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What is wheel alignment?

11th March 2019

Also known as wheel tracking, wheel alignment refers to the angle or direction that your tyres are set to. These alignment specifications can change based on each individual manufacture – the wheel alignment is set to the optimum position for the car’s performance. Ensuring your wheel alignment is correct is not only important for your car’s health, but for your own driving safety, too.

What causes bad wheel alignment?

It’s important to be aware of what causes wheels to go out of alignment. This way, you can protect your tyres and help to improve tyre life with lower maintenance fees in the long run. But what causes wheel alignment to change?

  • Refitted tyres - if you’ve recently had your tyres changed, or you’ve changed them yourself, it may be worth making sure these are correctly aligned. A trained expert at Merityre specialists can do this for you.
  • Driving style - ensuring you’re careful when driving can save your tyres from becoming badly aligned. Bad driving such as hitting kerbs or turning corners sharply can lead to wear of your tyres, and cause them to become badly aligned.
  • Terrain - with winter often comes ice and snow, which can damage our roads. Avoid potholes as much as you can – although this isn’t necessarily possible, potholes can cause wheels to come out of alignment.

Do I need wheel alignment?

Perhaps you’re thinking that some of the above issues have occurred to you or your tyres? It may be worth checking that your tyres are aligned correctly. So, what are the warning signs to look out for?

  • Dragging - if your vehicle is pulling or dragging to one side, this could be a sign that your wheels are out of alignment.
  • Tyre wear - physically looking at your tyres for wear and tear can also indicate your wheel alignment is out of place. Look out for premature wear on the inside or outside shoulder of the tyre.
  • Steering wheel vibration - this is only relevant to some vehicles, but the steering wheel can vibrate excessively, or unusually, which could indicate you may need to get your wheel alignment checked out.

Want to make sure your wheels are aligned correctly? At Merityre, we offer a free wheel alignment check – let one of our trained experts help you with all your tyre needs.