If you notice that your vehicle pulls significantly to the left or right when you are travelling on a straight, flat road with little cross-wind, or your tyres are wearing abnormally, then your wheel alignment may require adjustment. You should therefore take your vehicle to a Michelin tyre dealer or a reputable garage to have its wheel alignment checked. This is a simple process, which may require slight adjustment of front and/or rear suspension components. If your vehicle’s wheels are not properly aligned, this can cause abnormal wearing of the tyres.
Note that wheel alignment may also be referred to as suspension alignment.
Always have your vehicle’s alignment checked when:
Why is wheel alignment important?
Wheel alignment can affect the amount of wear and tear that tyres endure. The normal alignment on most vehicles is designed to minimise wear and tear and maximise driver and passenger comfort. Correct four wheel alignment will reduce wear on your tyres, help increase their life and performance, and improve fuel economy. It will also improve handling and driving safety by reducing steering and stability problems.
Wheel alignment versus wheel balancing?
People often get confused between wheel alignment and wheel balancing. They are completely different. Wheel alignment, or tracking as it’s sometimes called, consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are as specified by your vehicle manufacturer. On the other hand, wheel balancing allows the wheels to spin without causing unnecessary vibration.
Why does wheel misalignment happen?
Misalignment can occur when hitting a kerb or driving through a pothole, as well as in more severe circumstances like accidents, which can knock your vehicle’s suspension out of alignment. Misalignment can also happen as suspension components wear or when they are replaced. When wheel alignment is incorrect, rapid tyre wear can occur especially on the edge of the tyres, and vehicle handling can also be adversely affected. It almost certainly means that you will have to replace your tyres earlier than expected.
It takes only a small misalignment to create problems
The purpose of correct wheel alignment is to provide optimum vehicle handling and to maximise the life of the tyres.
The main reasons for having correct wheel alignment are: