Car Maintenance

How often should you have wheel alignment done?

There are many types of vehicle maintenance, one of which is wheel alignment. In fact, wheel alignment is considered very important for all types of automobiles. It basically refers to the angular adjustment of the wheels to extend the life of the tread and maintain safety on the road. Since you most likely drive your car every day for work, errands, or play, how often should you have an wheel alignment done?

Why should you have wheel alignment done?

In general, wheel alignment has many advantages. However, the purpose of wheel alignment is divided into three types of angles. Learn more about these angles and their respective benefits:

  • toe

    Let’s learn about the simplest one first. The toe angle becomes possible when the Tires point inwards or outwards. It looks clearer from above. Its purpose is to prevent irregular tread wear and thus extend the life of your tires.

    More specifically, positive toe occurs when the front portions of two tires face each other. Because of this angle, the wheels continue to generate force against each other. This is best for driving straight ahead, especially when always passing a freeway. However, it also causes difficulty in making a smooth turn.

    On the other hand, negative toe is usually angled on front-wheel drive cars. It helps your vehicle move smoothly when turning. The downside, however, is obviously going straight.

  • wizard

    Trail is more complex than toe angle and follows a line that slopes either forward or backward. Positive caster refers to the forward angle. It stabilizes the car during high-speed movement. It even improves cornering.

    There’s also a thing called cross-casters. It’s actually a popular security feature. If the driver loses control of the steering, the Cross Caster vehicle pulls to the side of the road rather than directly into traffic.

  • fall

    Lastly, the most popular, camber angle is based on the vertical orientation of the bike, which is perpendicular to the surface. When it comes to popularity, negative camber takes the spotlight these days.

    Negative camber occurs when the top of the tires lean inward, particularly towards the fender indentations. On the other hand, positive camber tends to tip the upper parts away from the vehicle.

    When focusing on the negative camber, this is actually the most attractive viewing angle. Aesthetics aside, it’s perfect for high-speed riders as it improves handling. With negative camber, grip intensifies while the rider is making a sharp turn. However, when the vehicle is moving straight, the negative camber reduces the contact between the road and the tires.

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How often should you have wheel alignment done?

The recommended wheel alignment interval is only two to three years. However, it can be earlier than two years when you mount new tires. It can even be normal for sports cars or vehicles with wide tires. After all, it can become urgent when certain symptoms appear.

What are the signs of an urgent wheel alignment?

Here are the symptoms of a vehicle that needs an immediate wheel alignment:

  • Dysfunctional steering wheel

    A steering wheel works properly when it automatically returns to the center after a turn. If it doesn’t, your wheel alignment is probably disabled.

    Even without turning the steering wheel, you can still spot problems related to your current wheel alignment. If the steering wheel is not square, consult a workshop immediately. You would surely notice it just by looking at the logo emblem in the middle.

    Since we are talking about the steering wheel, you may find out more about this component. Find out why some steering wheels make a clicking noise when turning the vehicle. Finally, if you are unhappy with the look and physical quality of your steering wheel, don’t hesitate to purchase a new cover.

  • Unstable handling

    As soon as you notice that your car’s steering feels loose and unstable, you begin to consider the fact that your current wheel alignment is at an ineffective angle. Unstable driving makes it difficult for you to maintain a direction and turn a corner.

  • tow vehicle

    If your car starts to take revenge and constantly pulls sideways despite the intention to go straight, you should immediately visit an auto repair shop.

  • tire wear pattern

    Experts can easily spot problems by looking at the patterns of a worn tire. Aside from alignment issues, they can also identify suspension and tire pressure issues.

    If the camber angle is not perfect, the worn spots on the tires are only on the inside or outside edges. Meanwhile, the angle issues indicate scalloping or springing of the tires.

    To learn more about these essential components, find out how long tires typically last!

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Is a DIY wheel alignment possible?

Definitive! However, do-it-yourself wheel alignment is only achievable for common problems – especially the front part. A professional wheel alignment requires a lot of advanced tools, so the DIY techniques are only limited to what you can easily do in your own garage and driveway.

As part of your preparations, check that your tires are all properly inflated. Tire pressure is critical to the success of your DIY wheel angle changer because you rely on measurements. Also read your owner’s manual for the required caster, camber, and toe numbers.

Finally, examine your car’s front suspension for loose and worn components. Suspension issues can affect your measurements. An example of a suspension problem is a damaged strut or strut assembly. To avoid the consequences of this problem, you need to know how long struts last so that you can properly maintain them.

Honestly though, wheel alignment is extremely complicated if you don’t have enough tools and DIY knowledge. It is still far better to have your wheels repaired by a professional.

summary

To refresh your memory, how often should you go for wheel alignment? The rule is two to three years. However, there are several factors that disregard the recommended interval. Fitting new tires, using wide tires, and alarming symptoms make wheel alignment a regular or urgent matter.

Have you ever heard of aluminum rims? Continue to learn how awesome alloy wheels are!

Chloe Rimmer
Tv geek. Content practitioner. Creator. Wannabe beer nerd. Thinker. Passionate explorer. Proud bacon trailblazer. Travel fanatic. Award-winning introvert.

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