Wheel Alignment Services

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Your One-Stop Wheel Alignment Experts in Melbourne

Getting an accurate Wheel alignment in Melbourne is easily done with Car Tyres and You. Wheel alignment settings refer to the specific angles and positions to which the wheels of a vehicle are adjusted to ensure proper alignment and optimal performance.

An accurate wheel alignment provides many benefits including

  • Increase tyre longevity,
  • Better vehicle stability and handling
  • Increased fuel economy

To help you get an accurate wheel alignment, Car Tyres and You servicing the Keilor Park, Tullamarine, Carnegie and Ormond areas of Melbourne offer a full steering and suspension check and inspection and we recommend you book for this service before performing a wheel alignment. Worn steering and suspension components often give the same symptoms as those described for incorrect wheel alignment.

The three primary wheel alignment settings are camber, toe, and caster:

  1. Camber: Camber refers to the inward or outward tilt of the wheels when viewed from the front of the vehicle. It is measured in degrees and can be either positive or negative. Positive camber means the top of the wheel tilts outward, while negative camber indicates the top of the wheel tilts inward. The camber setting affects tyre wear and handling characteristics. Accurate camber alignment enhances tyre wear, increases stability during cornering, and optimises grip on the road.
  2. Toe: Toe alignment refers to the angle at which the tires point in relation to each other when viewed from above. It can be either toe-in or toe-out. Toe-in means the front edges of the tyres are slightly closer together than the rear edges, while toe-out means the front edges are slightly further apart. The toe setting influences tyre wear, straight-line stability, and manoeuvrability. Incorrect toe alignment can lead to accelerated tyre wear, reduced fuel economy, and a tendency for the vehicle to pull to one side or wander.
  3. Caster: Caster refers to the forward or backward tilt of the steering axis when viewed from the side of the vehicle. It is typically measured in degrees. The caster setting affects steering stability, self-centering ability, and overall handling. Positive caster means the steering axis tilts toward the rear of the vehicle, while negative caster tilts toward the front. Proper caster alignment ensures straight-line stability, good steering response, and a balanced feel while driving.
  4. Kingpin inclination: also known as steering axis inclination (SAI) or steering axis tilt, is an important factor in wheel alignment that affects the suspension and steering geometry of a vehicle. It plays a significant role in stability, steering response, and tire wear. Here's how kingpin inclination affects wheel alignment:
  5. Stability and Steering Centering: Kingpin inclination contributes to the self-centering ability of the steering system. It is the angle formed between a line drawn through the upper and lower ball joints (or kingpins) and a line perpendicular to the ground. When the kingpin inclination is properly set, it helps the wheels return to the straight-ahead position after a turn, providing stability and reducing the driver's effort to keep the vehicle on course.
  6. Camber Angle: Kingpin inclination has an indirect effect on the camber angle, which is the tilt of the wheel when viewed from the front. As the suspension system compresses during cornering or when encountering bumps, the kingpin inclination causes the wheel to tilt slightly, resulting in a change in the camber angle. This dynamic change in camber helps maintain optimal tire contact with the road surface, providing better traction and handling.
  7. Scrub Radius: Kingpin inclination also influences the scrub radius, which is the distance between the tyre's contact patch and the point where the kingpin axis intersects the ground. When the kingpin inclination is set correctly, it helps align the scrub radius with the tyre's footprint, minimising steering effort and reducing unwanted forces transmitted to the steering wheel during braking and cornering. This contributes to smoother and more predictable steering behaviour.
  8. Steering Geometry: The kingpin inclination is part of the overall steering geometry of a vehicle. It works in conjunction with other alignment angles, such as caster and toe, to ensure proper wheel tracking, stability, and predictable handling characteristics. A well-balanced steering geometry, including the appropriate kingpin inclination, helps optimise tyre wear, reduce rolling resistance, and enhance overall vehicle performance.

When Does Your Vehicle Need Wheel Alignment?

Incorrect wheel alignment can manifest in various signs and symptoms. If you notice any of the following indications, it may be an indication that your vehicle's wheel alignment needs attention:

  1. Uneven or Excessive Tyre Wear: One of the most common signs of incorrect wheel alignment is uneven tyre wear. If you observe excessive wear on the inner or outer edges of the tyres, it may indicate improper camber, toe, or both. Feathering (tread wear pattern that feels smooth in one direction and rough in the other) or cupping (irregular dips or scalloping on the tread) can also occur.
  2. Vehicle Pulling to One Side: If your vehicle tends to drift or pull to one side while driving on a straight road, even when the steering wheel is centered, it suggests an alignment issue. This can result from uneven caster, improper toe alignment, or unequal camber settings on either side of the vehicle. Always remember to check your tyre pressures first before booking a Wheel Alignment as low tyre pressure can cause a vehicle to pull as well.
  3. Steering Wheel Off-Centre: When the steering wheel is not centered while driving straight, it can indicate a misalignment. It may be a sign of uneven toe alignment, causing the vehicle to veer to one side. A crooked steering wheel position is often noticeable after hitting a pothole, curb, or other road hazards.
  4. Steering Wheel Vibration: If you experience vibrations or shaking in the steering wheel, especially at higher speeds, it could indicate misaligned wheels. This symptom may result from unevenly worn tyres, which can occur due to improper alignment settings. This may also be due to incorrect wheel balance so it is always advised to complete a rotation and balance of the tyres with a wheel alignment when trying to rectify steering wheel vibrations.
  5. Handling and Stability Issues: Incorrect wheel alignment can affect the handling and stability of the vehicle. You may notice a decrease in cornering stability, reduced steering response, or a feeling of looseness or instability while driving. These issues can arise from misaligned camber, caster, or toe settings, impacting the vehicle's overall balance and control.
  6. Excessive Tyre Noise: Misalignment can lead to abnormal tyre wear patterns, causing increased road noise. If you hear unusual tyre noise, such as humming or roaring sounds, or tyre squeal, it could be a result of uneven tyre wear due to alignment problems.
  7. If you observe any of these signs, book your car into Car Tyres and You to have your vehicle's wheel alignment checked by a professional technician. Regular alignment inspections and adjustments can help maintain tyre life, improve fuel efficiency, ensure proper handling, and enhance overall safety on the road. Car Tyres and you services the Keilor Park, Tullamarine, Carnegie and Ormond areas of Melbourne

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