What are the symptoms of incorrect wheel alignment?
Wheel alignment problems can cause a variety of issues, which if not addressed, can lead to increased costs and decreased driver comfort.
The main symptoms of incorrect wheel alignment are one or more of the following:
Excessive wear to the inside, outside or both edges of the tyres
Feathering to the tread of the tyres
Steering wheel out of alignment
Vibration through the steering wheel
Excessive wear to wheel bearings
Increased fuel consumption
In many cases the symptoms can be hard to detect and go unnoticed.
The above symptoms could, however, be indications of faults that do not relate to alignment.
What causes wheel alignment issues?
Your vehicles wheel alignment can be affected by many factors. Probably the most common causes are potholes and impacts with kerbs.
If wheel alignment has been previously carried out by untrained technicians or on inferior or incorrectly calibrated equipment the alignment may have been set up wrong.
Problems also arise from bent or excessively worn suspension components.
What will be checked?
A wheel alignment report will measure three main things…
How parallel your vehicles wheels are in relation to one another from above.
Toe-In will cause wear to the outer edge of a tyre.
Toe-Out will cause wear to the inner edge of a tyre.
The angle of your vehicles wheels in relation to the road from above. This optimises handling.
Negative camber will cause wear to the inside edge of a tyre and wear suspension components.
Positive camber will cause wear to the outer edge of a tyre and wear suspension components.
The angle of the steering pivot from the side. Castor needs to be equal for straight-line stability and to reduce pressure in the steering.
Negative castor will cause instability at high speeds.
Positive camber will cause hard steering and excessive road shocks through the steering wheel.
How often should it be done?
We would recommend that the wheel alignment be checked every 10,000 miles or 12 months.
As an added bonus for our service customers, we carry out a free wheel alignment check with every service.