Your car should drive in a straight line when you want it to. To do this, you need the wheels all pointing in the same direction. Often you’ll find your car pulling to one side, this is a sign that your tyre alignment needs a check.
Your wheel alignment means that your car will go where the steering wheel tells it to. If it isn’t, you have an alignment problem and at high speeds you could be in serious danger.
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What is a wheel alignment?
Your wheel alignment is a lot more involved and technical than you think. In order to get the wheels all pointing in the same direction there’s plenty of parts that need adjusting.
There’s a whole bunch of technical jargon that is better outlined here. If you want the deep dive on wheel alignments, that’s the place to be.
In basic terms, your car needs the camber, toe, caster, and thrust to all be working together. This will mean the car turns and drives as it should.
A wheel alignment requires adjusting things like tie rods, ball joints, hub mounts, trailing arms and various other suspension components.
It positions the wheels in parallel, keeping it comfortable and driving straight. An alignment is also great for handling. You’d be surprised to know that your wheels aren’t supposed to be perfectly perpendicular to the ground. The camber is adjusted to ensure maximum contact with the road.
Why do you need a wheel alignment?
A bad wheel alignment, at best will give you expensive tyre wear and annoying vibrations. At worst, it’ll get you into an accident.
Tyres are really expensive and uneven wear can kill your wallet. The vibrations can kill the connected parts, and seriously speed up wear and tear.
Your wheel alignment should be done whenever your tyres are replaced. If anything comes up in-between tyre changes, it could mean a integral part of the suspension needs replacing.