Why wheel alignments are so important.
If you are driving your car and it pulls to one side, your steering wheel doesn’t look straight even when you are driving the car straight or it vibrates, or you notice your tyres are wearing out faster than usual, these are all signs your vehicle needs a wheel alignment.
Wheels that are out of alignment is one of the biggest causes of premature tyre wear. A wheel alignment is an adjustment to a vehicles suspension, not to the tyre or wheel itself. Rather it is an adjustment that affects how the tyres make contact with the roads surface.
How is a wheel alignment done?
Vehicle manufacturers designate standard angles for proper alignment which are specified in degrees. These angles are taken from various vantage points e.g. front on, side on and from above.
If a vehicles suspension becomes out of alignment, a qualified tyre technician adjusts the degrees of the anes with an alignment machine. The degrees of the angles are referred to as camber, toe and caster.
If you look at the vehicle from the front and notice a distinct inward or outward tilt of the wheel, this indicates the positive or negative camber needs to be adjusted.
A sign of camber is a line of significant tread wear on the inside or the outside of the tyre and where the centre tread remains intact.
If you were looking at your vehicle from above and your tyres appear to turn inwards or outwards, the vehicle needs a toe alignment.
If one side of the tyre is wearing more than the other, this is an indication of toe misalignment.
This is an angle viewed side on which determines if the steering axis is tilted forward or backward. Ideally the steering axis should be centre. Caster does not affect tyres necessarily but more the steering of the vehicle.
The benefits of wheel alignments
Improve tyre life
By having a periodic wheel alignment at regular 10,000 klms intervals, it will prolong the life of your tyres. As some tyres can be quite expensive, it pays to ensure your tyres will last as long as they possibly can.
If you happen to hit a large pot hole your alignment can easily be put out so you would be wise to have your wheel alignment done again.
Improve fuel economy
Wheel alignments help the vehicle to drive properly at the correct angles. A smoother, correctly aligned vehicle will use less fuel as there is less resistance.
Proper wheel alignments ensure the tyres wear uniformly rather than wear on one side or the other which could cause the tyre to blow out and the driver to have less control over the vehicle.
Tyres that are worn are also a skid hazard on slippery and wet road surfaces.
So, as you can see there is more than meets the eye with wheel alignments and they do preserve the life of your tyres and your cars suspension.
Bundall Tyres on the Gold Coast recommend all motorists invest in a wheel alignment and a wheel balance at regular intervals.
Bundall Tyres can perform a wheel alignment, wheel balancing and tyre rotations on your vehicle at our Gold Coast tyre shop. Call us today on 07 5504 5666 to book in for a wheel alignment to save your tyres from premature wear and stress on your suspension, which will ultimately save you $$$.