Wheel Alignments and When to Check It
Your wheels are a vital part of your car’s everyday safety, so it’s important to make sure that they’re properly aligned with each other and the road. Tyres that are out of alignment can wear unevenly which will impact their condition and longevity. Uneven wear on your tyres can also impact the handling of your vehicle. A wheel alignment will help ensure that your handling is smooth and predictable, while improving fuel efficiency.
During this service, a mechanic will first assess the relative alignment of each of your tyres and then will adjust the suspension slightly to make sure that they’re all vertically aligned with the road. As a general rule, your wheel alignment services should be performed after every 10,000km or every six months – whichever comes first.
General wear and tear isn’t the only factor that causes wheel misalignment. Your wheels are more likely to require re-aligning if they’ve been jarred or slightly damaged during the course of your regular driving. Hitting a pothole or mounting a curb can often be enough to warrant a wheel alignment.
There are several signs to look out for which may indicate your wheels are misaligned, including:
- Your car is pulling more to the right or to the left,
- Your tyres are wearing out unevenly,
- Your steering wheel is vibrating more than usual,
- Your handling feels loose,
If you notice any or all of these signs, then it may be time to consult your mechanic about having your wheel and tyre alignment checked.
How Do I Get My Wheels Aligned?
A wheel alignment is a very specific procedure involving lots of small adjustments and measurements. Because your wheels are so important to your car’s safety, it’s recommended that only a trained mechanic perform this procedure.
To perform the wheel alignment, your mechanic will take four main measurements to determine how much the suspension needs to be adjusted. They are:
- Camber: the inward/outward angle of the tyres when viewed from the front of the car.
- Toe: the inward/outward angle of the tyres when viewed from above the car.
- Caster: the tilt of the steering axis when viewed from the side of the car.
- Thrust: the position of the rear axle in relation to the vehicle’s centreline.
How Much Does it Cost to Get My Wheels Aligned?
Wheel alignment costs are slightly different for each model of vehicle. As a general rule, smaller cars will cost a little bit less to realign, and a bigger or more luxury vehicle will cost a little bit more due to the size and complexity of the operation.
If your car has never had a wheel alignment, or you’ve noticed something is off with your steering, then don’t hesitate to give the friendly team at Hi-Mech Auto Solutions a call on (07) 7517 0121. Or, fill out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.