The wheels of every vehicle have alignment specifications such as camber, caster and toe. They help the vehicle to track straight unless steered to a desired direction.
Alignment check should be a routine as there are many reasons why a vehicle wheel can get misaligned. A misaligned wheel has consequences on safety, cost of maintenance and running, handling and ride comfort. This is why alignment check should be done routinely.
Causes of wheel misalignment
1. Driving over potholes.
2. Driving over bumps.
3. Driving over curbs.
4. Collision with other vehicles or objects.
5. Bad suspension components. Like struts, ball joints, tie rods, bushes and so on.
6. Improperly inflated tires.
7. Bad tires.
8. Faulty steering components.
9. Vehicle modifications such as lifting or fitting bigger or smaller rims/tires.
10. An overdue and undone alignment.
Symptoms of bad wheel alignment
There are signs that tell that a vehicle's wheel is misaligned. Attention should be paid to these signs to avoid jeopardizing safety and expensive repairs or replacements. Below are the signs:
1. Vehicle pulling to one side.
2. Uneven steering.
3. Loose steering.
4. Steering not returning to center.
5. Bumpy ride.
6. Car vibration.
7. Squealing when making turns.
8. Steering that is not centered.
9. Uneven tire wear.
10. Accelerated tire wear.
11. Poor handling.
12. Poor fuel economy.
Importance of regular wheel alignment
Below are the benefits of checking and performance tire alignment regularly.
1. Good vehicle handling
2. Good fuel efficiency.
3. Long lasting tires and suspension components.
5. Comfort when driving.