Wheel alignment, or tracking, is the process of ensuring your vehicle’s wheels are set to the optimum position, so that tyres wear evenly. Wheel alignment can be affected by impacts whilst driving such as; hitting a kerb or pothole or by excessive wear to steering and/or suspension components.
Incorrect alignment can result in rapid irregular tyre wear and can even affect the handling and safety of the vehicle.
Wheel alignment involves checking the direction and angle of the wheels. The misalignment positions are often described as toe in, toe out, positive camber or negative camber.
"Toe" refers to whether the front of the tyres is closer or further apart than the rear of the tyres. Different types of vehicles need different toe settings to allow for the way that wheels pull either towards each other or apart.
"Camber" is the inward or outward tilt of a tyre. The camber is set by the vehicle manufacturer, and can be affected by potholes in the road and may need to be adjusted periodically.
Correctly aligned tyres can significantly increase the life expectancy of your tyres and increase your fuel efficiency, saving you money at the pumps. It is recommended to check your tyres regularly for any unusual wear such as premature wear on the inside or outside shoulder, which could be a sign of incorrect alignment. An annual check carried out by a professional is also highly recommended to ensure you get the best from your tyres.