4 Wheel Alignment Explanation!
When your alignment is off, your tires are not pointing in the same direction. This will affect 4 things:
4. Durability of tires
How do vehicles lose their alignment?
Wheel Alignment can be thrown off by:
1. Port holes
2. Hitting a curb
3. Bumping into concrete parking stalls
4. Wear & tear – rubber components start cracking and socket joints becomes loose as the vehicle ages
Are there any warning lights to indicate alignment problem?
No, there isn’t. The best solution is to get it checked regularly.
What is camber, caster & toe?
Consequences of camber misalignment:
1. Premature tire wear on one side of the thread
2. Pulling problem to the more positive camber
Reasons for camber misalignment:
1. Vehicle involved in accident
2. Springs sag causing change in ride height
3. Ball joints or other attached parts are worn or defective
Do you know: The camber on most front wheel drive vehicles is not adjustable. Worn out parts will need to be replaced in order to adjust the camber back to its original manufacturer settings.
Consequences of caster misalignment:
1. Problems in straight line tracking, vehicle will pull to the less positive caster
2. Poor returnability of the steering wheel when it spins back to the straight ahead position
3. A caster too positive will result in a heavy steering
4. A caster too negative will provide lighter steering but vehicle will wander and have difficulties keeping in a straight line
Do you know: Caster has no effect on tire wear. Caster is also not adjustable for most front wheel drive vehicles. Parts will need to be replaced in order to achieve manufacturer settings.
The vehicle’s toe is the most critical alignment settings that affect tire wear. A slight misalignment of the toe will result in a reduction in tire life.
For minimum tire wear and power loss, the wheels of a vehicle should be pointing straight ahead. So why most vehicles have their front wheels toe-in? This is to ensure directional stability
1. Increase toe in can reduce oversteer, steady the car and enhance high speed stability
2. Increase toe out will reduce understeer and free up the car
What happen if I don’t get my wheels aligned
1. Spending a lot more on tires as they wear a lot faster
2. Poor handling of vehicle
How will wheel alignment help my vehicle?
1. Optimal drivability
2. Longer lasting tires
3. Smoother drive
4. Keep your wheels pointed in the right direction
5. Requires less energy to keep going hence saving fuel
What’s the relationship between alignment and tire wear?
Ideally, tires should wear evenly across the thread. Poor alignment causes uneven wear and can shorten a tire’s life by thousands of kilometers. Crucial steering and suspension parts might be affected as well. To minimize the frequency of tire change and better fuel efficiency, have your wheel alignment checked.