Wheel alignment can often be misunderstood, as this service is not specifically to do with the wheels but more with the suspension of the vehicle. Hitting kerbs or driving over a pothole at speed can cause your wheels to become unaligned. If you find that your car is poorly aligned it could affect the control and the handling of the vehicle. It’s essential to take care of your car and have your wheel alignment checked every so often to keep yourself and others safe. Here, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about wheel alignments and the benefits.
About Wheel Alignments
There are a few things to watch out for that could suggest your car wheels may need realigning. Here are some of the more obvious symptoms your car may begin to experience.
- Your vehicle may begin to pull to one side
- Your tyres may appear to be more worn on one side
- The steering wheel may begin to vibrate
- When driving at low speeds, you may begin to hear a squealing sound
If you find that your car is experiencing any of the above, you can often notice a significant difference in the performance of your tyres and car overall. For more information on the way your car may be telling you that it’s time to get the wheels checked, take a look at this article from Car Treatments.
The Many Benefits Of Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment will make sure that all your tyres are pointing in the same direction. You can have all four wheels aligned or just the two front ones dependent on the severity of the problem. The process involves looking at the camber, toe and caster alignment, to ensure that every single part of your tyre is checked. There are many benefits to having your wheels aligned, so it’s well worth doing if you start to notice a problem.
Having your wheels aligned will maximise your fuel efficiency as your wheels are more likely to be working coherently with each other. If they are not aligned correctly, your car engine has to work a lot harder to move forward, meaning a reduction in the efficiency of the car. Your car will ultimately end up using more petrol or diesel to get around. Kwik fit even list wheel alignment as a way to improve the fuel efficiency of your car, because it can have such a positive impact.
Of course, one of the most critical reasons to have your car wheels aligned is the safety features it provides to your vehicle. It will allow you to stop safely in wet or icy conditions. The amount of tread on your vehicle will have a direct impact on the distance it takes to stop; in order for your car to do so, you need your wheels to be completely aligned. As an experienced car servicing centre in Milton Keynes, we always recommend that if you are having your tyres replaced to also ask for a wheel alignment. If you drive long distances on a long-term basis, you will need to ensure your car wheels are aligned every 12,000 miles.
We all know what it’s like when we get a new car, and the drive feels incredibly smooth compared to our last. With poor wheel alignment, you can experience your vehicle dragging to one side, meaning you are always adjusting your steering to compensate. You might also feel vibrations in your steering wheel; this can be due to your car wheel toe pointing inwards or outwards. This may be a symptom that happens gradually over time, and you may not initially be aware that your wheels are out of line. If you feel any of the symptoms mentioned, we recommend that you check with your local car garage to see if it’s your wheel alignment.
If you tend to drive down country roads to and from work, continuously going over potholes, over time your tyres can take a beating. Not only do you need to take care of your wheel alignment for a smoother ride, but this could also affect your suspension. This article from Home Tyre goes into more detail on the havoc that potholes can have on our wheel alignment. We recommend if you are taking this sort of trip, even if it’s a short journey to have your car suspension and tyres alignment checked every 12 months.
You will also find that when your wheels have been aligned properly, your car becomes more enjoyable to drive; meaning that turning corners and driving long distances is no longer an issue.
Increase tyre life
Dependent on your car make the price of your tyres can be relatively costly, and one of the most annoying things about having your tyres in the incorrect position is how often you’ll find yourself having to replace the tyres. We always say your tyres are one of the most essential components of your vehicle; they are the only part of the car that touches the road, so it’s vitally important that you take good care of your vehicle tyres. If you don’t have one already we always suggest having a tyre gauge in your car at all times, so you are ready to check the tyre pressure and tread. For the best tyre pressure gauge of 2017 give Car Buyer’s article a read by, clicking here. If your tyres are working in harmony, they will take you further without the need for replacement.
Increase wear and tear of car parts
Not only can having your car wheels poorly aligned effect the tyres, but also other car parts. Each time you hit a kerb, go over a deep pothole or a massive bump in the road, your steering and suspension systems both take a hit. With worn out tyres, your car is more likely to take the impact on areas more than it would if you have sufficient tyres. This then causes car parts to break down quicker than they usually would. If your wheels aren’t managed properly, you might find yourself in a predicament whereby you’re spending more money on your car than you would by simply having a four wheel alignment.
Why Bad Wheel Alignment Shouldn’t Be Ignored
As it is possible to carry on driving, despite bad wheel alignment, it can often be ignored and left to gradually get worse. While it may not seem like a big deal, leaving you wheels poorly aligned can actually be quite dangerous. The main issues have been touched on above and will cause severe complications if not dealt with immediately. By ignoring the problem, you’ll not only be putting the safety of yourself and your passengers at risk, but you could also be hit with a hefty bill once you do eventually take your vehicle into a garage. Leaving your wheels unaligned will put stress on other areas of your car and can often result in further damage occurring to your car.
We have touched slightly on how often you should get your wheels realigned, but it varies a lot depending on a number of factors; such as, the age of your car, if you have recently damaged your tyres, if you have had new tyres installed or your vehicle has wider tyres. Take a look at this article from Testing Autos for more information on all of these variations and how they affect your wheel alignment needs.
Have Your Wheels Checked Today
Here at Unit18 we always think it’s so important for you to take care of your car tyres, not only can it be costly to fix if any issues arise but it is also essential to the safety of yourself and other road users. If you would like more information on how to take care of your tyres, we suggest you read Michelin’s Top Tyre Care Tips.
Having a wheel alignment done on your vehicle will boost the overall performance of your car and the fuel efficiency. It takes less power to make your car move when your tyres are aligned and will cost you less at the petrol station. You will also notice you do not have to replace your tyres as often. Your journeys will become a lot smoother, with less dragging on one side. If your car is due a service or you are looking for somewhere providing an MOT in Milton Keynes, give our team a call and we’ll happily book you in and check your wheel alignment is at its best.