A perfect alignment of wheels is important for a smooth drive, and thus as a car owner, knowing the exact wheel balancing and alignment will be highly essential. When the wheels become unaligned, your car tyres will go in the wrong direction, which will affect your car suspension system and put your safety in question. In addition, it can also impact the durability of all car tyres. Usually, it is a complicated topic that covers a wide range of terms and plenty of car parts. In this blog, we have discussed all the details you should be aware of.
How do cars lose their wheel alignment?
A car can lose its wheel alignment in several ways. Remember that your car comes across a number of obstacles in the road during the drive, which cause a significant impact on different parts, especially the tyres.
Wheel alignment can be affected when:
- The car goes over potholes.
- The car hits the curb.
- The car bumps into parking stalls made of concrete.
- Rubber components lose their elasticity with time, resulting in the loosening of the ball and socket joints. As more time passes, the situation only worsens.
Remember that wear of tyres is not the only effect of an improper wheel alignment. It also affects ball joints, wheel bearings, and various suspension parts. So, whenever you notice these signs, do not waste a minute and take your car to the nearest car service in Perth.
What should you do to check if the wheel alignment is correct or not?
Check the steering wheel
One vital sign indicating an incorrect wheel alignment is the steering wheel being off-centre. You should check it when driving straight down a highway with your car tyres being completely straight. If you find the steering wheel off centre, you can become obvious of an alignment issue. Check whether you need to tilt your head to read the carmaker’s logo at the centre of the wheel.
Notice handling issues
Let us consider a real-life situation here. You are driving along the road and looking at the radio for a second to change the station. When you again look up, you see a narrow bridge right in front of you, and it may be surprising because you were not expecting it.
You may think for a while that your car is running on its own, but the true reason behind it is a wheel alignment issue. Handling issues like steering wheel play, instability in turns, drifting, constant steering adjustment, vibrations are clear signs of this problem.
Check your car tyres
Significant tyre wear is also another strong indication of a wheel alignment problem. If one side of the tyre tread gets worn more than the other or your 50000-mile tyres get severely damaged after going for only 25000 miles, you have to take your car to any car mechanic service that provides wheel alignment services.
Another major tyre sign that indicates a wheel alignment problem is the presence of sharp tooth-like projections on the tyre’s surface, which is usually smooth.
Consider camber alignment
When viewing the vehicle from the front, the inward or outward tyre angle is called camber. When there is too much outward tilt, it is known as positive camber. Negative camber occurs in the case of too much inward tilt. These two situations indicate the camber is not properly aligned. Different reasons behind improper camber alignment include worn ball joints, bearings, and other damaged suspension parts.
When the camber alignment is improper, the car tyre touches the pavement at an angle instead of the perfectly flat tread. If it happens, one side of the tread gets more damaged than the other. It results in uneven wear, poor handling, drifting, and diminished stopping ability.
The caster angle of a tyre contributes to stability, balancing steering, and cornering. It is the angle of the steering axis when the car is viewed from one side. If the steering axis is tilted toward the driver, it will be called a positive caster. Contrastingly, a negative caster means tilting of the steering axis toward the vehicle front.
Just like in the case of camber, both positive and negative casters result in tire wear. Improper caster also impacts the stability when you turn the car.
Check the toe setting
If the tyre fronts point outward or inward when the steering wheel is kept properly centred, it indicates an unaligned toe setting. Another sign of it is the presence of uneven wear across the tyre width. Improper toe adjustment also results in saw-toothed projections on the surface of the tyres. These projections can also be seen if the situation worsens, and this wear type is known as feathering.
When it happens, the car tyres constantly scrap sideways, and after running for a few thousand miles, the effect becomes more obvious.
Check for wheel balance
Does your car’s steering wheel vibrate without any valid reason? If so, it may be because the wheels are not in balance. In general, a small weight imbalance is present from one side to the other in every tyre and rim. When you drive, the wheel rotates, and the imbalance makes the tyres shake. You can feel it through your steering wheel.
Search for all the available auto care services nearby and take your car to the one that perfectly suits you. Auto mechanics can easily solve this balancing problem by adding minor wheel weights to the wheel assembly and tyre.
A car with bad wheel alignment will be a threat to the driver and the passengers and the other cars, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road. Wheel alignment service costs are relatively lower, and so we recommend getting it checked at least once a year or after every 10000 miles. Just type ‘wheel alignment near me‘ on your browser’s search bar and explore the results coming on the top. SAI Auto Care has provided top-rated services over the last few years. You can contact them and fix your appointment.