IMPORTANT TYRE CARE : UNDERSTANDING WHEEL / TYRE ALIGNMENT – WHAT, HOW & WHEN?

Proper adjustment of your tyre or wheel alignment affects safety, handling, and economy. An important part of vehicle safety is directional control. Does the vehicle travel straight down a highway? Does it steer easily through out your journey? Are the tires subject to excessive premature wear? Does the steering wheel return to the straight ahead position after turning a corner? For the answer to be YES to all these questions, the vehicle must be properly aligned to achieve max performance and safety spec.

IMPORTANT TYRE CARE : UNDERSTANDING WHEEL / TYRE ALIGNMENT – WHAT, HOW & WHEN?

So here we at kdi will share some useful information that define the wheel alignment in details. Usually the price or charges of doing wheel alignment in Malaysia workshop is around RM30 only.

camber bolt nut alignment car wheel

Usually, you need to buy this camber adjustment bolt / camber screw (skru camber) if you are doing the first wheel alignment. You can get it at spare parts shop only around RM20/piece. For tyre balancing charges is around RM10-20.

camber adjustment bolt screw nut

Ok, lets proceed with the wheel alignment.

Wheel alignment is the adjustment of caster, camber and toe in angles. The alignment of one of these angles affects the other two angles. On strut systems, there may or may not be provisions for the caster and camber adjustments. However, toe angles are adjustable on most systems. Toe settings are the most critical tire wearing angles. The purpose of toe is to ensure parallel rolling of the front and rear wheels, but if either wheel has too much toe-in or toeout, the tires will sideslip. This results in a featheredged scuff across the face of the tire which causes premature tire wear.

Depending upon your vehicle type, we can perform thrust angle or four wheel alignments.
Adjust alignment angles to vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
Inspect steering components for wear or fatigue, cracks or possible bent conditions.
Check tire pressure, current tread wear patterns and overall condition.
Center your steering wheel to vehicle

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car tyre wheel alignment

Picture a hoop around your waist, and imagine that it’s a wheel and tire combo on an axle. If you can imagine the different ways that a hoop could shift position around your waist– forwards, backwards and side-to-side–then you have an idea of how a wheel and tire can shift around on the end of your axle. Alignment makes sure that the wheels and tires are in the correct position in relation to your vehicle, and each other. This should be done when tires are bought and mounted on the vehicle.

Camber, Caster and Toe are what need to be adjusted here. These terms are in Keywords if you’re curious, but they’re not essential for you to know. Just make sure the mechanic knows!) An auto manufacturer will specify precise reset values that the mechanic can look up and use to set your wheels up correctly.
Due to better design and manufacturing, some vehicles stay in alignment better than others. But unless you’re four-wheelin’ on dirt roads, your vehicle will need to be aligned only once or twice per year. How do you know if the vehicle is out of alignment? Keep an eye on your tire tread: if the tread is wearing unevenly, take the vehicle in before the tire is seriously damaged. Another clue: while you’re steering straight ahead, the vehicle has a tendency to veer to one side or the other.

This may also be fixed with alignment work.
In any case, there are generally two kinds of alignment offered: regular, and four-wheel or thrust-angle. If you have a vehicle with fully independent suspension, you’ll need to spend the extra money to have all four wheels aligned. It’s also a good idea to have four-wheel alignment on all front-wheel drive vehicles.

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In its most basic form, a wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of wheel alignment adjustments is to maximize tire life and set a vehicle tracking straight and true when driving along straight and level road.

wheel alignment picture image learn

If you know anything about wheel alignment, you’ve probably heard the following terms:

Camber
Caster
Toe in

Camber is the angle of the wheel, measured in degrees, when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the top of the wheel is leaning out from the center of the car, then the camber is positive.  If it’s leaning in, then the camber is negative. If the camber is out of adjustment, it will cause tire wear on one side of the tire’s tread. If the camber is too far negative, for instance, then the tire will wear on the inside of the tread.
If the camber is different from side to side it can cause a pulling problem. The vehicle will pull to the side with the more positive camber. On many front-wheel-drive vehicles, camber is not adjustable. If the camber is out on these cars, it indicates that something is worn or bent, possibly from an accident and must be repaired or replaced.
Caster is the angle of this steering pivot, measured in degrees, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. When you turn the steering wheel, the front wheels respond by turning on a pivot attached to the suspension system.   If the top of the pivot is leaning toward the rear of the car, then the caster is positive.  If it is leaning toward the front, it is negative. If the caster is out of adjustment, it can cause problems in straight line tracking.
If the caster is different from side to side, the vehicle will pull to the side with the less positive caster. If the caster is equal but too negative, the steering will be light and the vehicle will wander and be difficult to keep in a straight line. If the caster is equal but too positive, the steering will be heavy and the steering wheel may kick when you hit a bump. Caster has little affect on tire wear.
The best way to visualize caster is to picture a shopping cart caster. The pivot of this type of caster, while not at an angle, intersects the ground ahead of the wheel contact patch. When the wheel is behind the pivot at the point where it contacts the ground, it is in positive caster. Picture yourself trying to push the cart and keep the wheel ahead of the pivot. The wheel will continually try to turn from straight ahead. That is what happens when a car has the caster set too far negative. Like camber, on many front-wheel-drive vehicles, caster is not adjustable. If the caster is out on these cars, it indicates that something is worn or bent, possibly from an accident, and must be replaced or repaired
The toe measurement is the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of the tires. It is measured in fractions of an inch (in the US), and is usually set close to zero … which means that the wheels are parallel with each other. Toe-in means that the fronts of the tires are closer to each other than the rears. Toe-out is just the opposite. An incorrect toe-in will cause rapid tire wear to both tires equally. This type of tire wear is called a saw-tooth wear pattern.

wheel align tutorial

If the sharp edges of the tread sections are pointing to the center of the car, then there is too much toe-in. If they are pointed to the outside of the car then there is too much toe-out. Toe is always adjustable on the front wheels, and, on some cars, is also adjustable for the rear wheels.
There are two main types of 4-wheel alignments. In each case, the technician will place an instrument on all four wheels.

In the first type, the rear toe and tracking is checked, but all adjustments are made at the front wheels. This is done on vehicles that do not have adjustments on the rear.
The second type is a full 4-wheel alignment where the adjustments are first made to true up the rear alignment, then the front is adjusted. A full 4-wheel alignment will cost more than the other type because there is more work involved.

Other facts every driver should know about wheel alignments.

A proper wheel alignment should always start and end with a test drive.
The front end and steering linkage should be checked for wear before performing an alignment.
The tires should all be in good shape with even wear patterns. If you have a tire with excessive camber wear, for instance, and you correct the alignment problem that caused that wear, the tire will now be making only partial contact with the road.

Pulling problems are not always related to wheel alignment. Problems with tires (especially unequal air pressure), brakes and power steering can also be responsible.  A good wheel alignment technician can usually determine the cause.
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Wheel alignment equipment
  

wheel alignment equipment

Detailed Wheel Alignment Description example:
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I think that is enough and fairly described about total wheel alignment process of your car. Wait for our next useful tips to share. We hope that you will gain some benefit and guide on how to align or do alignment of your wheel. =)

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