Your wheel alignment should be checked every 20,000 km. As your vehicle ages, gravity works against the springs that it rides on. Over time, the springs weaken causing your vehicle to sit closer to the ground. When your vehicles ride height changes, your steering angles also change. Your wheels start to point in or out slightly. This happens equally on both sides so it does not affect the centre position of your steering wheel. If your wheels are pointed out, it will wear the inside edge of your tires. If your wheels are pointed in, it will wear the outside edge of your tires.
Any time you hit something on the road, steering parts may be bent and wheel alignment angles may have changed. If you hit something with great enough force to do damage, have your vehicle checked out right away. Wheel alignment angles can change causing erratic handling and tire wear.
If your steering wheel is off centre, its a good idea to have your wheel alignment checked. There is an obvious problem. Some vehicles with electric power steering rely on a sensor in the steering column to properly operate. If the centre position is not calibrated it may cause power steering problems and could disable your power steering altogether.
On dry pavement you may not notice any change in vehicle handling, but your vehicle may handle poorly in bad road conditions. Don’t get an unexpected surprise when you hit that patch of ice or water. Take care of your vehicle so it can take care of you.
What is Involved
- Sensors are installed on all four wheels to measure alignment angles
- Adjustments are made to point wheels at manufacture specific angles
- Steering wheel sensor is reset (if applicable)
What Can Happen if I Don’t Do a Wheel Alignment
- Your tires can wear at an uneven rate causing individual tire replacement prematurely
- Your vehicle will not handle properly
- It can put added stress on steering components causing premature wear
Due to the wide range of vehicles makes and models, this is general information and should not be taken as specific to any vehicle. Please consult manufacturer specifications for the correct specifications and repair procedures for your vehicle. This information is meant to be used as a guideline only.
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