What is wheel alignment & tracking?

May 24, 2022
What is wheel alignment & tracking?

Wheel alignment is based on how far your wheels point away from your cars central line, wheel alignment impacts how straight your car will drive. Your car's performance and safety could be jeopardised if one or more of your wheels is pointing in the wrong direction or running unevenly, no matter how little it is off.

What problems can bad wheel alignment cause?

The quality of your wheel alignment has an impact on both your car's control and the life of your tyres. Any issues could result in you losing control of your vehicle, veering across lanes, or drastically increasing tyre wear. This puts you at higher risk of a burst tyre or finding your tyres wearing out quickly.

This puts you in the position of having to spend money on new tyres when a wheel alignment appointment could cost you much less.

Is there a way to tell if your wheel alignment is off?

It's simple to tell whether your wheels are misaligned, but you must know what to look for.

Your wheel alignment is likely to be the reason if your car starts dragging, tugging or pulling to one side while driving or if your steering wheel doesn't sit central.

Remove your hands from the steering wheel for a very small period of time on a straight section of road (if safe to do so) and check if you continue to drive in a straight line. If you start to swerve to one side, your wheels are most likely out of alignment.

It is also worth checking the tyres for uneven wear, if your wheel alignment is out of align then you will often find uneven or odd wear on the tyre treads.

What causes my wheel alignment to be incorrect?

Most wheel alignment issues are caused by minor collisions such as bumping into pot holes, hitting kerbs or driving up and down obstacles. You will also find wheel alignment can go off course if you regularly drive over speed humps or across bumpy unadopted roads/lanes. Wheel alignment also needs to be checked and adjusted when specific work is carried out on the suspension.

How can I correct my wheel alignment?

Wheel alignment is corrected by placing your car onto a wheel alignment machine which can measure the geometry of your vehicle to see if it is within the guidelines. Here at Whatlington Garage we have advanced 4 wheel alignment systems that can check your cars alignment. Whilst your car is on the machine a mechanic is able to carry out small adjustments to bring your car back into alignment, or advise if there are any components significantly worn or damaged.