With the condition of our roads getting increasingly worse and the number of pot holes making some roads look like there has been artillery practice taking place on them it’s no wonder the number of cars needing wheel alignment (or tracking as it is often called) is on the rise.
But what is wheel alignment? In simple terms it makes sure that all of your wheels are pointing in the right direction and are at the correct angle; this in turn helps your tyres wear evenly.
How do I know if I need it doing? If the alignment is severely out then you may notice that your steering wheel isn’t straight or that the car ‘pulls’ to one side; if you are unable to hold the steering wheel straight with 2 fingers on either side then this can also be an indication. Once your alignment has been out for some time you will start to notice the tyres wearing down on one side of the tread faster than on the other (remember to have your steering on full lock when you check so you can see the inner edge of the tyre). How long it takes for the uneven wear to show very much depends on how out of alignment your wheels are. In extreme cases tyres can be worn out in less than 1000 miles!
What benefit is it to me? Not only does incorrect wheel alignment wear your tyres unevenly meaning you have to replace them more frequently, it can also affect your fuel consumption. With fuel costs ever on the rise and good quality tyres’ being far from cheap it certainly pays to have your wheel alignment checked, especially when you are having new tyres fitted.