Your vehicle’s wheels are one of the most important parts of your car. They are needed to get you safely from point A to point B, and we all know that they need replacing when the tread becomes worn. But what about in the meantime? Correct wheel alignment is needed to prolong the lifespan of your tires as well as ensure that your car handles safely and performs at peak levels. The impact of poor wheel alignment can be noticed throughout your car, so let’s take a closer look at this problem and how to resolve it.
In order to drive safely, your vehicle needs all of its integral parts and systems to be working correctly. When parts start to fail, or in the case of your wheels, become misaligned, then the overall safety of your car will be compromised. Your tires’ treads need to meet the road correctly to ensure adequate grip is achieved. Poor wheel alignment can inhibit this.
One of the most noticeable signs that drivers experience that indicates poor wheel alignment is a change in handling. A car with poorly aligned wheels will constantly try to pull to one side. Depending on the level of discrepancy, you may feel as though you constantly need to wrestle with your vehicle to keep it on the straight and narrow. This phenomenon can increase your risk of accidents while driving, as the added distraction can reduce your response time.
Incorrect wheel alignment can also have a detrimental impact upon the lifespan of your tires. This is because poor wheel alignment tilts your wheels so they make contact with the road at the wrong angle. This means that parts of the tire other than the tread gets worn down by the road, leading to faster wear and need for faster replacements.
Lastly, bad wheel alignment can have an impact on your engine and your vehicle’s overall performance. Your car’s wheels need to grip the road properly in order to supply the traction needed to accelerate. Without this happening, your vehicle’s engine has to work much harder to achieve acceleration, leading to a greater strain on your engine.
Your vehicle’s front set of wheels are more likely to become misaligned, though rear wheel alignment problems are not unheard of. The correct alignment for your vehicle will depend upon the age and model of your car. Old vehicles, for example, utilize a ‘wishbone’ suspension which requires different alignment settings than modern four-wheel or all-wheel suspension cars.
There are a variety of terms which mechanics use to describe the type of misalignment that your car is experiencing. Overall, there are 6 different types of misalignment which can be split into two groups, positive and negative. Positive misalignments, such as positive camber, toe in, and positive caster, describe alignment problems which involve the wheel tilting and pointing inwards, whereas negative camber, toe out, and negative caster indicate the wheel tilting or pointing outwards. Your mechanic will be able to identify the type of misalignment that your vehicle is dealing with.
Realigning your vehicle’s wheels needs to be carried out by a licensed technician. This is because the specifications for each vehicle are unique and correctly aligning the wheels relies on in-depth knowledge of suspension types. Your car’s wheel alignment should always be checked when a new set of wheels have been fitted, as this is a common time when alignment can get knocked off-kilter. The other leading cause of misalignment is minor collisions, such as bumping the curb or driving over a speed bump too fast. If you’ve experienced something like this, then you should get your wheel alignment checked.
Here at Rowlett Motorwerks, we care about cars, but more importantly, we care about those driving them. That’s why we’re dedicated to making sure the vehicles of Garland, Rockwall, Sachse, Rowlett, and Wylie, TX are at peak performance. We understand the pitfalls of bad wheel alignment, and can assess your car for alignment problems. We’ll make any adjustments needed quickly, meaning that you can go about your day with minimal interruption.
We want all our customers to become returning customers which is why we make sure you’ll always drive away happy with our 3-year/36,000 mile warranty. Call our friendly customer service team today to book your appointment.