Category Archives for "Wheel Alignment"

Wheel Alignment

Let’s Get This Straight: Myths about Aligning Your Car Tyres

Your current wheel alignment regime may be dangerous and costly

When it comes to getting the longest life out of your tyres and making sure your vehicle is safe, wheel alignment is not something to be ignored. However, there is a lot of misinformation out there on when your wheels need to be aligned. The most common myth is that ‘you only need to align your wheels when you change your tyres’.

What is wheel alignment?

A wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angle of the wheels on your vehicle to ensure your wheels are straight. This reduces tyre wear and makes your vehicle safer.

Why do you need to align your wheels?

Wheel alignments should be a standard part of your vehicle maintenance. Even if your vehicle is tracking as straight as an arrow, it’s a good idea to get your alignments checked regularly. While tyres often only need to be replaced after every 50,000 kilometres or more, wheels should be realigned more often to reduce uneven tread wear and improve the life of your tyres.

If you are experiencing any of the following problems, you should get your vehicle wheel alignment checked immediately:

  • Uneven wear on your tyres
  • Steering is pulling to either the right or the left
  • Your steering wheel is not aligned to the centre when driving straight
  • Steering wheel vibration

If you have your wheels aligned only when you change your tyres, it will cost you. Your tyres will not last as long and your vehicle will be more dangerous to drive.

Sometimes it is difficult to notice small inconsistencies in your vehicles tracking. Your vehicle may pull; to one side only slightly. However, if this goes unnoticed it will get progressively worse and cause uneven tread wear on your tyres. By having a regular wheel alignment, you ensure that your vehicle always drives straight. The tyre technician will solve problems before they become serious.

What causes wheels to become misaligned?

There are many things that could knock your wheels out of alignment. Here are the three most common:

·      Road hazards

Unfortunately, road maintenance is an issue in Queensland. The chances are you are going to hit a pothole (or seven). Driving through potholes, hitting other road hazards, or bumping the curb can all cause poor wheel alignment.

·      Tyre wear and tear

Tyres are not indestructible. If taken care of properly your tyres can last a long time, but some wear and tear is inevitable. Over time, tyre rubber will crack and lose elasticity. The alignment of your wheels will start to come off centre.

·      Minor accidents

Almost one in five Australian motorists have been involved in a road accident of some kind in the past five years. Many are minor accidents, with little or no notable damage. The motorist believes there is mothing wrong. However, no matter how minor an accident it is still possible to knock your vehicle’s wheel alignment off. If you are involved in an accident, no matter how trivial, you should always have it checked over.

What the experts say

Most tyre and vehicle manufacturers recommend similar maintenance for your wheel alignments. Bridgestone’s advice is typical of that from tyre manufacturers:

 “You should perform a wheel alignment at least once a year, every time you rotate your tyres, or at every 10,000 km interval.

Compare this to when most motorists get their wheel alignment checked: only when they change their tyres. That’s around once every 50,000 kilometres – or five times as long as recommended.

If your doctor gave you a prescription for medication to be taken every day, would you do your own thing and take it only once every five days? I didn’t think so. Get your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 kilometres.

Is your steering pulling, or your steering wheel vibrating? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Centre Tips – What you need to know about wheel alignment and wheel balancing

Tyre Centre Tips – Reducing the technical to language, we can all understand

When your wheels are badly aligned, you’ll notice poor road handling and your fuel consumption will suffer, too. If you notice any of the tell-tale signs that it’s time to get your wheels aligned, then it’s best to visit the tyre centre sooner rather than later for a host of reasons.

When you take your car to the tyre centre, you should have your wheels aligned. It’s at this time that you might get bamboozled by some of the languages the tyre techs use. So here’s some explanation of what might be wrong and why you need your wheel alignment and wheel balancing regularly.

What is camber, toe, and caster when you get your wheels aligned?

In simple terms there are three elements of a Wheel Alignment. These three elements are camber, toes, and casters.

Here’s what we mean:

1. Camber

If you look at your tyres from the front or back, they should sit at 90 degrees to the road. That way, the wear will be completely even, and your tyres will have maximum contact with the road. When they face inward (with the outer edge of the tyre not touching the road), they are said to be a negative camber. When they face outward (with the inner edge of the tyre not touching the road), they are said to be a positive camber.

2. Toe

The toe is the way in which your tyres face inward or outward if they are viewed from above. If they point in at the front, we’ll tell you that they are ‘toe-in’. If they point out at the front, we’ll say ‘toe-out’.

3. Caster

This is, perhaps, the most technical aspect of having your wheels aligned. A pivot is turned when you turn the steering wheel. If it’s not set correctly, the steering will be either too light or too heavy.

There might also be some suspension damage. When the pivot’s top is pointing towards the front of the car, it is called a negative caster. When it is pointing to the rear, it is called a positive caster.

Getting your wheels aligned correctly will make sure that you get the best out of the driving experience. But when you do have new tyres fitted or have your wheels aligned, you should also benefit from wheel balancing.

What is wheel balancing?

When tyres are manufactured, the weight of rubber is never distributed exactly evenly around the tyre. If your tyre is not balanced correctly when it is fitted, it could cause a number of problems – from vibration to poor steering, to uneven tyre wear.

This uneven weight will be undetectable by hand. The first thing we do when balancing wheels is to place the tyres on the correct rims and inflate them to the right pressure. We’ll then place the wheel on a balancing machine, rotate the tyre at high speed and measure the imbalance. The machine tells us how much weight needs to be added to the wheel, and where to get to perfect balance.

When should you have your wheels aligned and wheels balanced?

If you notice any vibration, pulling, or uneven tyre wear, we’d suggest it’s time to get your alignment and balancing checked at the tyre centre. Other than that, to make sure you’re always on the right side of safe driving and optimal fuel consumption, check that you have your wheels aligned, and balanced every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometres.

If you’d like to know more about tyre maintenance, or get a free qu0te on wheel alignment and wheel balancing, give us a call on 3333 5510.

Cheers,

Pal Prashant

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When should you visit our Brisbane Tyre Centre to get your Wheels aligned?

Tell-tale signs that it’s time to visit our Brisbane tyre centre and get your wheels aligned

Tyres can last tens of thousands of kilometres if they are treated right and you look after them. As I discussed a short while ago, you can save your life and your money by proper tyre rotation. The same can be said for wheel alignment: when your wheels are properly aligned, you’ll notice the difference in handling, fuel consumption, and on the life of your tyres. But how do you know it’s time to head to our Brisbane tyre centre to get your wheels aligned?

4 signs it’s time to get your wheels aligned

There are some classic signs that you are suffering from bad wheel alignment:

1. Uneven wear: indicated by different patterns of wear on front and back tyres of nearside and offside tyres.

2. Steering is pulling: if you find that you are beginning to wrestle with the steering wheel to stay in a straight line, the wheel alignment is probably the cause. A less aggressive pull – when you’re on a road, and the car gently pulls one way or the other – is an early warning signal.

3. Car vibration: if you’re driving along and the car starts to judder and the steering wheel vibrate, then wheel alignment is again the most likely cause.

4. Misaligned steering wheel: if your steering wheel is crooked when you’re driving in a straight line, it’s time to get your wheels aligned.

The benefits of keeping the wheels aligned correctly

According to RACV’s cost of motoring study, a properly fitted and correctly aligned set of wheels should last 45,000 kilometres. With an average mileage of 45,000 kilometres per year, your tyres should be good for three years. It’s recommended that you check if your wheels are properly aligned once a year (or every 15,000 kilometres) to make certain that you get maximum wear. If you do this, then you will:

  1. satisfy tyre warranties
  2. improve the handling of your car
  3. reduce wear and tear on the steering column and other engine parts
  4. get better fuel consumption

If you’re unsure if it’s time to get your wheels aligned, then err on the side of caution and have them checked by a professional at our Brisbane tyre centre. Doing so could save more than a few kilometres every litre of fuel: better handling equals a safer drive.

If you’d like to know more about tyre maintenance, or get a free quote on wheel alignment, give us a call on 3333 5510.

Cheers,

Kevin Wood

Tyre Centre Tips – hitting the curb will cost your tyres and vehicle

We are often in a hurry, whether we are running late for work, dropping the kids at school, struggling to make that appointment or running more errands than capable in one day. This often means that we are a lot more susceptible to hitting the gutter when parking, running up the traffic island or hitting the pothole a little bit too fast. Unaware at the time with our minds worrying about the shopping in the boot, making the meeting or picking up the kids, these bumps, knocks and ditches for our tyres are expensive and damaging. A top tyre centre tip is to take the time to avoid any sudden unnecessary bumps and jolts to the wheels; you might think ‘one bump doesn’t matter’ but when you get the bill from your tyre centre for a set of new tyres you’ll wish you’d taken a bit more care.

How will it affect my tyres and vehicle?

Knocking your wheel alignment out can have substantial effects on driving performance and tread wear on your tyres. By knocking your wheel alignment but just 1/8th. of an inch you can cause irreparable damage to your suspension, tyres and wheels. By having your alignment out by that much is the equivalent of dragging your tyres sideways for 84 metres every 1.5km you travel.

Prevention is the best medicine…

Obviously to avoid damaging your tyres and wheels is the first step to avoiding damage to your vehicles wheel alignment and suspension. In saying that we don’t always see the pothole coming up in the road, or in that tricky reverse park in the city we may accidentally push up against the gutter. There is only so much we can do to minimise the damage on our own behalf. Regular checks by Darra Tyres experts when you are purchasing new tyres or replacing a tyre is the best bet to help prevent damage to your vehicle and potentially your safety.

To have your vehicle inspected by experts who have been in the industry for years come down to Darra Tyre Service and receive the customer experience that you deserve. Give us a call now on 3333 5510 or you can enquire online and one of our sales team will be in contact with you very shortly.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin and Darra Team

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