How important is wheel alignment?
Think of it this way: Research indicates that the average vehicle is driven about 20,000 kilometers per year. A car with a toe angle mis-adjustment of 0.34 degrees (only 0.17 inches) out of specification will drag the tires sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year!
What are the symptoms of a vehicle with incorrect alignment?
Have your vehicle checked if you notice:
- Excessive or uneven tire wear
- The vehicle pulls to the left or right
- Feeling of looseness or wandering
- Steering wheel vibration or shimmy
- Steering wheel is not centered when the vehicle is moving straight ahead
How often should I have my vehicle aligned?
Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation noted in your owner’s manual. As a general rule, have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 km's or at least once a year.
The importance of Total Alignment:
- Reduced Tire Wear: Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tire wear. Over the years, a properly aligned vehicle can add thousands of km's to tire life. Most tires are replaced prematurely due to adverse wear.
- Better Fuel Economy: Fuel economy increases as rolling resistance decreases. Total Alignment sets all four wheels parallel, which along with proper inflation, minimizes rolling resistance.
- Improved Handling: Does your car pull to one side? Do you constantly have to move the steering wheel to keep your car traveling straight ahead? Many handling problems can be corrected by Total Alignment service. With all the vehicle components aligned properly, road shock is more efficiently absorbed for a smoother ride.
- Safer Driving: A suspension system inspection is part of the alignment procedure. This allows worn parts to be detected before they cause costly problems.
Wheel alignment is an important system to the safe operation and handling of your vehicle. Furthermore wheel misalignment can lead to premature tire degradation and leave your wallet light.
It is important to pay attention to the drift or pull of your vehicle, if you are drifting too much to the left or right then it is a good indication that your wheels have fallen out of alignment. Another way to check is to see if your tires are wearing down in any specific or isolated places.
A lot of folk’s mistake wheel alignment for wheel balancing, which has more to do with evenly distributing the weight of the wheels to get a proper spin. Wheel Alignment is the positioning of the wheels so they sit perpendicular to the road. One thing to remember, if your wheels remain out of alignment for an extended period of time then the wear pattern of your tires will become firmly established and you may also have damage done to your suspension.
There are three levels on which the proper alignment of wheels is measured, camber, castor and toe.
- Camber is the degree to which the wheel sits perpendicular to the road. If you have severe camber misalignment you may be able to see an extreme tilt of your wheels pointing inward or outward when viewing the car from the front. Camber issues can lead to premature tire wear and suspension problems in the future.
- Caster is the position of the wheel originating from the axis. Caster will dictate if the vehicle is at the proper height at the front and back. If your suspension springs are worn out it may greatly affect your caster slowly allowing it to settle into the positive or negative. Positive or Negative caster will make your car pull to the right or left.
- Toe measures what degree your wheels point inwards or outwards. Almost all cars have a slight degree of toe; this enables your wheels to rotate parallel to one another. However, if the toe becomes unaligned even slightly, drivers will notice a vibration coursing through the vehicle while driving. Toe inequalities will also cause your tires to wear down in a “feathered” pattern.
- Drivers in QLD, would do well to take their car in to us the moment they can feel their car pulling to one side; we will take care of your alignment issues and treat you with the honesty and respect you deserve.