Everything you need to know about wheel alignments

Everything you need to know about wheel alignments

What is a wheel alignment?

Aligning a vehicle’s wheels is a complex job which involves taking specific measurements and making adjustments to the wheels on your car so that they run perfectly parallel to each other and in line with the surface of the road.

  

Why do wheels need such precise aligning?

When one wheel is inclined even the slightest little bit to the right while the other three are facing straight ahead this creates ‘pull’ from that wheel. This creates uneven tyre wear and affects both your suspension and your steering and therefore the overall safety of your vehicle. Badly aligned tyres can have a serious effect on your ability to steer your car –including extreme cases where it could be difficult to control your car altogether. Nobody wants to have difficulty steering around city corners, but this could be seriously dangerous if you face an emergency situation like having to brake or swerve suddenly to avoid an accident on the road.

  

What cause my tyres to go out of alignment?

There are plenty of things which ‘undo’ your wheel alignment. Potholes, rough roads and driving, basic wear and tear, speed bumps or hitting the curb when you park can all affect your cars

  

How do I know when my car needs a wheel alignment?

When your tyres go out of alignment you will observe things like pulling to one side, or possibly your car might feel as though it is swerving side to side, your steering wheel could feel out of balance or your tyres start wearing down unevenly. The majority of the time the decline of your wheel alignment happens so gradually you don’t even notice the way your car drives has changed – but you will certainly notice the sudden improvement once your tyres get properly aligned.

 

Regular wheel alignments provide safe, predictable vehicle control

Your wheel alignment is one of the key maintenance factors to ensure that you get the most economy and performance out of your tyres.

Regular wheel alignments provide safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a smooth and comfortable ride free of pulling or vibration, and improved mileage. Today’s modern suspensions require precise wheel alignments that can only be achieved through a modern alignment system. This applies to both front and rear wheel drive vehicles.

 

Thrust Alignment – Passenger & 4WD vehicles

Aligning the front wheels to the vehicle’s thrust line provides a significant improvement to the cars alignment.

In the thrust line method, rear individual toe is measured (but not adjusted). The thrust line created by the rear wheels is used as a reference for aligning the front wheels. As a result, the operator is assured of a straight steering wheel as the vehicle moves straight ahead.

 

Total Four-Wheel Alignment

Total four-wheel alignment is the ultimate wheel alignment service. Individual rear toe is measured, and then adjusted to the factory specifications. This adjustment brings the thrust line of the rear wheels line with the vehicle’s centreline.

The front wheels are then aligned to the identical centreline/thrust line.

A total four-wheel alignment results in all four wheels being parallel and the steering wheel and steering geometry being centred as the vehicle moves in a straight line.

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