Wheel Alignment is Crucial for a Car’s Smooth Handling and Performance


An automobile is made up of thousands of components. They work in tandem to ensure the machine functions smoothly. On our part, we should see that the car is well-maintained and periodically sent for service. There are many measures that come under maintenance, and one of them is checking that the wheel alignment is right.


What is Wheel Alignment? Why is It Necessary?


Wheel alignment, sometimes called tracking or breaking, comes under standard automobile preventive maintenance procedures, where the angles of the wheels are checked and adjusted to ensure that the wheels are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the road.

The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce wear and tear of the tyres, thus making the handling of the car proper and the overall ride significantly safer. When the alignment is faulty, there is an uneven amount of fiction and a great deal of resistance from the road. More resistance translates to quicker wearing off of the rubber of the tyres. A proper wheel alignment contributes to better mileage because when the tyres are correctly aligned with the road, the uneven friction is countered, and there is lesser resistance to the tyres. Another problem due to lack of proper alignment could be that the brake shaft would not work optimally. The car could be pulled to one side on account of uneven tyres, and this could lead to a problem in the steering system, which in turn might result in unstable braking.


What Causes It?


Wheel misalignment could be a result of multiple factors; some of the key ones are –

·         Driving on badly maintained roads

·         Sudden or hard impact due to a collision, going over a big pothole, or even bumping into a curb

·         Worn-out parts

·         As a result of everyday driving, the car’s suspension could wear out, and the springs might be stretched out

How Do we Know We Need to Check for it?


These are some of the symptoms of wheel misalignment –

·         Vehicle tends to swerve to the left or right

·         The car drifts to one side even when is being driven straight

·         Uneven or fast tyre wear

·         Even when driving straight, the steering wheel is turned

·         Vibration in the steering wheel

·         Squeaking tyres



As a rule of thumb, one should get it done it after every 5,000kms, or it is not a bad idea to get the alignment checked once a year, perhaps when the tyres are rotated. If you are on the fence about whether to get it or not, check the car’s manual to check how often the manufacturer recommends the service. If you happen to hit something big like a boulder, it’s strongly advisable to get the wheel alignment examined. Wheel alignment can also be checked when the car is fitted with new tyres.