When do I need a wheel alignment?

Wheel Alignment and Balancing

BP Wanaka Wheel Aligment

Wheel Alignment

If your vehicle’s wheels are not correctly aligned, they could cause premature wear on your tyres and suspension components. This can cause problems with your vehicle’s handling, performance and the overall safety.

Over time, a slight misalignment can cause a lot of uneven or premature tyre wear. Therefore, it’s important to get this fixed quickly before it leads to larger problems.

There are many ways for your wheels can become misaligned.

Road hazards

Driving over pot holes or even hitting the curb or running into concrete parking stalls.

Tyre wear and tear

Rubber components can start to crack or lose their elasticity and ball and socket joints develop looseness the older your vehicle gets. Gradually, they start to give a little more and get slightly worse over time.

Minor bingles and accidents

Just because the vehicle’s exterior looks undamaged, there may still be damage you can’t see, including the wheels being knocked out of alignment.

How does a wheel alignment work?

In simple terms, a wheel alignment is the measurement, analysis and adjustment of your vehicle’s steering and suspension angles to ensure the wheels are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other.

A wheel alignment is a key maintenance factor to ensure that you get the best wear and performance out of your tyres.

A regular wheel alignment provides safe vehicle control plus a smooth and comfortable ride free of pulling or vibration. It also extends your tyre’s mileage.

Wheel balancing

One of the easiest ways to tell when something is not right with your tyres is from behind the wheel. Most of us would have encountered steering wheel wobble or vibration when we’re driving at high speeds, and this can mean that a wheel is out of balance.

To fix the problem, your Bridgestone Wanaka technician will use tiny, but important, weights to counterbalance the heaviest part of the tyre and wheel assembly. If that weight becomes loose, the wheel will wobble — and the faster you’re travelling, the more it will wobble. This will increase tyre wear and is potentially unsafe.

Tyre Rotation

Different vehicles will wear their tyres at different rates. For example, a front-wheel drive vehicle will wear its tyres very differently from a rear-wheel drive. Station wagons and utilities — because of the lack of weight over the rear wheels — will also wear at varying rates.

One of the best ways you can look after your tyres is by rotating them regularly. Swapping the rear tyres to the front and vice-versa ensures that tyres wear evenly and last significantly longer. As a guide, tyres should be rotated every 10,000 km even if there is no sign of uneven wear.