Wheel alignment (or tracking) is the act of correcting the angles of a car’s wheels and is one of the most critical processes performed during routine vehicle maintenance. Correct wheel alignment avoids uneven tyre wear and guarantees the vehicle’s safety and performance. It should also be noted that it is one of the most overlooked components of any vehicle!
The angle and orientation of the tyres are checked during a wheel alignment. To put the tyres at an exact angle, specialized machinery must determine the degree and minute of alignment.
What Can Cause Misalignment?
The three most prevalent causes of wheel misalignment are as follows:
- A jarring or severe impact caused by a collision with something, such as a pothole, striking a curb or being in a vehicle accident.
- Components that have become worn as a consequence of regular wear and tear. Suspension springs, for example, can wear and become slack over time, resulting in a shift in wheel alignment. In this circumstance, prevention is more effective than cure; thus, regular service checks must be performed.
- When the suspension has not been modified to fit, the height can be altered. Car suspension is designed to work at a set height, and raising your car without modifying the suspension will almost certainly result in wheel misalignment.
Why is Wheel Alignment Important?
Having a properly aligned vehicle may not seem like a huge concern, but it may have major consequences if disregarded. When your wheels are out of alignment, it affects your entire suspension system and steering, which may lead to serious problems such as premature and uneven tire wear.
1. Extend the Life of Your Tires
Uneven tire wear occurs when your wheels are out of alignment. As tires degrade, their life expectancy reduces, needing replacement sooner. A misaligned vehicle also puts additional strain on your suspension and steering systems, causing other components to wear unevenly. Have your alignment checked as part of your standard routine maintenance program to avoid costly repair services or having to buy replacement tires more frequently.
2. Save Money on Gas
Gas mileage decreases when your wheels are out of alignment. Every time your wheels hit a bump or pothole incorrectly, it throws your whole suspension off. Anytime your suspension is off, your wheels lose traction, causing them to expend more effort to get your vehicle from point A to point B. Because of this, your wheels use more gas to get your car where it needs to go.
3. Save Money on Auto Repair
Whether you are saving up for that new car or just sick of constant repair bills, properly aligned wheels will lessen the impact of hitting potholes, curbs and other bumps on the road. Proper alignment can help keep you on the road longer, allowing you to make that costly repair once your car is out of warranty instead of wasting your money on constant breakdowns.
4. Safety as a Result of Wheel Alignment
A misaligned wheel can also hurt your car’s handling and stability. When your wheels are not aligned properly, your car will not respond to the driver’s input, and it can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
When Should You Get Wheel Alignment?
Your alignment should be checked regularly, with the following intervals being the most recommended:
– Every 6 months or 6000 km
– After any major impact on the road
– After going through a car wash
– After installing new tires
– After replacing the suspension
– After lowering springs
– When the car has been in storage
Alignment is critical. It is one of the most neglected aspects of any car, and it’s surprising how many people don’t know that their wheels are out of alignment. Whether you are looking to increase the life of your tires or gas mileage, maintain your suspension and suspension parts, or look out for your safety, wheel alignment is an aspect that should not be overlooked.
If you need wheel maintenance service in Calgary, turn to Limitless Tires. We are a tire and wheel shop committed to providing quick and friendly service. Contact us today!