If your car feels as though it’s pulling to the left or right — even though you’re steering in a straight line — it could suggest a problem with your wheel alignment. Incorrect alignment can result in rapid and irregular tyre wear and can even affect the handling and safety of the vehicle.
Benefits of correct wheel alignment:
- 30% increase in tyre mileage on an average
- 2% increase in fuel economy
- Alignment ensures a vehicle is stable at high speeds
- A vehicle that is properly aligned handles better and is safer to drive
Wheel alignment can be affected by driving against a pavement, hitting a pothole in the road or by excessive wear to steering or suspension components. Alignment of wheels and tyres to the specification required by your vehicle is an important way to guarantee a smooth ride and to get the most out of your tyres.
The direction and angle at which tyres are set are both equally important. Wheel alignment or ‘tracking’ involves checking the direction and angle against vehicle manufacturers’ specifications. These are often described as toe in, toe out, positive camber or negative camber.
“Toe” refers to whether the front of the tyres are closer or further apart than the rear of the tyres. Different types of vehicles need different toe settings to allow for the way wheels pull either towards each other or apart.
“Camber” is the inward or outward tilt of a tyre. The camber is set by the vehicle manufacturer, and can be affected by potholes in the road and may need to be adjusted periodically.
Correct wheel alignment is achieved by adjusting a car’s suspension and steering components to ensure the wheels are perfectly aligned to deliver the least wear on the tyres.