Today’s new cars are designed to have all features to give a smooth, gentle ride for the comfort of the driver and the passengers. In case if your car isn’t offering the same comfort that it used to give you and if it is rattling, shuddering and vibrating along the road, then it is the indicator that your car may need a wheel alignment.
Many of us often don’t realize the importance of proper wheel alignment on the cars. We usually tend to think that nothing much happens to the tyres other than an occasional puncture.
What is wheel alignment? Is it really a necessary service?
Wheel alignment is a part of standard maintenance which consists of the adjustment of the relative angles of the tyres so that they are set to the manufacturer’s optimal requirement.
Wheel alignment not only averts the vehicle from pulling to one side or the other, it also considerably improves the life of the tyres, It also enhances braking performance and it significantly improves fuel economy, because It makes sure that the wheels and tyres are in a straight line, or they are, in other words “aligned” with each other.
When all four wheels are properly aligned, the tyres as a result work simultaneously more effectively.
Disadvantages of nonalignment
When the wheels of the car are not aligned properly it put uneven pressure on the tyres. They as a result tend to push against each other. This results in uneven friction and resistance from the road surface.
This friction and resistance make the car to work that much harder to move it forward with more burning of fuel than normal. Moreover more resistance to the road surface means more pressure on the rubber of your tires.
That ultimately leads to very swift wear and tear on the tyres. Tyres become bald on one side. And this situation makes the tyres uneven which are not only dangerous to drive on uneven tyres but also it’s a clear indication that you have to spend on new tyres sooner.
Poor alignment can also cause your tires to wear out prematurely. Due to faulty wheel alignment car pulls itself to one side all the time. With badly aligned wheels, risk of accidents increases.
Is it worth having an accident and endangering the lives of loved ones? Of course not, surely get a peace of mind with properly aligned wheels you will want.
Improper wheel alignments or not having your wheels aligned also affect the suspension of the car. Changing the suspension could outlay an awful lot.
What should we do?
Wheels should be regularly aligned, and it is advisable that they should be done as often as we get the car serviced. The vast majority of vehicles which run on the road today require either front wheel alignment or four wheel alignment.
Front Wheel Alignment mainly focuses on adjusting and aligning only the two front wheels/tyres, while on the other hand, Four Wheel Alignment addresses the alignment of all the four wheels/tyres.
Though most front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles only need Front Wheel Alignment, but it would be good idea on the side of caution of getting all four tyres aligned.
In most situations, a quick checking of the static alignment measurements will confirm whether Four Wheel Alignment is needed or not.
Caster, camber and toe are the names of three main angles which are measured and corrected during wheel alignments. These three terms are used to describe the technicians how the tyres are placed on the vehicle.
Observe Safety and Save
Wheel alignment becomes necessary when steering is pointing straight forward and the car veers to the right or left and one tyre is worn more than another. Maintaining proper alignment is essential to preserving both your car’s safety and its tread life.
Wheel alignments guarantee that all four wheels are consistent with each other and they are optimized for utmost contact with the surface of the road.
Wheels should be get aligned once every 6000 miles or 6 months, whichever is earlier, If something large enough hit the vehicle it can cause alignment issue then wheels should also get aligned.
Vehicle wheel alignment should be inspected before a long highway trip whenever the vehicle “pulls” or drifts to one side, or if the steering wheel is off-center.
There are many other factors which contribute like road conditions, driving habits, and the wear and condition of steering and suspension components all impact how fast the wheel alignment can change.
In Pakistan roads are normally riddled with potholes and uneven pavement, that results in vehicle’s tie-rod ends, ball joints and upper control arms either wear out or fall out of adjustment.
As a recommendation when you go for your vehicle’s service (oil change, tire rotation, etc.) this can be the perfect time to have the wheel alignment inspected. If your vehicle only calls for a Front Wheel Alignment, be sure to only pay for that service. You should not have to pay for a Four Wheel Alignment. If your car is properly aligned, you will experience a gentler, safer ride that can save from the harm of investment you will have to make on your tyres as well as with proper alignment your gas mileage improves.