To find out if, indeed, the vehicle's tires are misaligned, it is enough to run your hand over the tire tread, from the outside to the inside and vice versa. We have a convergence problem in noticing a rough touch from the outside to the knowledge.
If, when carrying out the same process, we notice that the roughness goes from the outside to the inside of the tire, then we face a divergence problem. The offset is seen when looking at the car from the front: the front tire offset to the right and the front left tire to the left.
Furthermore, the wheel camber, or camber angle, should also be checked. This is measured in degrees; the camber angle value should never exceed the parameters indicated by the manufacturer. Otherwise, irregular tire wear will occur.
In the latter case, a positive camber can occur when the top of the tire slopes outwards and a negative camber when the top slopes inwards. Excessive negative camber causes wear on the inside of the tread.
For our part, there are several signs that we can notice if the tire alignment is incorrect:
Steering wheel vibrations when driving.
- The tires do not return to their original position after a turn.
- The steering works hard or has changed its behaviour when manoeuvring.
- The steering wheel is not entirely cantered when driving in a straight line.
- The car tends to drift to the left or right when the steering wheel is released.
In addition to the cases mentioned, the daily use of the car itself can cause progressive misalignment of the vehicle's wheels. Therefore, in the event of any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, it is best to go to a workshop, where the mechanics will perform the car alignment. if the wheel alignment is out and you are on a test drive to sell your car instantly, the customer might think something may be wrong with the car although the car itself will be in perfect condition otherwise. Wheel alignment also is important for the safety of the driver and passengers.
HOW ARE THE WHEELS OF A CAR ALIGNED?
Check car alignment
When the vehicle's wheels are correctly aligned, the vehicle's stability is improved, vibrations are avoided, and greater comfort is achieved when driving. Better care of the tires will keep their characteristics intact for longer.
There is a variety of equipment available to do this, from mechanical aligners to modern digital aligners. To achieve this, machines are used in a professional mechanical workshop. In the workshop, they will proceed to carry out the steering alignment of the car.
Before doing so, the car's front end, the suspension, the stub axle, the ball joints, the bushings, the steering is checked to see that it has no play, the brake system, and other components. When everything has been reviewed, it is put on a vehicle lift.
There, the wheels are placed on the goniometric plates, and, before starting, the surface of the tires is checked to see the places where wear has occurred, as mentioned above. In this way, you can know what alignment problem it is.
It is also checked that the tire pressure is correct and the steering wheel is centred.
Next, the tire alignment process begins:
The wheels are secured by the rims using the claws, and the goniometric plates are connected.
The gripper panels are detected by the sensors and begin to provide information.
The vehicle is raised at the rear to free the wheels to compensate for the twist. The computer should display values within a suitable range if the compensation is correct.
When the rear wheels have been compensated, the same is done with the front ones.
Next, the advance, the divergence in the curve, the departure and the maximum rotation angle are measured.
The brake is applied, and the suspension system is bumped on an excellent settlement.
The sensors are levelled and fixed, turning the wheels as indicated by the equipment to check the angle of departure and the angle of the advance of the front wheel. Once the direction is straight, the levelling of the sensors is checked. When the wheels return to their straight position, we will have the measurement data.
In the equipment, the data within the appropriate values are shown in green, and those outside the tolerable values are shown in red.
Tire Alignment Process
With these data, data such as the inter-axle displacement, the inter-axle lag, the rear axle lag, the angles relative to the rear axle, etc., can be known.
In case of having to correct, the mechanics will carry out a process to do it. Once the process is finished, the program shows comparative data of the before and after adjustment of the car's tires.
Finally, the vehicle is tested on the road. In this way, it is verified that the adjustment has been carried out correctly, confirming the vehicle's stability when driving and during manoeuvres.
A good alignment of the wheels of the vehicle provides us with good stability when driving and when manoeuvring, prevents breakdowns and prolongs the useful life of the wheels and tires. In addition, it also influences the level of CO2 emissions and the consumption of the vehicle.
Performing a tire alignment in a professional mechanical workshop guarantees that the original geometric conditions of the wheels are restored. Remember that car steering alignment is recommended at least once a year; this way, we will ensure the excellent response of the vehicle.
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