How will a wheel alignment help my vehicle?
When talking about vehicle maintenance, people immediately think of processes like engine oil change, putting in a new battery, cleaning the vehicle, getting the tyre pressure checked, etc.
However, one very basic procedure that people may ignore is to check wheel alignment. While driving on rough roads, or streets filled with potholes, the constant impact on the tyres and wheels can cause the wheels to go out of alignment.
Wheel alignment simply refers to the process of positioning the wheels in such a way that they adhere to the angles recommended by the manufacturers. Here are some of the main benefits of getting your vehicle’s wheels aligned:
Increase in fuel economy
Bad wheel alignment can reduce your gas mileage by up to 10%, according to some studies. This is because misaligned wheels cause tyres to drag rather than roll freely like they are supposed to.
Since the tyres aren’t working well, the vehicle requires more effort to keep the car moving, especially at higher speeds. This extra effort leads to more fuel being used to travel lesser distances, which in turn increases the total amount of fuel the car uses up.
Thus, if your wheels are aligned well, you can increase your fuel economy by better utilisation of existing fuel.
Smooth and safe driving
The main effects wheel misalignment has are observed while driving. Most people realise that their wheels are misaligned only when the vehicle starts to veer out of straight lines.
Driving with poor alignment causes the vehicle to pull to either the right or left and thus can make driving harder for the driver, who would constantly have to correct the pull.
Furthermore, misaligned wheels can also make the ride seem jarring, bumpy or even lead to the sensation of the vehicle vibrating.
Thus, if you get your wheels aligned properly, your driving experience would improve a lot and you would be able to enjoy a smoother ride. Apart from this, imbalanced wheels can also be a cause for accidents, since the car becomes harder to control.
This is a significant safety risk, which must be avoided at all costs.
The steering wheel and steering experience can get very damaged due to wheel misalignment. Misaligned wheels cause vibrating steering wheels, loose or sloppy steering as well as crooked or tilted steering wheels.
Once you get your tyres aligned properly, these issues will get resolved automatically and your steering experience will be a lot better. Misaligned wheels can also be tough on steering since the driver requires more concentration and effort to keep the car straight.
When any one component of a vehicle is not working like it should be, the other components are affected too. Misaligned wheels can also cause a lot of damage to other components of the vehicle and exacerbate any existing problems.
For example, if your car hits a pothole while your wheels are misaligned, it can cause a blowout or other such damage to the tyres. Similarly, the suspension system of the car can also bear the brunt of misaligned tyres.
Thus, fixing misaligned wheels can save bigger costs on other auto repairs in the future.
Long lasting tyres
Wheel alignment obviously has the biggest effect on the tyres of the vehicle. When wheels are not correctly positioned, the tyres will tend to wear out faster than normal, since they are unable to roll freely.
Furthermore, you may notice that one tyre is more worn out than the other, due to uneven use of the tyres.
Wheel misalignment can give rise to many tyre related issues like feathering, where the tread gets worn down or comber wear, where the outside of the tyre gets worn, or heel and toe wear.
Thus, getting your wheels aligned is essential for the health of your tyres.
Wheel alignment is an essential maintenance process for any vehicle. Misaligned wheels can make driving very tough and also damage other parts of the car.
By getting wheels aligned regularly, you can ensure higher fuel efficiency, better steering and driving, long lasting tyres and fewer repairs.
Furthermore, driving with misaligned wheels can be a safety risk, and become a cause for accidents. Hence, it is important not to neglect wheel alignment, especially if you experience any symptoms of misalignment.