addressed after closing, send us an e-mail ( for a timely and hopefully informative response!