How to Check Wheel Alignment

When it comes to our vehicles, the wheel alignment is more important than most people are willing to admit, and can affect everything from petrol mileage to tyre life. It is crucial to the longevity of your vehicle to have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000km. However, just because it is important you won't have to go running to the mechanic, as there are ways you can check your alignment yourself, allowing you to keep an eye on your alignment so there is no doubt when it is time to have it looked at by the professionals.

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What Is Wheel Alignment?

The term wheel alignment doesn't actually refer to the wheels, but more the suspension. As a result of normal driving, parts of your vehicle's suspension experience wear and become less effective. When the highly calibrated components of your suspension become misaligned it can cause your wheels to sit at improper angles and driving is affected.

Signs You Need a Wheel Alignment

If you are trying to avoid paying for a trip to the garage you can check your alignment on your own. Firstly, it is important to be aware of the signs. Check your tyres for uneven wear, and consider whether you feel the car pulling to the left or the right. If any of these points ring true, or if you notice your steering wheel is not straight even when you are driving straight, chances are you'll need a wheel alignment.

The Alignment Process

When you do take you vehicle in for a wheel alignment your car will undergo an elaborate process. The mechanic will reconfigure your car's suspension so that the wheels are properly aligned with each other, and the road. This process should only be done by certified mechanics with the proper machinery.

Newer alignment machines have clamp-like devices that attach to the wheels of the car and link to a computer that is used to make extremely precise measurements. While the vehicle is hoisted in the air the mechanic will look over the undercarriage of your car, looking for signs of wear or broken parts that need replacing. The measurements dictated by the machine determine the perfect positioning for the wheels in order to encourage even wear of the tyres and minimal resistance.

A Wise Investment

A wheel alignment is relatively cheap as far as car repairs are concerned. For only an hour or two worth of labour you can have your wheel alignment done and save yourself from what could be more costly repairs and the replacement of worn tyres unnecessarily, which can be quite costly when the price of one tyre is often comparable to the cost of having the wheel alignment completed.

It is important to keep up with your alignment checks and servicing, as alignment issues have many negative effects on your vehicle when not taken care of properly. A well aligned vehicle will not only be less wear and tear on the tyres, and afford you better petrol consumption but will allow you safer handling and driving.

If you think it may be time to have your alignment reviewed by a professional, or you need some advice on any aspect of your alignment, then why not call Wheel Power Alignment today for professional help!