Whether you are an experienced driver or a newbie just starting to drive around, you need to know your way around car maintenance. It is an entirely vague and very wide topic that includes a lot of specific areas of a car, but today we are focusing on wheel alignment. For starters, for those starting recently, you should know what wheel alignment is and why it is important. Here are a few common questions asked around the topic, answered.
What does it mean by aligning car wheels?
The wheel alignment procedure is a basic self-explanatory process that covers the alignment and positioning of your vehicle’s wheels. The manufacturer of any vehicle makes a certain ideal position and alignment for the wheels to work properly, which is straight ahead and perfectly flat on a level.
Occasionally while driving your vehicle around, or if you have bought a used car, your wheel alignment gets off. This can hinder your driving and can at times be a little dangerous. Alignment removes this worry and makes your car work at its correct standard.
How do you know you need an alignment?
Unlike other commonly used maintenance services such as oil or battery change, this one rather gets ignored by owners. But it shouldn’t, as it has some clear perks you can pick up through a minor expense in form of the wheel alignment price.
First, you need to recognize whether you need the procedure or not. This can happen in two ways. One is when you naturally feel that your control over the wheels is not accurate, or you feel them wobble even slightly here and there out of the steering wheel’s reach.
The second is, getting a proper test done on your car’s wheels from a technician, via a digital alignment system, which is one of the wheel alignment specials. In this process, the technician uses sensors, placed on your wheel rims, and moves the car through the use of a lift, and steering wheel to assess the movement. The sensors on the rims help detect how the wheels are positioned and how they are moving after the scan from the digital alignment system is printed.
This is before the scan, in case a problem is identified, there is another scan taken after the problem is solved by the technician to ensure the wheels are now aligned correctly.
What are some wheel alignment benefits?
Smoother and safer driving
Your car ride experience with badly aligned wheels is clumsy, bumpy, and tends to make your ride vibrate. Getting a wheel alignment not only helps you achieve a smoother ride but also ensures a safer driving experience. Properly aligned wheels help you achieve an effective reaction time in between driving. It directly affects your suspension in case your alignment is out of place. Getting wheels properly aligned will help solve any maintenance issues caused by improperly positioned wheels.
Improved fuel efficiency
There are specific issues within the alignment problems that cause your car to work extra hard and put previously unnecessary energy into moving it. The friction required by wheels in this case takes extra fuel from your car. By solving your alignment issue, you will save a lot of costs on fuel or gas where previously you might be paying much more.
Better handling and steering
It gives you more control over your steering wheel and helps you easily maneuver your car around. Just as badly aligned wheels need extra fuel, even if indirectly, they also need excessive focus and effort into handling the steering wheel. It even gets as uncomfortable as holding your steering wheel in a tilted position when you want the car to go straight ahead, and vice versa. This is also connected to the safety issue. When you have unusual controls, a function doing something else other than what it’s originally intended for, you’re more likely to get into accidents. Steer right, be safe.
Longer life of tires
If you are using one of your car’s equipment wrong, it is bound to get defects. Even if you are not doing anything intentionally to cause the damage. Making sure you use the wheels in their correctly intended position and alignment to make them last longer. Using wheels in the wrong alignment can cause uneven usage, wearing your tires out far quicker than they should. Therefore, getting them aligned helps you save costs on replacing them.
Less maintenance and repair expenses
This counts as a benefit separate from the long life of the tires. As already elaborated in the safety and control part, bad or misalignment can affect other areas of your car negatively. The bumps, rough patches, or any accidental dents that your car faces on the road due to your wheels directly affect the suspension, steering wheel, brakes, etc. This leads to excessive repairs and maintenance costs that you would previously not face had it not been for the tires being wobbly. Save extra expenses on auto repairs, and get them aligned.
Probably, this will have helped you in understanding wheel alignment as a very necessary, albeit undermined car maintenance issue to look after. Especially in case you buy a used car or have not previously heard about this, get your wheels assessed for alignment. There’s no harm in getting them checked even if you don’t feel anything off. It’s better to be safe than sorry or rather safe than spending extra money.
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