Frankston Tyrepower
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Need a wheel alignment? Come see Tyrepower today!

A vehicle with wheel alignment sensor targets attached.

The initial purchase price of a vehicle is just a small part of the costs associated with having your own transportation. Aside from ongoing registration, insurance and fuel costs, making sure that adepuate money is spent on vehicle maintenance is the most important components of vehicle ownership that should not be understated.

Every driver is familiar with the services offered by a mechanic, either preventative maintenance or repairs that are done to ensure longevity and reliability. Did you know that your tyres can have the same preventative maintenance strategies applied to them?

Lets look at a wheel alignment service and how they can help extend your tyre lifespan and help save you money, as well as cover the signs that you should book your vehicle in for a wheel alignment service at your local Tyrepower!

Understanding Wheel Alignment

At the most simple level, a wheel alignment is the process of adjusting your vehicles’ suspension so that the wheels are close to perpendicular to the ground and close to parallel to each other. In reality, these measurements are not perfectly aligned, with the difference often measured in degrees and millimetres.

Some amount of misalignment is not only expected, but also designed in. That helps provide your vehicle with predictable handling in all weather conditions and under different loads. A good wheel alignment optimises your tyre footprint on the road.

The Nuts and Bolts of Wheel Alignment

When your vehicle is booked in for a wheel alignment at your local Tyrepower store, our wheel alignment machine will take multiple measurements of your vehicle, which our technician can compare to your factory recommendations.

When your vehicle comes in for a wheel alignment, the three measurements with the largest impact on your tyre lifespan are —camber, toe, and caster.

  • Camber is the inwards or outwards tilt of the wheel and tyres when looking from the front of rear of the vehicle. Tilted in at the top is negative camber while tilted out is positive camber. Most vehicles run a few fractions of a degree of negative camber to assist with grip while cornering.
  • Toe is the inwards or outwards angle of the wheels when viewed from above. Look down and point your feet in and out and you’ll see exactly what toe is. A small amount of difference side to side makes a world of different for both tyre wear and vehicle handling, with a tiny amount of toe-in (closer together at the front) results in a stable and predictable vehicle at highway speeds.
  • Caster, provides a vehicle with much of its steering wheel feel and tendency to ‘straighten up’ when you loosen your grip of the steering wheel coming out of corners. Big changes in caster are often the result of worn out suspension or impact damage.

By ensuring that your vehicles’ wheel alignment is within factory specifications, you are ensuring that your handling and performance is optimised.

The Benefits of Wheel Alignment

Routinely having your vehicle come in for a wheel alignment services offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved fuel efficiency: A quality wheel alignment reduced rolling resistance, meaning your vehicle uses fuel more efficiently.
  • Improved tyre lifespan: A poor wheel alignment reduces your tyre lifespan, causing uneven tyre wear and unpredictable handling.
  • Enhanced Safety: Proper alignment also contributes to safer driving by ensuring the vehicle is stable and predictable in its handling.

A tyre demonstrating heavy shoulder wear.

Recognising the Need for Wheel Alignment

If wheel alignments are so beneficial, how can drivers keep an eye on the signs that they require one? Luckily, there are a few easy things to look out for that might be a sign to give your local Tyrepower store a call and book your vehicle in:

  • Uneven and rapid tyre wear: If you notice your tyres wearing unevenly or quicker than expected, it’s a good idea to have your alignment checked out. It's easy to see the tyre tread on some vehicles, but you might have to turn the wheels from side to side, depending on how low your car is.
  • Vehicle pulling to one side: If your vehicle wants to steer to one side of the other while you’re driving straight, it’s either a tyre pressure issue, a wheel alignment issue or the road is heavily crowned.
  • Crooked steering wheel: If the steering wheel is off-center when driving straight, it's a good chance that you have a worn out suspension component or even some critical damage from a pothole or impact with debris.

What to Expect When you Book your Vehicle In: Duration, Cost, and Types of Service

Typically, a wheel alignment takes between 30 minutes to an hour to perform, although this time varies with a huge number of factors including: vehicle condition, any modifications, the state of the current wheel alignment and even equipment availability.

Some vehicles only require a front-end alignment whereas most vehicles have a 4-wheel alignment, where both ends of the vehicle are measured and cross referenced against the manufacturers recommended specifications.

A wheel alignment should be performed every 6 months or 10,000kms, which ever comes first. We also recommend having a wheel alignment whenever you have new tyres fitted, to ensure the longest lifespan from your new rubber.

Maximise Your Tyre's Life: Wheel Alignments, Balancing, and Rotations

Aside from routine wheel alignments, there are several ways you can make sure your tyres last as long as possible.

  • Firstly, ensure your tyre pressures are set correctly, in accordance with your manufacturers recommendations. You can find your recommended tyre pressures written in your owners manual or on the tyre placard sticker inside your drivers door jamb.
  • Tyre balancing services are often forgotten about but play a crucial role in avoiding premature tyre wear as well as avoiding suspension damage over time. Have your wheel balancing checked at each alignment to avoid vibrations and uneven tyre wear.
  • Lastly, consider having your tyres rotated every 5000kms or so. A tyre rotation is the process of removing the tyres from your vehicle and having them refitted to another corner. This spreads out the wear associated with each end of your vehicle wearing out tyres slightly differently.

Book in a wheel alignment today!

Tyres are an expense that is oftena bit of a grudge purchase, and while some automotive enthusiasts don’t seem to mind blowing through a set of tyres, most of us want to see them last as long as possible.

Bring your vehicle in to your local Tyrepower store today and see the expert team for great advice about your tyres and a free tyre tread depth check.

Request a quote and we will be in touch via SMS shortly

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