Wheel Alignment – Proper Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of a vehicle’s wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. These adjustments will ensure maximum tire performance and balanced vehicle movement. Misalignment of your wheels can lead to irregular tire wear and will have a major effect on the safety of your vehicle. The wheels on your vehicle need to be realigned because of the wear and tear caused by rough driving, steering and bumps in the road. It’s important to have your wheels aligned according to the specific requirements of your vehicle in order to gain optimal performance. You can find the automaker-recommended alignment schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual or by contacting your local auto dealership.
Wheel alignment-sometimes referred to as tracking-is the process of correcting the direction and angle of wheels according to the auto manufacturers’ specifications. The different kinds of alignments are known as toe in, toe out, positive caster, negative caster, positive camber, and negative camber. Toe indicates the distance between the front of the tires as compared to the distance between the rear of the tires. In short, toe in means the fronts of the tires are angled toward each other. Toe out means that the fronts of the tires are angled away from each other. Caster is the angle of the steering pivot, measured in degrees, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. Put another way, the caster is the angle of the axis around which a tire rotates as it turns. Camber is the inward or outward tilt of a tire. The exact specifications for these components of wheel alignment can vary by vehicle and are determined by auto manufacturers. That’s why it’s important to have your vehicle serviced by automaker-certified technicians like those at auto dealerships.
Importance of Wheel Alignment
It’s always better to drive a car that has wheels that have been correctly aligned. The wheels will be angled in the way that plays to the intended performance of your vehicle. For example, sports cars generally have a different kind of alignment than passenger vehicles.
The alignment of wheels affects the durability and functionality of tires. Wheels that are badly aligned will put extra stress on tires, making them wear out at a faster rate.
Tire alignment also influences gas mileage. When driving a vehicle, the contact between the pavement and the car results in friction that puts added strain on the engine of the car. Wheels that are not aligned properly will lead to a higher degree of friction between the surface of the road and the car tires. In other words, if your wheels are misaligned, your engine has to work harder, which makes it less fuel efficient.
The Process of Wheel Alignment
Aligning car wheels is part of the regular maintenance process. If carried out correctly, alignment will significantly benefit your vehicle’s performance in the long run. Your car tires will last longer and remain in good shape. It is also important to maintain correct alignment of wheels to avoid any sort of accidents or other risky situations on the road.
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