Your vehicles tire life, gas mileage, and your safety are directly affected by your vehicles wheel alignment. Often people confuse wheel alignment with balancing tires. However, the two are quite different. Let’s take a closer look into the two and explain just why your vehicle’s wheel alignment is so vital to your vehicles performance.
Wheel Alignment vs Balancing Tires
When considering wheel alignment and balancing tires you should keep in mind two very important contributing factors:
- Wheel alignment adjusts the angles and suspension at which the tires face and turn. It does not, however, refer to the capacity of pressure in which a tire is filled.
- Balancing refers to adjusting the compensation of any weight imbalances in your combination of tires and wheels. requiring a professional technician to mount a tire properly to the wheel, while adjusting the inflation based on the weight and other attributes of your vehicle.
Caster – the angle or tilt of your wheel where it meets and is connected to your suspension as viewed from the side of your vehicle. Positive caster means your tire is aligned further inward toward the center of your vehicle. Negative is the opposite. A proper centerline caster will correct your steering, cornering, and overall stability.Simply put, a wheel alignment purpose is to make each tire line up evenly with the road on three different degrees of measurement. Those three different degrees of measurement are Caster, camber, and toe.
Camber – is the degree to which the top/bottom of the tire leans inward or outward from the perspective of the front or back of the vehicle. This can be caused by worn bearings, joints, and other elements of your suspension. It can also cause your vehicle to shake at different speeds depending on your misalignment.
Toe – the degree to which the tire faces inward or outward from the perspective of the top of your vehicle. Think, your toes pointing in or out when you’re looking down at them. As is easy to imagine, driving this way can cause very uneven wear on certain areas of your tires.
Are My Wheels Misaligned?
A wheel misalignment is generally pretty easy to spot. Uneven tire tread wear, a vibrating steering wheel, the pulling to the right or left by your vehicle, and an off-center steering wheel while driving straight are all signs of wheel misalignment. If you are experiencing any of these signs it would be in your best interest to contact a professional auto-service-technician before your next state inspection.
If you need additional assistance. the service pros at Burlington KIA are more than willing to assist you with all your tire maintenance needs. Visit our Service Center at 7 West 130 South, Burlington, NJ 08016 or call us today at (866) 889-5504.