Wheel Alignments also known as "Tracking" are a critical suspension and steering geometry that dictates the way your car drives, brakes and very much contributes to poor or incorrect tyre wear. Adjustments to wheel lean, fixed steering angle and steering weight.
If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side, vibration through your steering wheel on the highway, resistance turning, or if you have had any impact with a road hazard, pothole or curb, your car should be checked by one of our technicians. This can prevent uneven or premature tyre wear, unnecessary wearing of the suspension and steering components of your vehicle and give you better handling and a safer ride for you and your passengers.
It is vital for safety on the roads, tyre wear and vehicle handling to ensure that all the measurements and angles within the suspension are correct.
There are 3 main components to every Wheel Alignment, Camber, Toe, Caster. If just one of these adjustments is out of alignment, several issues may occure including vehicle dangerous to drive, uneven tyre wear, increase in braking distance, damage to your suspension components, your vehicle pulling to one side and/or vibration when driving, plus several others that you may not notice while dirving.
Alignment settings do vary from vehilce to vehicle depending on the make, model and your performance requirements, for example a high performance track car differs from an on-road vehicles that ideally want good fuel economy, low wear on components, low road noise and no road pulling left or right. Our highly trained technicians are experienced with every type of vehicle and our workshop is equipped with alignment technology, to give you the very best results.
What are the settings that we adjust.
The Camber is the top to bottom lean of your wheel. If the top of your wheel is further out than the bottom of your wheel, it is called positive camber, likewise if the bottom is further out than the top of your wheel, it is called negative camber. Correct camber ensures the right amount of tyre tread is in contact with the road at all times for optimum braking, turning and tyre longevity. For road use the wheels should be almost perfectly upright when the car is stationary on a flat surface. You may not be able to see the small amount of camber if there is any. A high performance race car or sports car may have up to several degrees of negative camber which aids steering performance in high speed corners with high performance tyres
Wheel Toe describes fixed steering angle when stationary and when turning. Looking from above, Toe in has the front of the wheels closer together than the rear of the wheels, Toe out is the opposite, the rear of the wheels closer together than the front of the wheels. Incorrect Toe adjustment is the greatest cause of tyre wear over any other setting. Correct Toe angle will also assist the straight-line stability with little to no left to right pull, and corner handling characteristics of your vehicle.
Caster angle is basically a measure of how far forward or back your wheel is sitting. The wheel is mounted to the hub and strut which is part of the suspension, if that upright strut leans back, or forward, that changhes the caster, which effects steering weight and response to steering inputs. Excessive negative caster angle can make steering heavier and correspondingly excessive positive caster angle can make your steering less responsive and make it more difficult to maintain a straight line. Caster is a vital adjustment to vehicle stability, not commonly adjusted much other than to maintain manufacturer deisng specifications
There are many other angles and geometrical details that I wont bore you with, but they are all vital, and are all are checked as part of the alignment "sweeps".