The Importance Of Wheel Alignment In Winter

A lot goes into maintaining your vehicle to ensure optimal performance and safety. Among others, proper wheel alignment is one thing that plays a vital role, especially in winter. In fact, wheel alignment affects fuel efficiency, tyre wear, tyre performance, handling and manoeuvrability.

Tyre alignment is important for a vehicle’s steering response which leads to a common question, “When should I get a wheel alignment?” There is no right or wrong answer as all vehicles adhere to different service requirements. However, an expert technician at Elite Garages can help you determine if your vehicle needs a wheel alignment.

What Is Wheel Alignment? 

Vehicles rely on precision to function safely and at their best. Tyres and wheels can easily become misaligned as a result of road conditions, driving habits, hitting a speed bump, pavement or an accident. The front wheels are generally more susceptible although rear wheels can also experience issues with displacement. 

The wheel alignment process varies depending on the type of vehicle. For example, passenger vehicles with a modern four-wheel suspension will go through a different process than a delivery truck or a performance car.

Wheel alignment should only be performed by a licensed service technician at a professional repair centre that uses modern technology and equipment. These alignment technicians are certified by the automaker and have the necessary expertise and equipment for aligning tyres to the exact specifications.

Recommended: ‘Driving Habits That Could Damage Your Car

What Happens If Wheels Are Not Aligned?

Wheel alignment is important as it maximises the lifespan of tyres. Misaligned tyres are more susceptible to excessive tyre wear which can result in premature (and expensive) tyre replacement. Besides tyre wear, misaligned wheels and tyres can also put your safety at risk. Poor alignment means your car won’t handle properly which also affects your cornering ability.

In winter, this can become a serious concern for drivers, passengers and other road users, especially in icy and wet conditions. Drivers will also have to put in more effort and concentration when tyres are not aligned as the car will often veer off to one side. This can result in the driver becoming tired quicker which makes it unsafe for everyone.

Related: ‘Make Time For Winter: Advice To Motorists

Tyre Balancing And Wheel Alignment

In addition to wheel alignment, you also need tyre balancing as soon as you purchase and fit new tyres. Tyre balancing ensures that all your tyres are balanced with the wheel weights, ensuring each tyre runs correctly and smoothly. When there is an imbalance, the steering wheel will rock back and forth especially when driving at a certain speed.

When this happens to you, contact your nearest Elite Garages to fix the problem as soon as possible. It is important to balance your tyres as you will notice vibrations when they are not. These excessive vibrations often lead to more stress in the lower ball joints, axles and other essential parts. This can put additional stress on the parts which will lead to premature wear and unnecessary repair costs.

Important Tyre Advice: ‘6 Things About Your Tyre Tread You Should Know

When Should I Book A Wheel Alignment?

A great indicator of misaligned wheels or tyres is your steering wheel. As mentioned earlier, excess vibrations could be the first sign that something is not right. Unlike worn tyres, wheel alignment doesn’t show clear signs but there are a few things you should keep an eye on.

  • Vehicle pulls to one side when trying to drive in a straight line
  • Rapid or uneven tyre wear
  • The steering wheel is not centred when driving straight
  • Tyres that squeal

If you notice any of these issues, book a FREE wheel alignment check at Elite Garages. Our expert team of technicians will check your alignment and get you back on the road in no time at all.

Recommended: ‘Wheel And Tyre Damage Checks


Benefits Of Aligned Wheels And Tyres

Many motorists neglect to acknowledge the fact that poor wheel alignment can be detrimental to a vehicle’s performance and lifespan. If you regularly service your car, change tyres and book your annual MOT, why ignore wheel alignment? Here are five of the many reasons why you should always include wheel alignment in your maintenance schedule.

  • Improve the lifespan of your tyres
  • Better ride quality
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Reduced vehicle wear and tear
  • Reduced impact on the environment
Tyres, Alignment And Balancing At Elite Garages

Elite Garages regularly offer special deals on tyres coupled with valuable advice from our skilled technicians. Some of the leading tyre brands we stock are Avon, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin and Pirelli among others.

We are a family-owned business providing dealership quality services without the added costs. Our centres offer vehicle services for all makes and models, MOTs, tyres, shocks, brakes and vehicle safety checks to name a few. What’s more, is that we will never perform any work on your vehicle without your prior consent.

If you suspect anything is wrong with your wheel alignment, book a FREE check at any of our Elite Garages nationwide. And don’t underestimate the importance of a winter safety check to ensure that your car is ready for anything.