Proper wheel alignment is a critical aspect of vehicle maintenance. Many car owners often overlook it. However, it plays a significant role in giving a smooth and safe driving experience. In this article, I will dive deep into the insights of wheel alignment, its importance and benefits, signs of misalignment, and how to address the issues of misalignment.
So, what is wheel alignment? Wheel alignment refers to the adjustment of the suspension of the wheel. The wheel’s suspension is a critical system that connects the vehicle to its wheels. It is also known as tire alignment.
You know this process ensures that the tires are set to the manufacturer’s specifications. It allows them to make proper contact with the road. In simple words, proper wheel alignment means that the wheels are perpendicular to the ground and parallel.
Importance of Wheel Alignment:
Maintaining wheel alignment is important for safety, tire longevity, fuel efficiency, proper handling, and comfort of the vehicle. Misaligned wheels can lead to unstable steering, decreased control, and a higher risk of accidents. On the flip hand, adequately aligned wheels help you maintain control during emergency maneuvers.
Similarly, misaligned wheels can cause uneven tire wear. As a result, they need replacement prematurely, which costs you more money in the long run. But proper alignment extends the life of your tires. It saves your expenses by freeing you from the hassle of frequent replacements.
Misaligned wheels create additional resistance. This makes your vehicle work harder to move forward. So, this extra effort decreases fuel efficiency (it means you’ll spend more on gas than necessary). Contrarily, properly aligned wheels ensure your vehicle moves smoothly (saves your money at the pump).
Signs of Misalignment:
Detecting misaligned wheels is essential for timely correction. Let’s understand a few signs of misalignment of wheels:
What if you drive straight, and your steering wheel is slightly off-center? It’s a clear sign of misalignment. The vehicle will drift to one side, and the driver will try to compensate for this misalignment by holding the steering wheel at an angle.
Furthermore, inspect your tires regularly. Why is it important? If you notice that one treat of the tire is significantly more worn out than the others, it clearly indicates misalignment.
Also, when driving on a straight and level road, the vehicle should move in a straight line without drifting to the left or right. If it pulls to one side, it’s a clear-cut sign of misalignment.
Lastly, misalignment can cause vibrations or wobbling in the steering wheel. The drivers often feel it with their hands when their hands are on steering while driving.
Correcting the Misaligned Wheels:
When you notice any of the signs, as mentioned earlier, of misaligned wheels, it is important to keep wheel alignment corrected to avoid any mishap. Here’s what the wheel alignment in Watford entails:
First of all, take your car to a reputable auto repair shop or service center that has professional technicians. They’ll use specialized equipment to assess the wheel alignment. Secondly, the technician will perform an initial alignment check to find the current state of your wheels. Then, the technician will move forward toward the adjustment process if a misalignment is found.
So, the technician or mechanic will adjust to bring the wheels back into alignment. This involves adjusting the angles of the wheels, camber, caster, and toe. They’ll try their best to meet the specifications of the manufacturer.
After the adjustments, the technician will conduct a test drive to find if the vehicle handles correctly or not. If it does not pull to one side, the wheel alignment is done. Last but not least, the technician will conduct a final inspection test to confirm that the alignment is within the recommended specifications.