Wheel alignment is a vital part of a car or vehicle maintenance that helps to keep it running at its best performance. Wheel alignment is the process of precisely adjusting the angles of your car’s wheels to drive straight and true, with minimal vibration and even tire wear.
This article takes a more detailed look at wheel alignment, explains why it’s important, and outlines the key components that make up a well-aligned vehicle.
What Is Wheel Alignment?
Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles at which the tires meet the road. A number of factors, such as uneven wear, changes in road surfaces, or tire changes, can cause misalignment. Wheel alignment can help maintain the handling and steering precision and improve the life of tires. It also helps improve fuel efficiency.
There are three main types of wheel alignments: toe, camber, and caster. Toe refers to the tires’ angle compared to each other, while camber is the angle of the tire compared to the road surface. The caster is the wheels’ angle in relation to the steering axis.
Why Is It Important?
Having your wheels aligned helps ensure the best handling and driving performance. It also reduces wear and tear on your tires so that they last longer and maintain their grip on the road. Without proper wheel alignment, your car will start to pull to one side, resulting in a vehicle that is more difficult to drive and control. Additionally, having your wheels misaligned can result in increased fuel consumption due to your car’s lack of balance and efficiency.
In addition, wheel alignment is vital to a vehicle’s overall safety. Misalignment can decrease the car’s ability to stop and turn as quickly, putting yourself and other road users at risk. Wheel alignment is crucial in keeping your vehicle roadworthy and safe for driving.
The Components of Wheel Alignment
- Toe Alignment: The toe alignment of the tires is the angle of where they point relative to the car’s center line. It’s usually adjusted to ensure each tire points straight ahead and parallel with the other, similar to a train on a track.
- Camber Alignment: This refers to the inward or outward angle of the wheels compared to the road surface. It affects the steering and stability and should be adjusted to match the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Caster Alignment: This is the angle of the wheels when viewed from the side. It affects the steering stability and should be adjusted to match the manufacturer’s specifications.
When Should I Align My Wheels?
It’s recommended that you get your wheels aligned every 6,000-8,000 miles or every other tire change. If you notice that your wheels may be out of alignment, such as uneven tire wear or your car pulling to one side, it’s best to get your wheels checked and, if necessary, aligned.
Wheel alignment is an essential part of regular vehicle maintenance that can help to reduce wear and tear on tires, improve handling and make the car or vehicle safer to drive. Take the time to understand the basics of wheel alignment and have the wheels aligned by an auto repair center whenever necessary.
Hoover Automotive provides professional wheel alignment services to ensure your car runs at its best. Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians can provide you with the best wheel alignment service in Hoover, AL. Call 205-587-4888 to schedule an appointment!