You might be unfamiliar with vehicle maintenance. I know I am. I couldn’t change a tyre if my life depended on it. There’s no maintenance gear in the back of my car. It’s just full of empty Coke bottles and shopping bags. I’m not the best example when it comes to taking care of your car.
It seems I’m not the only one who knows nothing about cars. More and more people than ever are clueless when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Just get your dad to do it, right? Wrong. Some day, you’ll be on your own at the side of the road. Your car will have broken down, and you won’t know how to fix it. Without mobile phone signal, you’re stuck for the night. That’s a nasty prospect for anyone. Some simple car maintenance knowledge can stop that from happening.
A good place to start is with your wheel alignment. Also known as your car’s “tracking”, neglecting this area can cause major damage. Here’s our quick guide to wheel alignment.
What is it?
In short, wheel alignment is about adjusting the direction that your tyres and wheels point. Your mechanic must align them to the specifications that the manufacturer provided with the car. It sounds complex, but it’s not. You want all four wheels to be pointing in the right direction! That’s just common sense. They can drift out of place as time passes. Potholes and kerbs can cause your wheels to move out of place. Your steering and suspension parts can do the same damage if they’re worn down.
Why do I need to fix it?
If you don’t have your wheels aligned in the proper manner, all sorts of damage can occur. The biggest threat is to your car’s tyres. Misaligned wheels can cause the tyre to wear down much faster than normal. That means there’s a higher risk of tyre failure. Imagine that – a tyre failure, perhaps at high speed. That can be among the most dangerous things to happen to any motorist.
How do I fix it?
You can do it yourself, but it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Learning how to align your tyres from some joker on YouTube never ends well. Book your car in with a reputable mechanic. They’ll talk you through your options on wheel alignment and offer the best possible solution.
How much will it cost?
Ah, the big question. The cost of wheel alignment varies. You don’t need to align all your wheels at once. Of course, the front wheel alignment cost is always cheaper than fixing all four wheels. For US motorists, anything more than $200 is expensive for a wheel alignment. Prices can fall much lower than that. For Brits, the £60 range is a good estimate. What’s important to remember is that the cost of four new tyres is much greater. That’s the price you pay if you don’t have the work done. What’s more, the cost of an accident is even higher still. Wheel alignment isn’t something you should ignore. Now that you’re clued up, we’re sure you’ll make the right decision.