Imagine driving down the freeway, and suddenly, your vehicle pulls in one direction. What if the steering wheel starts vibrating strangely while you’re on the road? These are a few conditions that indicate your vehicle’s tire alignment is out of order.
Tire alignment is a method to ensure your tires perform correctly while you’re on the road. It also increases the life of your tires and makes them last longer. You may also see an improvement in handling & keeping your vehicle from pulling to one side of the road.
What is Tire Alignment?
Alignment is the adjustment of the vehicle’s suspension.
Suspension is what connects the entire vehicle’s assembly with the wheels. When a suspension is adjusted, it’s not just the adjustment of the tires or wheels themselves. Such an adjustment ensures your vehicle connects at a proper angle with the road so your driving experience gets smooth.
How to Identify if Tire Alignment is Correct or Not?
An automobile expert or a car enthusiast can tell whether the tires are correctly aligned in a few ways. If your car shows any of these indicators, it’s entirely possible that the wheels aren’t aligned.
- Uneven tread wear
- The steering wheel keeps vibrating
- The vehicle keeps pulling to one side of the road
- The steering wheel is off-center when driving straight
What Does a Technician Check?
A technician checks three things to ensure the perfect tire alignment of your vehicle.
When you look from the front of the vehicle, the inward or outward tilt of the tire is called a camber. Excessive inward or outward tilt, known as negative and positive camber, respectively, signifies incorrect alignment and requires adjustment. Worn bearings, ball joints, and other components of the wheel suspension system can cause camber misalignment.
Unlike camber alignment, toe alignment refers to the degree to which the tires have turned inward or outward when checked from above. For example, a better analogy would be to look at your feet from the top (the bird’s eye view). If you angle your feet inward, i.e., towards the center, they are toe-in alignment. Similarly, if the toes are angled away from each other, they are toe-out alignment. The same is the case with vehicles, and when we talk about toe alignments, the term often refers to their adjustments.
The caster is responsible for the vehicle’s balance, steering, and stability. Caster is the angle of your steering axis typically viewed from the side angle. There’s a positive caster and a negative caster. The positive caster is when the steering axis of the wheels is tilted towards the driver. The negative caster is when the steering axis tilts towards the front of the vehicle. Like camber and toe, caster alignments also solidify your vehicle’s road grip, especially when on the road.
Why Tire Alignment Matters?
If you don’t want your vehicle’s tires to wear off unevenly or prematurely, it’s best to ensure they are correctly aligned. Here are a few tread wears which contribute to tire misalignment.
Feather edge tire wear is a type of tire wear where the tread ribs are worn smoother on one side and sharper on the other. It often happens because of improper tire alignment, which puts an excessive load on the toe and caster.
Camber wear often happens when the inside or outside of the tread is more worn out than the center of the tread in a tire. Since there are two types of cambers, positive and negative, so are the camber wears.
A heel or toe wear happens when one side of the tread block wears off faster than the other side. If you feel like running your hand over saw teeth when running it over a tread block, it means your tires have got a severe case of toe wears. This problem commonly occurs with the shoulder rib and is caused by excessive positive or negative toe wear.
Here’s Why Proper Tire Alignment is Necessary?
As discussed above, these are just a few wear and tear your tire may experience if not adequately aligned with your vehicle. Besides, misaligned tires have a significantly shorter lifespan, and you may have to change them eventually. If you don’t want to spend your money on tires anytime soon, bringing your vehicle to us is best. Let Quality 1st Auto Repair Brooklyn have a look.
Dial (848) 300-3350 and align your tires at Rahway’s best auto repair service.