The Importance of Checking Your Wheel Alignment: The Key To Staying On Track
Anyone who drives a car will know that regular maintenance plays a key role in the overall efficiency and safety of the vehicle. Experienced drivers can usually detect any small changes in the way their vehicle behaves. However, while you may know that there is a problem, you might not really be able to identify exactly where the problem lies.
Has there been a time when you felt that you had to clutch the steering wheel a little more firmly and steer a little harder than usual? Do you feel a wobble in the movement of your car? Or do you find that your vehicle drifts in any one particular direction despite you being on a smooth road? Do you feel that your brakes don’t operate as effectively as they should?
Any or all of these symptoms could point to wheel misalignment.
What Causes Wheels To Become Misaligned?
The suspension of your car works on a set of measurements that have been very precisely calculated. These measurements are responsible for proper wheel alignment and any hard jolt or accident or just driving along a rough road on a regular basis can result in misalignment.
Pothole-riddled roads, bad weather and difficult road conditions – all of these play havoc with your car wheels. Sometimes, driving accidentally into a boulder or even the curb very forcefully can damage the wheel alignment. If you find that any of your tyres are “balding” in any one spot or along one side, their alignment will have to be checked and rectified immediately.
Why Is Wheel Alignment So Important?
Your car is a fine-tuned machine and the performance of every part is closely linked to every other part of the vehicle. The steering linkage and the suspension are directly connected to the axel and any misalignment that is not rectified immediately will lead to worn out, dislocated or damaged parts. If you have identified that the tyres need to be aligned, get a trained mechanic to do a thorough check on the rest of the car as well.
Pay special attention to the suspension and steering link and have them replaced even before you get the wheels realigned. The slightest of handling or steering problems should be attended to immediately as it can save you additional expense later. It doesn’t take more than a small misalignment to create multiple problems with your car. Rubber parts can wear out faster, the friction caused between metal components can lead to them becoming eroded – resulting in the loosening of nuts and bolts. Improper wheel alignment can have a negative impact on the overall performance of the car and cost you a lot of money.
The distinct benefits of wheel alignment include:
The careening economy and steep petrol prices have everyone looking for more fuel- efficient cars and methods of cutting down on fuel consumption. Getting your wheels aligned on a regular basis will help reduce the resistance in rolling thus increasing your gas mileage. Keeping the tyres inflated properly helps in maintaining alignment too.
Reduced Tyre Wear
When your tyres wear out prematurely, a trip to your tyre retailers can be a costly affair. Uneven and excessive tyre wear will mean that you will have to replace them more often, which will increase the running costs of your vehicle. A timely wheel alignment can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Improved Car Handling
When you buy an expensive car, you do so specifically for the driving comfort it provides you. Shimmying or vibrations and drag can mar your driving experience and you are sure to experience “wandering” and “looseness” while you are on the road. Wheel alignment can correct all these symptoms and ensure that you get the smooth ride you want from your vehicle. Shock absorbency is also improved as there are fewer jerks.
Another notable benefit of wheel alignment is that it assures you of optimum traction and handling. This is a critical safety factor. This aspect of driving is called Camber and is what keeps the tire treads in full contact with the tarmac. Tyres that lean either in or out can lead to reduced traction and cornering ability as well as reducing the tread life of tyres. Camber can affect the braking mechanism as well. An improvement in the control and handling of your vehicle helps in preventing or avoiding accidents.
Wheel alignment is a critical part of car maintenance and regular checks can save you a lot of unnecessary trouble and expense.
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p. 03 6265 2422
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