One of the most important maintenance services you can have done on your vehicle is a wheel alignment. It keeps you, your passengers and everyone around you safe – and it is one of the easiest ways to help prolong the life of your vehicle.
What does a wheel alignment do for your car?
A wheel alignment does so much more than just look at the alignment of your
wheels. In addition to the wheels and tyres, it involves several parts that make
your car drive straight and safely.
A wheel alignment:
- Helps your tyres last longer
- Creates a more comfortable ride – especially if you do a lot of motorway
- Helps you save on fuel
- Improves the suspension and performance of your vehicle
- Increases the safety of your vehicle.
What are the signs of bad wheel alignment?
It’s essential to have your wheel alignment professionally checked on a regular
basis (more about this below). But in between those checks, there are some signs that your car’s wheel alignment needs attention.
Get in touch with us to book a wheel alignment check if you notice any of the
- your vehicle pulls to one side when driving
- the steering wheel turns on its own when driving on a straight, smooth road
- your steering is loose, meaning you can slightly turn the steering wheel
without the car moving right or left
- you feel a vibration on the steering wheel
- the tread on your tyres is wearing unevenly
- you hear squealing from your tyres, especially when turning the car
Should you get a wheel alignment after new tyres?
Yes, we recommend that you do get a wheel alignment after new tyres are put on your car. If the tyres are brand new, the tread should be perfect. But we still need to ensure that all four tyres have been put on with the right caster and camber and that all steering and suspension angles are correct.
If you replace only one or two tyres (sometimes tyres are replaced in pairs), it is still a very good idea to have a wheel alignment done. We need to ensure that all four tyres are working properly together to keep you safe on the road.
How long does a wheel alignment take?
At Mt Roskill Collision Centre, a wheel alignment takes approximately one hour.
During this service we will check your car’s wheel alignment and all the necessary mechanical factors.
We ensure that all four tyres are lined up in a straight line and not angled to one
side (parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground).
We also check the tilt of your tyres (caster and camber), their thrust and ride
height. We’ll ensure that all four tyres have the appropriate angle and height
measurements so they’re working together to give you the safest, smoothest and most fuel-efficient ride.
Can a wheel alignment be done wrong?
Not all mechanics are as thorough as others. It’s essential that a wheel alignment includes the following:
Caster – the tilting of the uppermost point of the steering axis either forward or
backward when viewed from the side. Caster affects the directional control
of the steering.
Camber – the tilting of the wheels from the vertical when viewed from the front of the vehicle. When wheels tilt outward at the top, the camber is positive;
when wheels tilt inward at the top, the camber is negative. Camber settings
influence directional control and tire wear.
Toe – how much the wheels are turned in or out from a straight-ahead position.
When the wheels are turned in, toe is positive; when the wheels are turned
out, toe is negative. The purpose of toe is to ensure that the wheels roll
How much does a wheel alignment cost?
At Mt Roskill Collision Centre, our standard wheel alignment cost is $85 (incl GST), which includes:
- Full toe adjustment
- Camber and caster adjustment
How often a wheel alignment should be done
We recommend you have a wheel alignment done every six months, or after every 10,000 kms. This is our general guide, but if you drive more than 20,000 kms per year, or you drive on rural, rough or bumpy roads, you may need to have a wheel alignment done more frequently.
We also recommend that you have a wheel alignment done if your vehicle has been involved in a collision. Regardless of how ‘minor’ you think the accident is, it’s always wise to have your wheels, tyres and suspension checked. Sometimes there is unseen damage that can make your car unsafe.
The experienced team at Mt Roskill Collision Centre can give you advice on how
often you need to have a wheel alignment based on your specific vehicle and driving conditions.