To ensure a car drives safely, efficiently and behaves as the vehicle manufacturer intended, it’s important that its wheels are correctly aligned.
There are many reasons why keeping wheels correctly aligned is important.
Safer driving – On cars where the geometry is out of alignment, they can be less stable when having to take emergency or evasive action. A pre-alignment check of tyre condition, pressures and a suspension system inspection is a key part of the alignment procedure. This allows potentially worn parts and defective tyres to be spotted before they cause a more costly problem.
Reduced tyre wear – Misalignment is a major cause of premature tyre wear and properly aligned wheels can add thousands of miles to the life of your tyres.
Improved fuel consumption – Four wheel alignment sets the wheels straight and parallel with each other, which along with correct tyre pressures, reduces the tyre’s rolling resistance. Your fuel consumption will improve once any unnecessary drag on the tyres (rolling resistance) caused by misalignment is eliminated.
Saves money and the environment – By preventing premature tyre wear, early tyre disposal and improving fuel economy, correct alignment not only reduces the cost of motoring, but also helps the environment too.
Improved handling – Many handling problems can be corrected by four wheel alignment, giving you the driver a better, safer and a more enjoyable drive.
It’s not always easy to detect if a car’s wheels are misaligned, especially as this can occur gradually over a prolonged period of time. However, some of the key signs that the car’s wheels are not correctly aligned are as follows:
Uneven tyre wear on the fronts or the rears – tyres suffering from misalignment often show signs of excessive wear on either the inside or outside edges. It is not always easy to visibly see the tyre wear. However, by carefully running your hands over the tyre it is possible to detect if the rubber has worn unevenly or excessively. This should be done with extreme caution as fine wires from the tyre carcass may protrude from the rubber.
The car pulls to one side – When driving a misaligned car along a straight flat road, you may find that you need to compensate through the steering wheel to keep the car driving straight as the car drifts to one side, especially under braking.
A crooked steering wheel – Even when the car is driving straight ahead the steering wheel is not straight or level.
Source: TyreSafe https://www.tyresafe.org/tyre-safety/wheel-alignment/