Wheel alignment or ‘tracking’ is an essential aspect of vehicle maintenance. Often done when you are having your tyres replaced, wheel alignment readjusts the angles of your car’s wheels according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
The benefits of wheel alignment include:
Reduces tyre wear and therefore increases the life of your tyres
Keeps your vehicle running straight and true (rather than ‘pulling’ to one side)
Increased fuel efficiency
Improves your driving safety
A smoother ride
All four of your wheels need to be aligned for your car to run correctly Tyres Reading. If only the fronts are adjusted (sometimes known as a two-wheel alignment or ‘toe and go’) and your rear wheels are still out of alignment, you may still experience pulling, excessive or uneven tyre wear and a crooked steering wheel.
Your wheels may be knocked out of alignment while driving – for example hitting a pothole or kerb, or misalignment may be caused by over-worn steering components or suspension. Your car technician will be able to explain which applies to your vehicle upon inspection.
There are various angles and directions at which your tyres will be set according to the manufacturer’s instructions, such as toe in, toe out, positive camber and negative camber.
Toe refers to the front of the tyres, and whether these are closer together than the rear of the tyres. Camber means the tilt of the tyre – either inwards or outwards.
Specific angles can be set to adjust the handling of your vehicle, for example for Motorsport or off-road driving, to allow for more extreme driving styles.
You should always consult a tyre expert for information on wheel alignment, although you may be able to spot potential misalignment by keeping an eye on the condition of your tyres – if one or more are wearing unevenly, or faster than the others, it could be an indication that the alignment of your wheels is out and needs to be checked.
Why not book a wheel alignment when you next buy replacement tyres? You can find great deals by searching for cheap tyres online, and even have a mobile fitting van come out to you rather than take time out of your schedule to visit a garage.
Wheel alignment can seriously affect the quality of your ride, the efficiency of your handling, the precision of your steering and can lead to ‘pulling’ which makes your vehicle veer to one side while attempting to drive straight. All these things can become dangerous over time, so ensure that your car is maintained and in top condition for your own safety.