A wheel alignment is a car service procedure that significantly enhances the performance and longevity of your vehicle’s tires. Despite the smoothness and proper maintenance of the roads in Welland and its surrounding cities, it is important to align and balance your vehicle’s wheels. During the procedure, the correct setup of the suspension and steering parts are being measured and adjusted to the factory recommended settings.
Importance of Wheel Alignment
An accurate wheel alignment is critical to optimizing trade wear and performance from your tires. Regular wheel alignments are crucial investments that are often saving you money in the long run by preserving the longevity of your tires’ tread.
Indicators for Proper Alignment
Wheel alignments are considered routine preventative maintenance. How often you need an alignment depend on several factors.
Here are the key indicators:
- Check your tires frequently, and if you observe uneven tire wear, this could be a sign that your vehicle is out of alignment.
- Wheel alignment should often be checked whenever new tires or suspension alignments are being installed.
- Any time unusual tire patterns occur.
- When the vehicle has encountered a major road hazard or curb.
Causes of Out of Alignment Conditions
Out of alignment conditions occur when the suspension and steering systems are not operating at their desired angles. Most often, wear and tear on suspension parts will cause misalignment. It can also be the result of hitting a pothole or a curb. A change in ride height, lowered or raised on any vehicle regardless of age can cause misalignment.
Wheel Alignment and Balancing Procedure
Among the suspension settings that need to be measured and adjusted are Camber and Toe.
The Camber angle Identifies how far the car’s tires tilt inwards or away from vertical when viewed directly from the front or back of the vehicle. Camber is expressed in degrees.
- A positive camber setting tilts the tire away from the center of the vehicle.
- A negative camber setting tilts the tires inwards toward the center of the car.
The toe angle marks the exact direction that the tires are pointed when compared to the center line of the vehicle when viewed from above. A toe angle that is off its appropriate setting can quickly damage a tire.
Tire rotation is another service procedure that will be required to improve the performance and longevity of your vehicle’s tires. Regular rotation of your tires extends their useful life. This happens by repositioning them around the vehicle to compensate for the fact that each tire will naturally wear at varying rates.
Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for rotation recommendation. If no rotation is specified, the tire should be rotated every 5000 miles. The proper way to rotate your tires depends on the type of vehicle you drive and the tread pattern of your tires.
Sometimes front and rear tires use different pressures. Adjust front and rear pressures to the figures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual, then come to us for help.
Make wheel alignment and tire rotation a regular part of your maintenance!