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061-222 688 / 0817201685 / 0817387630

Wheel Alignment

TIRE OR WHEEL ALIGNMENT

Wangara Automotive Group has invested in state-of-the-art machines to ensure that your alignment is performed accurately.  When your wheel alignment is off, your ability to drive safely is compromised. Unaligned wheels can be obvious like when your car pulls to one side of the road or the steering wheel is skewed.  In other cases the driver will not even notice.  It is therefore, advisable that you check your alignment every year or every 10,000km.

Without a proper wheel alignment, your fuel economy, tire life, your safety and the overall performance of your vehicle will suffer.

Importance of  vehicle wheel alignment

Wheel alignment is part of standard automobile maintenance done to adjust wheel angles to be parallel to each other and be perpendicular to the ground.  Wheel alignment is essential to avoid three errors that can cause three basic problems on your car

  1. Irregular Tire wear
  2. Handling problems
  3. Crooked steering wheel

Irregular Tire Wear

A common indicator of misalignment is excessive shoulder wear on a tire.  This type of irregular wear is often caused by errors in camber or toe.  Camber, which is the inward or outward tilt of a wheel, can cause outward shoulder wear if the wheel is tilted too far out.  If the wheel is tilted too far inward, the inside shoulder will wear.  This problem can occur in the front or rear.

Toe:  Toe errors will also cause shoulder wear. In fact very rapid wear.  If the wheels are pointed too far inward, the outside tread will wear first.  Rapid inside wear will occur if the wheels are pointed too far out.

Vehicle Pull-Handling Problem

Camber:  A pull problem is another indication of misalignment.  An alignment pull can be caused by side to side errors in camber or side to side errors in caster.  If front wheels are both tilted to the left, this will cause the vehicle to always want to steer to the left.  If the front wheels are both tilted to the right, the car will tend to want to steer to the right all the time.

Caster:  Another way to introduce a pull is with errors in caster. Caster which is the front to rear tilt of front of the steering axis should be the same on each side.  If for example, the right side is positive and the left side is negative, the front wheel will try to steer the car to the left all the time.

Crooked Steering Wheel:  Misalignment will also cause a crooked wheel. If a car is properly aligned, the steering wheel will be straight, but errors in rear toe or errors in front toe will cause the steering position to change.  So if you see a shift in the position of your steering wheel, unusual tire wear or if your car is pulling, come to Wangara immediately to have your alignment checked.    Waiting will only cause you much more money in the long run.

What Wangara Performs on your Vehicle during alignment

When Wangara performs wheel alignment service on your vehicle, our technician will inspect and/or adjust your vehicle’s:

  • Camber, caster and toe angles (when applicable)
  • Front and rear steering
  • Suspension system
  • Tire wear and tire condition
  • Tire air pressure

How long Wheel Alignment Lasts

As much as Wangara provides you with accurate wheel alignment, the alignment does not last the life of your car.  In fact you can leave Wangara workshop today and an innocent hit to the curb or an unavoidable pothole can cause a sudden or sometimes a dramatic change to the alignment.  Regardless of this type of impact, wheel alignment is always changing.  A considerable shift in alignment can occur in only a year, but because these changes occur gradually overtime.

Additionally, joints and bushes in the suspension system wear gradually which makes it more difficult to hold the alignment in place.  Then Camber and caster both begin to change.  The same change happens to the steering system.  Normal wear and tear takes its toll and toe begins to change.  The rear of the car also experiences the same changes (wear & tear).  The springs are wearing out too, and as the springs give way so goes the alignment.

Even though this type of wear is very slow,  eventually certain parts may require replacement before the alignment can be done.  So from time to time, Wangara technicians will advise you to replace parts, before wheel alignment can be performed successfully.

To recap, rapid change in alignment is usually caused by impact or collision damage.  The type of impact that will bend or move parts for example a control arm, a tire rod assembly or even a shift in the suspension in the chassis.  Of course damaged parts will require replacement.

The alignment condition of your car is always changing and because these changes are small and occur slowly over time, it is easy for handling and tire wear conditions to become firmly established.  That is why Wangara Automotive Group recommends that you have regular wheel alignment check at any of our branches.

Wheel Alignment is a Necessity not a Choice

If you elect not to wash your car it is only going to look bad.  If you elect not to get your AC serviced, you are going to be very uncomfortable in the heat.  However, if you elect not to get a wheel alignment, you risk fuel economy, life of your tires, original factory handling characteristics of your vehicle which are not only annoying, but potentially dangerous.  Wheel alignment is not and should never be considered an elective service.

Wheel alignment should always be done following:

  • Installation of new tyres
  • Rotation of existing tyres.
  • Replacement of suspension
  • Replacement of steering system parts
  • Following body or collision repairs.

To protect your investment in new tyres, to prolong the life of your tyres,  to avoid handling problems and prevent steering position errors, wheel alignment should always be checked at regular intervals and adjusted when necessary.