The Importance Of Wheel Alignment & Balancing For Safe Driving
Imagine driving down the road at high speed when you suddenly notice your car vibrating with uncontrollable force?
That’s enough to make even professionals sweat. Vibrating wheels or steering is never standard and is often a result of wheel imbalance or non-alignment. Unfortunately, few car owners give much attention to these aspects and risk their lives on the road.
But, guess what? You can avoid the accident risk by taking a few small measures to align your wheels periodically and balance.
In this article, we will understand the importance of a) wheel alignment, b) wheel balancing, and c) How wheel alignment and balancing can help with safe driving.
What is Wheel Alignment?
Wheel alignment is an adjustment of the suspension system that connects a vehicle to its wheels. In other words, the system connects the wheels to the car.
An alignment does not involve adjusting the wheels or tyres themselves. The key is adjusting the angle at which the tyres contact the road, which affects how the tyres make contact. A correct wheel alignment makes it easy for a vehicle to steer and allows the tyres to wear evenly. The tyres are calibrated to 'point' straight ahead.
Wheel alignment becomes increasingly necessary as roads worsen. Tyres can be knocked out of alignment when you accidentally hit curbs and parking blocks. It also happens when accidentally hitting a cement divider while making a wrong turn.
Top Reasons Behind Wheel Alignment?
You might be wondering why the wheel is out of alignment. Here are a few possible reasons behind wheel non-alignment.
- It is common for potholes and manholes without covers to severely damage your vehicle's suspension, wheel alignment, and balancing. A misaligned vehicle not only reduces your car's fuel efficiency but also endangers your safety.
- Even something as small as a minor collision or curb hit can also throw a car out of alignment. Due to the fact that there is hardly any visible damage, the majority of the time drivers ignore the signs such as noisy steering and tyre pulling.
Wheel Alignment: Does it matter?
Experts recommend having your vehicle aligned at least once every six months - and as soon as possible if you have been in an accident.
Fuel efficiency is the biggest reason wheel alignment is so critical. With no pulling or friction between wheels, your car is more fuel-efficient and handles better on its own.
Additionally, if you don't realign your wheels regularly, you may have to pay more for car maintenance. It may even cause your tyres to wear unevenly, which means more expenses in tyre replacement.
Because of the increased tension caused by wheel misalignment, flat spots and tyre blowouts are very common. It also affects negatively your car’s performance as it can damage rims and suspension.
Does Your Wheel Need Alignment? Know When It’s Time To Get Them in Alignment.
In most cases, how often you need your wheels aligned depends on your driving style and typical road conditions. Deteriorated roads can often be to blame for alignment problems. It is possible for your alignment to be affected by potholes, poorly maintained roads, or even curbs.
Drivers should also know the following information about wheel alignments:
- Unless you know you've hit a pothole or other obstacle, your alignment should be checked at least every 10,000 miles or every six months.
- Get your tyre re-aligned when you install brand-new tyres or wheels.
- If you own a sporty car or have wider tyres, align it more often.
In most cases, no specific requirements exist for wheel alignments. However, if there are signs of alignment issues, a trusted mechanic will typically recommend one every six months.
Camber, Toe & Caster: Three Types of Wheel Alignment You Must Know
- Camber Alignment
Camber is an angle viewed from the front of the tyre, indicating whether it is inward or outward. When your car tyres are not aligned, have too much tilt, or have negative or positive camber, it means a problem that needs to be addressed. A misaligned camber can also be caused by worn bearings, ball joints, and other suspension components.
- Toe Alignment
Toe is the amount of inward or outward turn your tyres have when viewed from above. When the vehicle is travelling straight, the tyres will run parallel with one another. This will be because of the inward or outward pointing of the wheels relative to the vehicle's center line.
- Caster Alignment
The caster angle of a wheel can align it with the direction of travel. Generally, the caster angle refers to the deviation of the steering axis from the vertical axis of a navigated wheel. This is whether it is in a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or another vehicle.
This angle specifies the forward or backward slope of the line drawn through the upper and lower steering pivot points. The caster angle does not affect tyre wear, but it affects steering directional control. Manufacturers can choose the steering angle settings to balance steering effort, high-speed stability, and front-end cornering performance.
Now that you know, wheel alignment is all about the angle, direction, and how your wheels work when mounted on a car. However, without a precise balance, your wheel won't run smoothly.
Let's find out what wheel balancing is:
What is Wheel Balancing? The Need For Wheel Balancing
When the wheel isn't balanced, it will vibrate as it rotates. The faster the rotation, the more vibration there is. That's where wheel balancing comes in. It is often used alongside wheel alignment to compensate for any weight imbalances in the tyre combination.
Technicians use a modern wheel balancer test that does both dynamic and static balance simultaneously, so wheels should always be balanced off your car when balancing them. According to the test results, proper balance will be restored. In most cases, tyre balancing is conducted with tyre rotation and is usually performed every 5-6,000 miles or six months.
A regular tyre balancing service is especially crucial for modern cars, as they are lightweight and designed for a smooth ride. Go to DWBtyres, a reputable electronic wheel balance service provider in Dubai, and get your wheels aligned as early as possible. After all, taking preventive measures is better than putting yourself in danger.
The car will start shaking when the wheel is not balanced or aligned correctly. These vibrations are dangerous for the passengers in the car and can result in fatal accidents.
DWBtyres is a leading wheel balancing and wheel alignment service provider in Abu Dhabi and has earned its name for providing quality services in the Abu Dhabi region. Our electronic wheel balancing service has helped several clients improve fuel efficiency and save costs in car maintenance over the years.
So, why wait? Visit our shop in Abu Dhabi if you need wheel alignment or balancing services.