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Put simply, the term “wheel alignment” refers to how well (or otherwise) the wheels on your vehicle are aligned relative to each other, as well as to the centre line of the vehicle. While alignment settings differ between manufacturers and models. All vehicles are designed to deliver precise steering and braking responses - but only if the wheel alignment angles are correct for that vehicle.
Maintaining the wheel alignment on your car is an integral aspect of its overall maintenance and upkeep. However, this very important step is often ignored or skipped until the first symptoms of poor wheel alignment show up, in the form of ruined tyres. Here are some common signs to look out for….
Obviously, the best time to get a wheel alignment is when noticeable symptoms of poor alignment are present, but there also other “best” times, such as:
What Causes Wheel Alignment to “Go Bad”?
There are many possible reasons why the wheel alignment on any vehicle can “go bad” and while most of them are the inevitable result of wear and tear on suspension and steering components, other causes are sometimes preventable with regular maintenance. here are some of the common causes of poor wheel alignment-
You are no doubt aware of just how expensive it has become to replace a set of four tyres these days. That's why it makes good sense to have a comprehensive wheel alignment procedure carried out when you replace all your tyres - to prolong the life of those expensive new tyres for as long as you can, but there are other, equally compelling reasons as well, such as:
Tyre warranty requirements/conditions
All major manufacturers/suppliers of tyres offer some kind of warranty, which could a include mileage warranty. However, these warranties typically require that you, the consumer, must be able to prove that you had properly cared for the new tyres when you want to collect on the warranty for whatever reason.
Thus, if you cannot prove that you had the wheel alignment checked at the time that you purchased the tyres, you will almost certainly not be able to claim on the warranty if your new tyres wear out prematurely.
Once uneven wear appears, the tyre is ruined
Even if you don’t care about the tyre warranty, you should know if your new tyres start to wear unevenly within the first few thousand kilometres because you skipped wheel alignment, it is too late to save the new but now damaged, tyres.
The fact is that once a new tyre starts to show uneven wear, no amount of fiddling with alignment settings will save that tyre. Fixing the wheel alignment at this late stage might slow the progression of the damage somewhat, the uneven wear will continue unabated until the tyre is completely ruined long before its due time.
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