Do I need a wheel alignment?

Tyres are an additional cost to your vehicle that you don’t want to have to pay out for more than you need to. That’s one reason choosing the right tyres is important. If there are ways to prolong your tyre wear, you’d be crazy not to, right?. Fortunately, we’ve put together a guide to how wheel alignment helps your tyres perform better and extends their lifespan.

What is an alignment?

Alignment refers to the adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension, the system that connects the vehicle to the wheels. This has nothing to do with adjusting the actual tyres or wheels themselves. The key to proper alignment is adjusting how the corners of the tyres make contact with the road evenly for better grip and even wear. There are several ways to find out if your car needs tyre alignment. Contact Drury Tires if your car has any of the following telltale signs:

  • Vehicle pulling to the left or right
  • Uneven tread wear
  • The steering wheel pulls off centre when driving straight
  • Steering wheel vibration

What are the points of concern?

When checking your tyre alignment, there are 3 main concerns to check.

Camber: This is the inside or outside corner of the tyre when viewed from the front of the car. Excessive inward or outward leaning, also known as negative camber and positive camber respectively, indicates misalignment and requires adjustment. Worn bearings, ball joints and other wheel suspension components can cause the camber to shift.

Toe: Unlike camber alignment, toe alignment is the degree to which your tyres turn in or out when viewed from above. If this bothers you, stand up and look at your feet. Tilt them inward towards the centre of your body. When your car’s tyres are at the same angle (remember, we’re thinking in terms of bird’s eye view), we call this toe alignment. Tilt your feet outward and you will align your toes.

Caster: The angle of attack helps balance steering, stability and handling. Specifically, it is the angle of the steering axis when viewed from the side of the vehicle. If you have a positive caster, the steered axle will lean towards the driver. On the other hand, a negative caster means that the steering axis is tilted towards the front of the vehicle.

Book your car in for a wheel alignment today with South Auckland’s specialist. We’ve been doing this for 30 years and have some of the best alignment technicians in New Zealand.

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