Is it time for a wheel alignment check?

Posted by: Cal on 29/08/2014

Category: General

They say an investigative mind is good as it opens you up to discovering new things. This can also be beneficial when you are driving your vehicle. 

As you want to be as safe as possible on the roads, anything that doesn't feel right or look right probably is an issue that needs to be dealt with. An area that shouldn't be overlooked is your tyres and wheels. As they are the only part of the car that touches the surface, small issues can soon escalate.

Your investigative mind might point you to checking your trend or making your the car tyres are inflated - but what about wheel alignment?

What is a wheel alignment test?

Wheel alignment is a series of tests carried out by professionals to check how straight the tyres are. The tyres are both measured and positioned on vehicles to maximise performance, prevent wear and tear and improve handling.

However, over time the wheels get out of line and this can begin to affect not only your safety, but also the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

How can I tell if my wheels need aligning?

One of the biggest telltale signs is the way the vehicle handles on the road. Particularly on straight roads, your vehicle should be able to head in the same direction without assistance. If the vehicle pulls towards one side or it doesn't feel comfortable, your car might need a alignment check. 

Another way to tell is if your tyres are showing signs of uneven tyre tread. You can compare the front tyres with each other and the same process for the rear tyres. If there is clear evidence that one side of the vehicle is taking more of the weight, this is a sign to take the car to a certified tyre specialist.

Similar to pulling to one side of the road, you can also tell if the wheels are out of line if the steering wheel is centred or not. Test this by releasing the steering wheel on a straight road and observe its movements. If it is moving off centre, it is suggested to get a wheel alignment check.

It is also important to get book an alignment test if you have recently been involved in an accident or have driven over a large object such as a pothole. These can knock the tyres out of place and begin to impact handling.