Wheel Alignment refers to the adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension. Your suspension points your vehicle’s tyres straight down the road when it is properly aligned. When your suspension goes out of alignment, it causes irregular tyre wear and steering inconsistencies.
If you notice that your vehicle pulls significantly to the left or right when you are travelling on a straight, flat road with little cross-wind, or your tyres are wearing abnormally, then your wheel alignment may require adjustment. This is a simple process, which may require slight adjustment of front and/or rear suspension components. If your vehicle’s wheels are not properly aligned, this can cause abnormal wearing of the tyres. Note that wheel alignment may also be referred to as suspension alignment.
A variety of factors can cause your vehicle to go out of alignment. These include impacts with potholes, curbs, or other objects. Each of these jarring blows shakes your suspension, causing it to stray from its ideal alignment settings. Also, your vehicle can naturally go out of alignment over time. Normal wear and tear cause rubber suspension components to crack, ball and socket joints to loosen, and the cumulative effect of thousands of small impacts can exert themselves on your vehicle’s ideal alignment settings.
Always have your vehicle’s alignment checked when:
- Your vehicle has hit something (e.g. a kerb or major road hazard).
- You notice that your tyres are wearing abnormally or unevenly.
- You experience steering or handling problems, such as:
- Your vehicle pulls or drifts to one side.
- Your steering wheel does not return easily after a turn.
- Your steering wheel remains at an angle when driving in a straight line.
- When you buy a new set of tyres and want them to last as long as possible.
- When you replace suspension or steering components.
Why is wheel alignment important?
Wheel alignment can affect the amount of wear and tear that tyres endure. The normal alignment on most vehicles is designed to minimise wear and tear and maximise driver and passenger comfort. Correct four-wheel alignment will reduce wear on your tyres, help increase their life and performance, and improve fuel economy. It will also improve handling and driving safety by reducing steering and stability problems.
Wheel alignment versus wheel balancing?
People often get confused between wheel alignment and wheel balancing. They are completely different. Wheel alignment, or tracking as it’s sometimes called, consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are as specified by your vehicle manufacturer. On the other hand, wheel balancing allows the wheels to spin without causing unnecessary vibration.
Speak to a Tyre Expert @ Tyre Empire for advice and wheel balancing/alignment services, call us on 9008000000 or schedule a visit today for a Tyre Safety Check!