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Poor wheel alignment is one of the main reasons for premature tyre wear. But it’s not only the front wheels to worry about- rear wheels can be out of alignment too.
As well as better fuel economy and smoother handling, correct wheel alignment will reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle and extend the life of your tyres. With all four wheels correctly aligned, your car will be safer on the road and easier on your pocket.
Signs of incorrect alignment
Wheel alignment should always be checked by an expert. Symptoms of incorrect alignment can be hard to detect but can include your car pulling to one side when you’re driving, or irregular wear appearing across the width of your tyres. The irregular wear is caused by the tyres not running correctly relative to the road surface.
What causes incorrect alignment?
Wheel alignment can be affected by hitting the kurb or a large pothole in the road or travelling regularly on gravel roads. If alignment in out, it can cause excessive wear to your tyres and problems with steering or suspension.
Wheel alignment can be measured in 3 ways:
1) Toe – looks at how parallel the wheels are in relation to one another when viewed from above, toe in/out causes excessive tyre wear.
2) Camber – is the angle of the wheel in comparison to the road, when viewed from the front. Correcting the camber ensures your tyres are vertical to the road, to optimise the handling of your car.
3) Caster – looks at the angle of steering pivot when viewed from the side of the vehicle. Although adjustment on some cars is limited and caster settings don’t cause excessive wear on your tyres, it’s important to ensure the caster is equal on both sides of the car to avoid any problems with straight line stability and reduce the pressure on steering.