Wheel alignment, also known as wheel tracking, refers to the correct lining up of your wheels in order to have a controlled drive and long-lasting tyres. But if you’ve noticed that the grip on your tyres seems to be wearing down rather quickly and you don’t feel as though you have as much control over the vehicle, then your car could be suffering from wheel misalignment.
What are the signs?
Firstly, the most obvious sign of wheel misalignment is noticeable tyre wear, especially on the inside or outside of the tyre. The grip will be particularly worn down in these areas.
Secondly, you may notice that when driving, your car is pulling slightly to the left or right rather than driving straight, even when you’re driving on an even road surface.
What causes it?
Wheel misalignment most commonly occurs simply from every day driving and basic mishaps such as driving over railway crossings, hitting potholes on the road or mounting the kerb accidentally. This causes the suspension to gradually wear out, meaning the alignment is not in place so therefore the steering and springs will also worsen, contributing to misaligning the wheels further.
How often should you check the alignment?
If you begin to notice any of the signs then you should get it looked at straight away as these all indicate wheel misalignment, which if left unseen could pose a greater threat of an accident occurring.
Otherwise, you should have your vehicle regularly serviced annually anyway, or recommended after every 12,000 – 15,000 miles. This will check for things such as wheel alignment to make sure everything is in the correct working order.
How can I benefit from wheel alignment?
Essentially, misalignment reduces the safety of your vehicle, so having your tyres re-aligned will make sure the wheels are parallel to one another and correctly positioned to the road, giving even pressure to each tyre. This will enhance the driving performance as there is less strain on the cars suspension, increasing yours and your passengers overall safety.