Your cars wheel alignment affects a few things including the handling of the car. Therefore, it should be considered a vital maintenance service. Although aligning the cars wheels is a simple process it does require a suspension technician to ensure that the alignment is set and adjusted to the correct specifications.
There may be several prompts to indicate that you need a wheel alignment, and these may include the car pulling to one side. Others can include your steering wheel not being centered and/or your tyres wearing unevenly. It is highly recommended that you take your car in for a wheel alignment every 6 months or 10,000kms. Just like most engine service requirements, this should not be overlooked. Also, should you hit a gutter or pothole it is recommended that you get a wheel alignment and check as it tends to throw out your wheel alignment. Even more so if you do happen to be in an accident no matter how minor.
What is a Wheel Alignment?
A wheel alignment is the measurement and adjustment of your cars steering and suspension angles. This ensures the wheels are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. This keeps all four wheels working together to ensure maximum contact with the road.
A wheel alignment includes camber, caster and toe angle adjustments.
What is Caster?
Caster angle is about ensuring the right balance for steering stability and cornering. This steering angle can be viewed from the side of the vehicle. Positive caster tilts towards the driver and negative caster tilts towards the front of the car. Caster angle is only relevant to the front of the vehicle.
What is Camber?
Camber is the inward or outward angle of the top of the cars tyre as viewed from the front of the car. Too much tilt either way is referred to as negative or positive camber and this can indicate improper alignment. Some components that can affect the camber are worn bearings, ball joints or other wheel suspension parts.
What is the Toe angle?
Toe angle is commonly the most needed adjustment for all cars, this angle is the straight-ahead position of the tyres. Just like when you walk, if you were walking perfectly straight you would have zero toe, but if your feet were pointed in it would be toe-in and if your feet were pointed out it would be toe-out. This angle is in both the front and the rear of the car. When the cars toe is in or out at higher speeds it can cause instability and tyre wear due to the car fighting against the excessive angle of the tyres.
Why do I need a Wheel Alignment?
With a regular wheel alignment, you reduce the strain on the car, increase the cars safety, fuel efficiency and tyre life. A lot of people are not aware that the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as braking assist, stability control, lane departure warning and more can be affected by your wheels being misaligned.
If it has been awhile since you got a wheel alignment for your car or if you are unsure whether you need one contact your local Fulcrum Suspensions store and talk to one of our suspension technicians today to get your wheels pointing straight!
How do you know if you need a Wheel Alignment?
- Uneven or excessive steering pull
- Vehicle is pulling to left or right
- Brakes are slow to repond or activating unevenly
- Off centre steering wheel control
- Loud vibrations while driving
- Increased Braking distance
- Excessive or uneven tyre wear
- Your vehcile is difficult to control and steer
How much does a Wheel Alignment cost?
Front Wheel Alignment: $60. Full Front & Rear Wheel Alignment: $120. 4x4 Wheel Alignment (Non Shim): $80 We will review all four corners of your car to give you the perfect wheel alignment. We also include a free suspension check in our whee alignment service. We will go over you cars suspension, checking over 100 points of your vehciles suspension and give you a full report on our findings.