Tyres, wheels and suspension system make up the smooth movement components, and if any of them wears down or loses calibration, the vehicle handling gets disturbed. The wheels maintain the tyre’s structural integrity and also determine the steering control. Also, alloy or chrome wheels add to the vehicle’s aesthetic value. Wheels are also crucial for performance and safety, and they also determine a tyre’s form and condition.
Alignment refers to the wheel’s position on the axles, which is crucial for linear movement. When the alignment is disturbed for multiple reasons, the tyres start moving sideways, which causes treadwear. The damaged treads can hamper the corner steering stability, and the vehicle will start to skid and slide. Also, a disturbing motion will make the vehicle control difficult, and the steering will get hard.
Therefore, it is recommended that you take your car for alignment every 10000 km to ensure complete linear motion. Here is an article on everything you need to know about wheel alignment.
What disturbs the wheel alignment?
The patches and potholes present on the road are bad for the sidewalls and the wheel structure. Speeding over these potholes exerts a lot of pressure on the wheels, disturbs the alignment over time. Also, the speed-breakers present on the road are responsible for affecting the alignment. Sometimes, when a vehicle goes through complete refurbishment, the repair works on the front, and rear axles also disturb the wheel alignment, and it has to be adjusted accordingly.
How to tell if you need an alignment?
To ensure your tyre’s longevity, optimum performance and fuel efficiency, it is crucial to assess your condition and determine the right alignment. A proper Wheel Alignment Sutton in Ashfield will provide complete driving comfort and maximum handling support. Discussed below are some of the common symptoms of a disturbed alignment:
- Uneven tread wear: The common tread wear pattern due to the disturbed wheel alignment is toe wear. It means that when you look at the tyres from top to bottom, the tyre will look afoot. Just as our feet have a particular arrangement of fingers descending order, the tread wear will look the same.
- Unwarranted vehicle movement: If your vehicle seems to have an uncalled sideways motion, you need to see a professional. Usually, when the alignment is off, the vehicle starts moving in either left or direction; the sway is not huge but still noticeable. If the situation worsens, it can lead to collisions.
- Steering wheel discrepancies: When the wheels are adjusted at the wrong angles, the steering needs correction to maintain a centre motion. Therefore, if your steering is slightly tilted when driving on a straight path, you need to restore the wheel’s axle position. Similarly, you may also experience an unusual vibration in the steering, which is also a sure symptom of a disturbed wheel alignment.
What is checked during the alignment process?
There are three things that a professional checks when you report an off alignment. They are:
- Camber Misalignment: Camber is the angle of tyre adjustment when viewed from the front. Usually, the wheels are given a slight tilt for correction during acceleration or braking. But, when the alignment is off, the tilt becomes either positive or negative. If the tyres make an outward angle, it is called a positive tilt, and if the tyre makes an inward angle, it is called a negative tilt. Too much positive or negative tilt points towards disturbed alignment, and wheels are adjusted accordingly.
- Toe misalignment: Toe misalignment is the exact opposite of the camber. It refers to the tyre’s positive or negative tilt when viewed from the top.
- Caster: Caster refers to the steering misalignment. When viewed from the side, the steering axis must be balanced at the centre. But, if the axis is tilted towards the driver, it is called positive tilt, and if it is away from the driver, it is called negative tilt.