Wheel alignment is important for the life of your tyres and the health of your vehicle. Alignment consists of adjusting the direction and angles and even the position of the wheels. Correct wheel alignment to the specification required by your vehicles manufacturer maximizes tyre life and ensures your vehicle will track straight and true when driving on a straight and level road. If your wheel alignment is out of spec, it can result in rapid and irregular tyre wear that can affect the handling and safety of your vehicle. Wheel alignment can be adversely affected by hitting potholes, driving against pavements or by excessive wear to suspension or steering components. Wheel alignment consists of the following measurements: toe in, toe out, positive camber, negative camber as well as negative and positive caster. These measurements have certain tolerances that a technician uses to get as close as they can to the right measurement. A pair of wheels is said to have toe-in when their leading edges are pointed slightly towards each other. If the leading edges point away from each other, the pair is said to have toe-out. Toe settings affect three major areas of performance: catastrophic tyre wear, poor straight-line stability and unstable corner entry handling characteristics.
The Camber, the inward or outward tilt of a tyre, is set by the vehicle manufacturer, and can be affected by potholes in the road and may need to be adjusted periodically. Incorrect camber settings could cause premature wear on the inside or outside shoulder of your tyres, which is something worth keeping an eye on. You should have your wheels checked after any impact with a pavement, pothole or stone, when a tyre looks abnormal or every 15,000 kilometers.
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