We all know that tyres are the only point of contact between a vehicle and the surface beneath it. As such, the quality of the tyres you choose is essential for safe driving, handling, braking and acceleration.
With safety in mind as the top priority, drivers shopping for quality tyres in UAE should know that aligning their wheels and tyres improves both their performance and longevity. As experts in this area, we know that tyres and wheels can often become misaligned every time you hit potholes, bumps, curbs or drive on uneven surfaces. They can also misalign through general wear and tear which is why everyone should know a few things about wheel and tyre alignment.
In today’s post, we are talking about wheel alignment in detail, starting from its importance, covering the warning signs of misaligned wheels and many other details.
What Is Wheel Alignment?
As we already hinted above, wheel alignment covers the angle of your wheels in comparison to each other – as well as their angle compared to the body of your vehicle. It is adjusted by altering the suspension of the vehicle.
Just like many parts of the car, tyres and wheels require maximum precision to function safely. They can easily become misaligned due to anything from road conditions and driving habits or external factors.
Our tyre experts in UAE use state of art technology for proper tyre alignment. We are able to accurately determine how much every tyre should be adjusted for every wheel, and apply the same methods on each wheel accordingly.
Generally speaking, getting your wheel alignment checked is something that every driver should practice on at least 10,000 kilometers as well as any time you experience a change in the driving or handling the vehicle.
Summing It Up: Taking care of your wheel and tyre alignment means making sure that your vehicle drives safely. It can also reduce the wear on your tyres and improve every aspect of the driving, optimizing stability and improving your handling performance.
Driving on a bumpy road increases the chances for improper tyre and wheel alignment.
Checking Your Camber, Toe And Caster
Some of the things many drivers are not aware of (when they are in need of wheel and tyre alignment) are the following.
- Camber – Basically, the camber is the inward or outward angle of the tyre when it is viewed from the front of the vehicle. Too much tilt inwards or outwards is known as negative and positive camber, respectively. This indicates improper alignment and is mainly a result of worn bearings, ball joints and other wheel/suspension parts.
- Toe – Toe alignment is a metric that covers the extent to which the tyres turn inward or outward when viewed from above.
- Caster – Lastly, the caster angle is what helps your vehicle balance steering, stability, and cornering. This angle is the one viewed from the side of your vehicle. So, if you have a positive caster, the steering axis of your vehicle will tilt towards the driver. Negative caster is associated with the axis tilting toward the front of the vehicle.
Below is a great visual by RacingJunk which shows how the camber, toe and caster affect the driving and overall safety of the car. In addition, there are some wear indicators on the left.
A Couple Of Warning Signs That May Lead To Misaligned Wheels And Tyres
Believe it or not, the angle of your wheels is always changing and can become misaligned easily, causing a lot of changes to your driving experience. For instance, many drivers experience their cars going a bit to the left or to the right when driving on a flat and straight road. This is one of the signals associated with misaligned wheels or misaligned tyres.
These are the top warnings signs which could signal a potential tyre misalignment:
- Uneven tread wear – Tyre wear and tyre health are commonly affected by misalignment. If your tyre patterns are off centered or one tyre is more worn than the others, the lack of smooth rotation can create other wear patterns to show up, such as excessive wear on the tyre’s inside edge as well as the outside edges of the tyres.
- Vibrating steering wheel – A steering wheel that is vibrating (is probably off-centered) will occur at higher speeds, and can adversely affect the tyre wear, as well as lead to a flat or a blown out tyre if not addressed on time.
- Noises from your tyres – In some cases, a certain noise coming from the wheels can be heard, which is often associated with improper alignment. The best way to make sure this is the case with your tyres and wheels is to visit your nearest tyre expert in UAE.
- Pulling to sides – The vehicle pulling off to the left or right side of the road is probably one of the main signs of improper wheel alignment. If this happens to you, you should immediately take your car to a parking lot or drive to your nearest tyre repair expert in UAE.
‘When Should I Get An Alignment?’
This is one of the most frequently asked questions by drivers.
Since wheel alignment is a major factor in the vehicle’s steering and handling response, getting your wheels aligned should come as early as you spot some of the signs from above.
In an even better scenario, we recommend to inspect your tyre alignment on every service or at least once in 6 months. Our service technicians at TyresOnline can help you make most of your tyres and make sure that your vehicle is safe and sound.
The Process Of Tyre Alignment
Tyre alignment in UAE is a process that many drivers are familiar with. However, it is also a process that varies depending on the specific vehicle. Aligning wheels on a small hatchback and a truck is not the same.
Passenger cars with modern four wheel suspension receive a different alignment process when compared to the wishbone suspension – commonly used for the wheels and tyres on big trucks.
Again, this is why tyre alignment in UAE is best done by licensed service technicians that work with modern computer alignment capabilities. Certified by automakers, our technicians at TyresOnline have the right equipment, technology and expertise to properly align tyres to the exact vehicle specifications on every make and model.
Is tyre alignment the same as wheel balancing?
Yes, tyre alignment and wheel balancing are essentially part of the same process.
Basically, wheel balancing is integral to smooth driving, safety, tyre wear and stability. It is also the process that allows the tyres to spin without any vibrations.
However, tyre balancing is distinct from wheel alignment in the way it refers to compensation for any of the weight imbalances in the tyre and wheel combinations. The procedure involves detaching the wheels out of the vehicle, as the modern balancers nowadays use both dynamic and static balance in a simultaneous way.
Note: If your steering has an out-of-balance condition, the four wheels are balanced (front and back).
Trends In Wheel And Tyre Alignment And Balancing
Nowadays, there are two main trends in wheel balancing and alignment: lightweight suspencion systems as well as lower profile tyres. Both of these trends have brought the need for regular balancing and alignments, mostly because newer car models are more sensitive to imbalance compared to older and heavier cars.
So, the three main reasons why your tyres need alignment are:
- Smooth ride
- Longer lifespan
All in all, improper tyre alignment and wheel balancing causes issues with the way your vehicle handles roads. The main one is the safety hazard, which is also a primary thing to consider when looking for wheel and tyre alignment and balancing in UAE.
If you have more questions or are interested in tyre alignment, don’t hesitate to contact our experts and schedule an appointment.