The importance of wheel alignment and balancing
Thursday 30 March 2023Back to Latest News
As a car owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your car is road-worthy, which means you must stay on top of any necessary maintenance duties. Despite this, many drivers are unaware of the importance of wheel alignment and balancing.
What is Wheel Alignment?
Wheel Alignment refers, as the name suggests, to how your tyres are aligned. This includes the angle and direction of your wheel and tyres, both of which contribute to your driving experience and your safety behind the wheel.
When aligned properly, this will protect the longevity of your tyres while also ensuring that you can get from A to B safely.
Why is Wheel Alignment Important?
When your wheels become misaligned or unbalanced, you’ll find it harder and harder to drive in a straight line. As a result, this can increase the chances of being involved in a car or roadside accident. Not only could this cause significant damage to your vehicle, but it could also put your safety and the safety of passengers or other drivers at risk.
Furthermore, misaligned or unbalanced wheels can impact your car’s longevity. This is because it can speed up tyre wear, meaning that you will need to replace your tyres more frequently. Reduced tyre capabilities could also lessen the grip your tyres have on the road.
Finally, many studies have found that tyre misalignment and unbalance can reduce fuel efficiency. This is because it impacts the overall performance of your vehicle, meaning that more power is used overall. As such, you may notice that you need to refuel more quickly - which is less than ideal in the current climate.
What causes Tyre Misalignment and Unbalance?
There are many potential causes of tyre misalignment and unbalance. This includes
- Damage caused in an accident, or by sudden force. For example, your wheels can fall out of balance after hitting a pothole.
- General wear-and-tear
- Damage caused by hitting a speed bump while driving too quickly
What are the Signs of Misalignment and Unbalance?
There are many signs and indicators that you should be aware of when it comes to wheel/tyre misalignment and balance. This includes:
- Uneven Tyre Wear. If your wheels are misaligned, you may notice that one wheel shows more signs of tyre wear than others. They may also showcase other signs of damage, such as punctures or a change in tyre pressure. Regular tyre inspections are necessary to keep track of this and ensure that you’re always staying safe when driving.
- ‘Vibrating’ sensation when driving. Many of those dealing with wheel misalignment and unbalance may notice a ‘vibrating’, bumping or shaking sensation when driving, which is caused by the placement of the wheels. Not only will this make for an unpleasant driving experience, but could be causing significant damage to your car.
- Changes to the steering wheel. Misaligned wheels do not only impact your tyres but also how your vehicle functions. For example, you may find that your steering wheel is tilted at an unusual angle, even if you are attempting to drive in a straight line. You may also notice that your car seems to ‘pull’ in one direction when driving.
- You have increased fuel costs. As mentioned previously, vehicles with poor alignment or balance tend to use up fuel at a quicker rate. As such, if you’ve noticed that your fuel efficiency has dropped while your costs continue to rise, this could be a sign of a broader problem.
Whether you have noticed one or more of the above indicators, it's time to schedule an appointment at a local repair shop. Not only is this a matter of safety, but it's a known fact that the sooner these repairs are carried out, the less expensive and time-consuming they will be to resolve. To put it simply, it is in your best interest to resolve this issue sooner rather than later.
Get in touch to find out more.
If you have noticed any of the above signs of tyre wear, misalignment or unbalance, it's time to get your vehicle checked out. At All Coast Tyre Solutions, we’re on hand to help ensure you’re always safe when you get behind the wheel, which means we can also assist when it comes to fixing alignment or balance issues with your tyres.
To find out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. We’d be happy to help!