Does your car pull to one side? Are the tyres worn excessively, or unevenly? Does the steering wheel vibrate, and do you have to constantly keep steering your car to travel straight ahead? These are the symptoms that your car is out of alignment.
Many handling problems can be corrected by an alignment – with all the system components properly aligned, road shock is more efficiently absorbed for a much smoother ride.
The method of front wheel thrust alignment ensures that the front wheels are aligned to the centre line of the vehicle. However, because the front wheels are not referenced to the alignment of the rear wheels the steering wheel may be off centre.
For vehicles without any rear suspension adjustment, the front wheels are aligned to the thrust angle of the rear wheels, ensuring that the vehicle tracks straight and the steering wheel is centred.
Test your wheel alignment
– Drive on a flat, level, smooth highway and do the following tests. –
- Let your grip on the steering wheel loosen enough to let the car proceed on its own while driving down a fairly straight road on a day when the weather is dry and the wind calm. You may need an alignment if the car pulls to the left or right.
- Check the sounds from the front end of the car, driving slowly listen for scraping, whining, or grinding sounds. These may indicate excessive friction as the tire tread rubs against the road, or other problems.
- Have someone follow you at a moderate speed to observe the front to back wheel alignment. If the front wheels are not tracking in the same groove as the back, you may have a bent frame.
- Drive the car in a weaving pattern in an empty parking lot while someone observes the wheels. They may notice unusual leaning in the tires, or hear wheel bearings making noises indicating problems.