If you’re looking for an easy way to extend the life of your tires and improve your driving experience, a wheel alignment is a good place to start. Wheel alignment is a highly recommended preventative maintenance step and can be done when you schedule a basic tire rotation and balancing, usually a few times a year.
Wheel alignments ensure all your tires are within the manufactures specifications for optimum performance and tire wear. Specifications vary from each year make and model. Some specifications cater to handling and performance not so much on tire wear. This would pertain to high performance vehicles such as a Corvette. Most vehicles alignment specifications are set up for the best of both worlds which would be tire wear and a great drive.
The 3 main alignment angles are Caster, Camber and Toe. Caster puts one tire slightly ahead of the other to ensure the vehicle drives straight due to road crown. Caster has no effect on tire wear. Camber is the amount that the top of the tire goes in towards the vehicle or out. Camber effects handling and tire wear. Toe is the angle in which the front of the tires goes in towards the vehicle or out from the horizontal center line. Toe effects tire wear and rolling resistance. If your steering wheel is off center or not level, the toe is out of specification. Check your tires periodically for uneven tire wear because driving on misaligned tires for too long can dramatically slash their longevity, leaving you to foot the higher cost of new tires.
Benefits of Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment benefits are essentially tire wear, safety, fuel efficiency and a smooth comfortable ride. Proper wheel alignment not only extends tire life, it improves the drivability and handling of your vehicle. This in turn insures your vehicle is safe for you, your family and others around you.
Poorly aligned tires steal away gas mileage as well. Experts say your car consumes fuel 25% to 30% faster than usual when the wheels are misaligned. That’s because more rolling resistance forces the engine to work harder to keep up, so it burns gasoline faster.
Constantly having to adjust for misalignment can be exhausting. Wheel alignments help drivers maximize comfort and reduce fatigue.