Our Guide to Testing Your Wheel Alignment
Proper wheel alignment keeps your car running smoothly and safely while you’re on the road. There are a number of reasons why your wheels could become misaligned and a few ways to check the issue. In this article, we’re exploring why it’s important to check your wheel alignment and the easiest ways to get this done!
When to Check Your Vehicle’s Alignment
It’s important to check your vehicle’s wheel alignment if:
- You’ve hit something in your car, even just the gutter
- You’ve noticed uneven or abnormal wear on your tyres
- Your vehicle is pulling or drifting to the side
- It’s difficult to return your steering wheel to position after turning
- The steering wheel is at an angle when driving in a straight line
- You’ve just bought a new set of tyres
- You’ve lowered your car
- It’s time to replace the suspension or steering parts
Issues with Your Car’s Toe-In
Car manufacturers intentionally make the front tyres slightly pigeon-toed to place pressure on the wheel bearings. A toe problem can usually be spotted by an equal, saw-tooth wear pattern on the front tyres. Your mechanic will be able to test this and assess if there is an alignment issue.
Problems with Camber
Camber is the term for measuring the degree of tyre lean. If the top of the tyre is tilting inwards, your car has negative camber, and outward lean means positive camber. Modern vehicles are manufactured with slight negative camber to improve their handling and safety.
If your car is pulling to one side, or you’ve noticed uneven wear across your tyres, you may have camber problems. These issues are simple to check and easy to fix, so tell your mechanic what you’ve noticed and they’ll take care of it quickly.
Signs of Caster Issues
Caster is the angle of steering pivot in degrees. Most vehicles have a slightly negative caster, similar to how water-skiers lean backwards to improve their stability. If your steering feels heavy or your wheels are hopping over bumps, you may have too much positive caster. On the other hand, if your steering is too light or you experience excessive wander, you may have too much negative caster.
Taking Care of Your Tyre Alignment
Taking the time to check your alignment will ensure your tyres have a long and healthy life while reducing excessive wear and tear on your vehicle. You’ll have a safer, more comfortable driving experience when your tyre alignment is in check.