Wheel alignment

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Wheel alignment, or tracking, is the process of ensuring that the wheels on your vehicle are set to the optimum position according to the car manufacturer’s specifications. Front and rear alignment issues are mostly corrected within 30 minutes but it often depends on the severity of misalignment. At Elite Garages we offer our customers a FREE vehicle check and will provide you with a detailed print-out of the results. If it indicates that your wheels need alignment, we can do it for you on the same day.

Why is wheel alignment important?

Regularly checking the wheel alignment on your car can extend the life of your tyres by up to 12,000 miles. Correctly adjusting wheel alignment can also increase fuel efficiency and fix any potential steering and suspension problems. Doing it often, and at a reputable centre, wheel alignment can also help increase your vehicle’s stability. Incorrect alignment can result in rapid, uneven tyre wear and can even affect the handling and safety of your vehicle. Look for any unusual, premature wear on your tyres on the inside or outside shoulder. This could be the first sign of incorrect alignment.

What causes misalignment?

When you hit a kerb or drive relatively fast over a pothole, and even speed bumps, could result in misalignment. Of course, the more severe circumstances include accidents where you actually knock your vehicle’s suspension out of alignment. Remember that any wear on suspension parts are also a common cause for wheel misalignment.

How often should I check my wheel alignment?

While wheel alignment checks should be done at least every 6 months or 6,000 miles, you should get it looked at immediately when you’ve hit a kerb or been in an accident. Incorrect alignment almost certainly leads to uneven tread wear which means you will have to replace your tyres sooner than is actually required.

Understanding wheel alignment

Wheel alignment involves checking the direction and angle of your wheels. The misaligned positions are often referred to as toe in, toe out, positive camber or negative camber. “Toe” is the difference in distance between the front and back of the tyres. Toe-in means that the front of the tyres are closer to each other than the rear and toe-out is exactly the opposite. Incorrect toe alignment can result in your vehicle steering to one side. “Camber” is the angle of the wheel measured in degrees and involves the inward or outward tilt of a tyre. If the top of the wheel leans out from the centre of the car, the camber is positive; if it’s leaning in, then the camber is negative. If the camber is too far negative, for example, your tyres will wear on the inside of the tread. All of our branches offer a FREE Vehicle Check with expert technicians ready to assist in any way they can.

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