Why are wheel alignments important?


We all know that your car’s wheels are important. After all, they are the only things keeping you moving. But what you may not know is how important regular wheel alignments are to keeping your wheels in good working order, and keeping you safe on the road.

What is a wheel alignment?

A wheel alignment is a process to ensure all of your four wheels are completely parallel to one another. Your mechanic will perform a series of measurements first and then make any necessary adjustments.

Why is it important?

The reason why wheel alignment is important is that when your wheels aren’t properly aligned, they create much more resistance when you’re driving. They won’t roll smoothly, and you’ll end up using more fuel as you drive.

Wheel alignment also helps you minimise tyre wear, helping you save on the high cost of frequent tyre replacements.

The most important reason why wheel alignment is important is your safety. When your wheels are misaligned your car won’t handle as well and will require more mental energy from the driver. This increases driver fatigue and puts you at a higher risk of accidents.

There are three main measurements that your mechanic goes through when performing a wheel alignment:

Camber

The camber is the vertical angle of the wheel. If you were looking at your car straight-on from the front or back, you can see the inward and outward angle of the wheel, which is the camber. Most cars don’t have entirely vertical wheels and instead will have a negative camber to counter-balance the force of turning. 

Toe

If you looked at your car’s wheels from directly above, you might observe that they are turned slightly inwards or outwards, and this is the toe. This is the most important measurement to make sure your car is handling correctly.

Caster

If you look at your car’s wheels from the side of the car, the angle that you can see them sit at is called the caster. This could also be called the angle of the steering axis. Most cars have a natural positive caster, which means the tyre is tilted towards the driver. This helps to balance steering and stability when cornering. 

Why do wheels go out of alignment?

Your car’s tyres take the entire force of the road as they drive, and that continued use is what causes them to move out of alignment. Suspension wears over time, and that causes the structure of your car to shift slightly, which also contributes to this misalignment. 

If you drive a lot on rough roads or you are a more forceful driver, your tyres are likely to move out of alignment more frequently, so you’ll want to ensure you are taking your car to a mechanic regularly to avoid your tyres wearing out too quickly.

If you think it might be time for a wheel alignment, come and see the team at Pearson Automotive. We are your local Milton mechanic, and we are experts in wheel alignment Brisbane.



Posted in Latest Posts on Feb 14, 2022.