Everything You Need to Know About Wheel Alignment
Updated: Apr 19
Ensuring that your car’s wheels and tyres are properly maintained is essential. The condition of your tyres will not only affect general performance and handling but will also determine how safe your car is to drive.
Making sure that your wheels are properly aligned is an important aspect of car servicing and maintenance. Here at Colwills Garage in Bude, we offer a wide range of services, including computerised wheel alignment to help your vehicle get safely back on the road.
Read our guide on everything you need to know about wheel alignment to find out if you’re due a visit to our garage!
What is Wheel Alignment?
What do we actually mean when we talk about wheel alignment?
Also referred to as tracking, wheel alignment is essentially the process of making sure a car’s wheels are positioned at the exact right angle and direction in relation to each other and the road.
A qualified mechanic will set your wheels in the correct position as outlined by the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
The Benefits of Wheel Alignment
Misaligned wheels can cause multiple problems, so it’s important to have your tyres checked and wheels aligned properly. This vital maintenance service can be beneficial for a number of reasons.
Safer Driving Experience
The highest priority of any driver should be safety - are your wheels in an acceptable condition to keep you and other drivers as safe as possible?
With correctly aligned wheels, your car’s stability is optimised, and your tyres will be able to perform at their best if you ever face any emergencies.
Issues with handling can be corrected by wheel alignment, giving you a smoother, more pleasant driving experience.
Less Chance of Damage to Other Components
Bad alignment can cause undue wear and tear on other elements of your car, meaning some components may end up breaking down sooner than they would otherwise.
Correct wheel alignment will help prevent other vehicle components from facing damage.
Improves Tyre Lifespan
Tyres are worn down over time - this is inevitable as your tyres have to deal with a lot, but the level of wear can be managed by good car maintenance.
Misaligned wheels will often wear tyres unevenly and prematurely. With correct alignment, wear patterns will be more even, and the life of your tyres can be increased significantly.
Increases Fuel Efficiency
When wheels are not working together as they should, they ‘drag’, meaning fuel consumption is not as efficient as it could be.
With properly positioned wheels, there is less resistance - your car’s engine doesn’t have to work as hard, so less energy and fuel is wasted.
Ultimately, all of these benefits will save you money in the long run!
With the reduced need for additional repairs and new tyres, having your wheels aligned is a sound investment.
How do Wheels Become Misaligned?
As you can see, having your wheels properly aligned is an important service that will benefit you and other road users.
It can be helpful to know how wheels become misaligned so you can avoid certain things and keep your wheels in the best condition for as long as possible.
The main causes of misalignment include:
Sudden jarring or heavy impact, like hitting a kerb or pothole.
Worn components that affect wheel position.
Incorrectly adjusted suspension.
Signs Your Wheels Need to be Aligned
So, what kinds of things indicate that your alignment has been thrown off and what do you need to watch out for?
If you notice any of the following signs, your wheels are likely aligned incorrectly and will need to be repositioned:
There is uneven wear on your tyres.
The car drags or pulls to one side.
The steering wheel is crooked or vibrates.
You hear squealing noises when driving at low speeds.
If you start to notice any of these problems, it’s best to have your car checked over by a professional. Our wheel alignment services will help solve these issues, getting you back on the road in no time!
How Often Should Your Wheels be Aligned?
Regular maintenance and car servicing is the best way to ensure your vehicle is being checked over for any flaws before they develop into bigger problems.
It’s generally recommended that you have your wheels checked for alignment issues every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. For most people, this will usually mean around every 2 or 3 years.
It is also a good idea to get your alignment checked if you hit a kerb or pothole or are involved in a collision, as you will be able to deal with any potential issues from the get-go.
If you keep on top of regular maintenance, your mechanic will be able to check for any alignment issues and advise you whenever you take your car into the garage.
Computerised Wheel Alignment at Colwills
At Colwills Garage, we are dedicated to helping drivers and their vehicles. We need to be able to fix and diagnose various problems from our Bude garage, which is why we have heavily invested in quality computerised 4-wheel alignment equipment by JohnBean.
Our highly trained team uses incredibly accurate alignment technology that is approved by car manufacturers to give you the best results.
After we have checked and corrected or adjusted your wheel’s alignment, we will also give you a detailed report outlining your vehicle’s alignment settings.
If you think your wheels need to be realigned or require any of our other services, book an appointment online today - our friendly team is happy to help!