Posted on October 14, 2022
The safety of the driver and occupants of a vehicle is 100% reliant on the four small patches of rubber where your tyres meet the road surface. Therefore, anything to do with these rubber patches must be taken seriously and careful attention paid to their well-being!
One of these areas of attention is the alignment of the wheels. Wheels can become misaligned when the wheels hit potholes or speed bumps and are jarred suddenly, or wear and tear on suspension components can cause gradual changes in the wheel alignment.
What is wheel alignment?
Your vehicle's suspension is the system whereby the vehicle's body is connected to the wheels. Wheel alignment is the adjustment or alignment of suspension components that ensure the angles of the tyres, where they meet the road, are optimal.
Three measurements must be in line with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations.
This is the angle of the tyre when viewed from the front. If the tyre tilts too much inwards or outwards, it indicates incorrect alignment. Worn suspension components such as ball joints or bearings can contribute to this being out.
This is similar to camber but is the extent to which the tyres turn in or out when viewed from above. When looking from a birds-eye view, the angle at which the tyres turn in toward the car is known as toe-in and the angle at which the turn out is called tow-out. Both of these must be correct.
Caster angles assist with balancing steering, cornering, and stability. This is the angle between the steering axle and the wheel. Viewed from the side, a positive caster is when the steering axle tilts toward the driver, while a negative caster tilts toward the front of the car.
Why It's Important
Your wheels and axles should make a perfect rectangle, parallel each other, and be at the correct angle to the road. If any of these angles are off, your car will not drive correctly, and you'll have excessive tyre wear, poor steering and cornering.
Signs Indicating the Car Needs a Wheel Alignment
There are three clear indicators that the vehicle needs alignment:
- Uneven tread wear is one of the most apparent indicators that you need alignment. Look at the tread on your tires; if it is wearing unevenly, you need to have it seen too.
- When driving, you must constantly correct the vehicle as instead of going straight, it pulls to the right or left.
- When driving, the steering wheel vibrates.
Check Your Alignment
The Myers Automotive Group has a highly skilled technical team that will be able to check and correct any wheel alignment issues before they can cause you expensive tyre replacements or worse.
Contact our Vehicle Inspections team today and make an appointment to have this critical check carried out.