Many of us do not realise the importance of proper wheel alignment on our cars. We tend to think that nothing much happens to our tyres other than an occasional puncture. It is very important that we regularly get our wheels aligned, and some say it should be done as often as we get the car serviced.
Wheel alignment is making sure that the wheels of the car are perpendicular to the road: also, it makes sure that the wheels are parallel to one another.
When the wheels of your car are not aligned there is uneven pressure on the tyres. They tend to push against each other. When that happens the car faces uneven friction and much more resistance from the road surface. This means that your car has to work that much harder to move forward and more fuel is burned than normal.
When you align the wheels properly there is much less resistance from the road surface. This results in not only a smoother drive but sometimes noticeable savings on your fuel cost.
Compare the cost of brand new tyres to the small amount spent on getting your tyres aligned.
More resistance to the road surface means more pressure on the rubber of your tyres. This leads to wear and tear on your tyres. It can result in the tyre becoming bald on one side. This means the tyres are uneven. Not only is it dangerous to drive on uneven tyres, it also means that you have to spend on new tyres.
Have you ever driven a car which pulls itself to one side all the time? This is due to faulty wheel alignment. You probably know how difficult it is to drive on wet or icy roads even with perfectly aligned wheels. With badly aligned wheels, you are taking unnecessary risk. For £54 (inc VAT) spent once in a while getting your wheels aligned can bring you peace of mind.
Having a car with badly aligned wheels can also lead to other connected problems.
If you find that when your steering is pointing straight ahead and the car veers to the right or left, that is an indicator of a necessary wheel alignment. Another indicator is when you find that one tyre is more worn than another.
The rule of thumb is that you should get your wheels aligned once every 6000 miles or 6 months, whichever is earlier. You should also get your wheels aligned if you hit something large enough to cause alignment issues.
NOTE: Wheel alignment IS NOT the same as wheel balancing.
Wheel balancing is simply adjusting the balance between the tyre and the rim.
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