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What is Wheel Alignment?

Wheel Alignment defined

If your wheels are not aligned appropriately on your vehicle, it’s going to cost you money in the long run. A wheel alignment refers to the procedures used to check and adjust the wheel and tyre system, including the camber, caster, and toe.

Improperly aligned wheels can prematurely wear out your tyres and suspension system, along with compromising the handling and performance of your vehicle. There are a number of tell tale signs that the alignment of the wheels are out on a motor vehicle. These include steering wheel vibration, a constant pull to one side when steering, tyre squeal noises when making turns, excessive vibration as your speed accelerates, and changes in direction after your car has hit a bump on the road.

Mechanics use a number of hi-tech and computerized alignment equipment to measure all alignment angles on today’s cars when doing a wheel alignment. These include both adjustable and non-adjustable angles. The most common adjustable angles are the toe, caster and thrust angle.

The toe refers to the tilted direction of the wheels toward or away from one another when viewed from the top. Wheels that tilt in toward the vehicle have “negative camber.” Wheels that tilt away from the vehicle have “positive camber.”

The caster refers to the angle of the steering axis in relation to an imaginary vertical line through the centre of the wheel when viewed from the side. “Positive caster” is the term used when the vertical line is tilted back toward the rear. If it’s tilted forward, we call it “negative caster.”

The term Thrust Angle refers to the relationship of all four wheels to each other, as well as their relationship to an imaginary centre line that runs from bumper to bumper. The term “thrust line” refers to the direction in which the rear wheels are pointed.

For the best economy, handling, steering and overall balance of your motor vehicle it is essential to have its wheel alignment up to date and correct.We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Wheel Alignment?’!

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