The Importance of Wheel Alignments

May 5, 2024

Wheel alignments are a crucial aspect of vehicle maintenance that often get overlooked by drivers. But understanding why they are needed and what mechanics do during the process can help you appreciate their significance in keeping your car in top shape.

Why are Wheel Alignments Needed?

Wheel alignments are necessary to ensure that your vehicle’s wheels are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Over time, factors like driving over rough roads, hitting potholes, or even minor collisions can cause your wheels to become misaligned. When your wheels are not properly aligned, it can lead to a host of issues, including uneven tire wear, decreased fuel efficiency, and poor handling.

What Mechanics Do During an Alignment

When you bring your car in for a wheel alignment, the mechanics use special equipment to measure and adjust the angles of your wheels. This process involves adjusting the camber, caster, and toe angles to the manufacturer’s specifications. Camber refers to the vertical angle of the wheels, caster is the angle of the steering pivot, and toe is the angle at which the wheels point inward or outward.

Scheduled Alignments vs. Alignments Due to Part Replacement

Scheduled wheel alignments are typically recommended by car manufacturers at specific mileage intervals or as part of routine maintenance. These alignments help ensure that your vehicle drives smoothly and efficiently. On the other hand, alignments needed due to part replacement are often required after replacing certain components like the steering rack, suspension parts, or tires. When these parts are replaced, it can affect the wheel alignment, necessitating adjustments to maintain optimal performance.

Wheel alignments play a crucial role in keeping your vehicle safe and performing at its best. Understanding why they are needed and what goes into the alignment process can help you appreciate the importance of this maintenance task. Whether it’s a scheduled alignment or one required after a part replacement, staying on top of your wheel alignments will help prolong the life of your tires and ensure a smooth driving experience.

If you’re in the Orléans area in Ottawa’s East End, and you think you might need a wheel alignment, send us an email or give us a call to book an appointment.

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