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Many of us do not pay much heed to the proper wheel alignment on our cars. We live in a world where we assume that the most that could happen to our tyres is an occasional puncture. Well, this is far from true. It is extremely important that we get the wheels of our vehicles aligned on a regular basis. It is recommended do be done as often as car servicing.
If you notice that your vehicle pulls ominously to the left or right while driving on straight, flat road with little cross-wind, or if you see that your tyres are wearing abnormally, then your wheel alignment is in dire need of an adjustment. This makes it necessary for you to bring your car to a specialist in wheel alignment in Northampton. At In Town Automotive we have an impressive track record and the latest technology of ‘Hunter Laser Wheel Alignment’ equipment to get your vehicle back on track.
At In Town Automotive, wheel alignment in Northampton is ensuring that the wheels of the car are perpendicular to the road. It further ensures that the wheels of the car are parallel to one another.
The Importance of Wheel Alignment in Northampton
Given the frequency of the usage of cars in our lives, it is very important that motorists get their wheels aligned to maximise the lifespan of their tyres as much as possible. Tyres that aren’t properly aligned are more inclined to excessive tyre wear which will lead to changing the wheels a lot more regularly, incurring costs that are unnecessary and could have been avoided.
Motorists will be able to tell if their wheels are incorrectly aligned when their vehicle will fail to move straight when the steering wheel is not being held. If this happens, the first thing that you must do is book an appointment with In Town Automotive as an appointment with us could help avoid issues with your car’s suspension and vibrations whilst driving.
When your tyres are not in proper alignment, it puts your safety at risk. Improper alignment of the wheels of a vehicle will also result in poor cornering and handling of your vehicle and this makes it riskier for the driver and its passengers, even more so in icy and wet conditions. Moreover, drivers will have to put in extra efforts while driving the vehicle when the wheels aren’t aligned. The vehicle will veer off to one side which basically means that the driver will have to constantly correct it when driving.
This means that you will have to intensify both your concentration and effort at all times so as to drive safely. If the distance that you are travelling is long, your drive can become very tiring very fast making it unsafe for everyone.
Wheel alignment in Northampton is a simple process which requires slight adjustments of front and/ or rear suspension elements. If the wheels of your vehicle are not properly aligned, it can cause premature and abnormal wearing of your tyres.
Note: Wheel alignment can also be referred to as suspension alignment.
Make it a point to have your vehicle’s alignment scrutinised when:
- Your vehicle hits something, for instance a kerb or a major road hazard.
- You notice that the tyres of your vehicle are suffering from abnormal and uneven wear.
You come across steering or handling problems like:
- Your vehicle pulls or steers off to one side.
- Your steering wheel becomes quite tasking to return after taking a turn.
- The steering wheel of your vehicle remains stuck at an angle while you are driving in a straight line.
- When you purchase new set of tyres and want to prolong their lifespan.
- When you replace suspension or steering components.
Why You Need Wheel Alignment in Northampton
The last time that you got your car’s wheels aligned was probably when you purchased a new set of tyres, but the question is, have you thought about your vehicle’s alignment at all since?
Having an appropriately aligned automobile is much more important than people give it credit for, and it should definitely be on your list of regular vehicle maintenance services.
The alignment of the tyres of your vehicle directly affects several important systems, which is why a poorly aligned car does not function efficiently to its full potential. Unfortunately, the roads are filled with hazards that can make the wheels of your vehicle cause absolute havoc. There are potholes, curbs debris and speed bumps to watch out for and these are mostly unavoidable.
Reduced Tyre Wear
Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tyre wear. Over the years, a car with the correctly configured wheel alignment can add thousands of miles to tyre life.
Improved Fuel Consumption
Fuel consumption reduces as the drag on the tyres (rolling resistance) decreases. Four wheel alignments set the wheels straight/parallel, which along with correct tyre pressures, minimises the rolling resistance.
Saves Money and the Environment
By preventing premature tyre wear, early tyre disposal and improving fuel economy/ CO2 emissions, it not only reduces the cost of motoring – putting more money in your pocket, but helps the environment too.
Many handling problems can be corrected by four wheel alignment, giving you the driver a better and enjoyable driving experience.
Misalignment will make the car less stable when taking emergency or evasive action. A suspension system inspection is part of an alignment procedure, therefore potentially allows worn parts to be spotted before they cause a more costly problem.
Wheel Alignment versus Wheel Balancing
It is observed that people often get confused between wheel alignment and wheel balancing. Both these components have a world of difference between them. Wheel alignment or tracking as it is sometimes referred to, consists of fine-tuning the angles of the wheels so that they are specified exactly the way the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends. On the contrary, wheel balancing allows the wheels to rotate and spin without emanating unnecessary vibrations. It simply involves adjusting the balance between the tyre and the rim.
Now, that we have established that both these concepts are different, at In Town Automotive, we offer comprehensive automobile services which make your tyres spin like they should at very competitive prices.
When Should You Opt For Wheel Alignment in Northampton?
It is established that if your car swerves to the right or left despite the steering wheel pointing straight ahead, that’s a sure-fire indicator of necessary wheel alignment. Another certain indicator is when one tyre is worn more than the other.
The general rule of thumb is that you should get your wheels aligned once in every 6000 miles or every 6 months, whichever is earlier. You must also get your wheels aligned or at least checked by professionals at In Town Automotive if you have hit something large enough to trigger alignment issues.
How Long Will It Take To Realign The Wheels Of Your Vehicle?
At In Town Automotive, our certified technicians solve most front and rear alignment problems in about 30 minutes. You can click here to check for wheel alignment costs. You may hear expressions like ‘toe in’, ‘toe out’, ‘positive or negative camber’.
While all these jargons might sound a bit intimidating, the process of wheel alignment is pretty straightforward.
There are three alignment angles that must be in sequence for the vehicle to handle properly and for minimal tyre wear. Car manufacturers have assembled adjustment points into the steering and suspension that allow realignment of the front-end.
These three alignment angles are discussed briefly...
Camber – It is the angle of wheel alignment that evaluates the tilting in/ out with reference to the top part of the tyre. If a car’s camber angle on a tyre is too positive then the top of the tyre will tilt outwards. If the camber angle is too negative then the top of the tyre will tilt inwards. This angle is adjusted mechanically. Conditions that cause disproportionate camber are mainly due to ball joints, strut bearings/ mounts, control arm bushings or extremely worn wheel bearings. These parts must be snug and tight and not sloppy to ascertain accurate alignment of the camber angle.
Toe – The best way to explain the way this angle influences wheel alignment is to look down at the tops of your feet. Imagine that you are hovering just above the hood of your car and you can see through the body of your car. Let’s say your feet represent the top part of your tyres. Now slowly turn your feet inward to an excessive degree. This is what your tyres look like when they are toed-in.
Now turn your feet excessively outward. That’s what your tyres look like when they are toed-out. This alignment is adjusted through the lengthening or shortening of a steering linkage part which is known as a tie rod. Obviously, when this angle is out or is too far, the tyres of your vehicle tend to wear out quickly. This angle also distresses the steering wheels of your car even if they are straight. Excessive toe can be caused by worn tie rods, loose rack mounts, worn idler arms, Pitman arm, worn rack, drag link assembly or steering box. Before you can correctly set the angle of the toe, it is important that you ensure that you have tight steering linkage components.
At some point you will worry about the costs involved in getting your vehicle fixed. At In Town Automotive, this is not really a concern as we have finance options available just for you!
Get in touch with us today to know more.
Caster – The adjustment of the caster is either done by application of mechanics or by bending a component of suspension. The caster angle can be best explained by taking a bicycle from your childhood. Remember those young carefree days when you rode your bike with no hands? Remember how the handlebars returned to the straight-ahead position when you leaned left or right to turn a corner? This is the caster making itself known.
The caster angle of your car expresses itself when the steering wheels returns to the straight-ahead position after making a turn. It announces itself when your vehicle wanders in either the right or left direction.
Why Choose In Town Automotive For Wheel Alignment in Northampton?
In Town Automotive is one of the largest independently owned vehicle servicing and repairs garage in Northampton. Committed to delivering a high standard of service, friendly advice and top quality parts, In Town Automotive are growing from strength to strength.
Please take your time to browse our site and please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice or to book a vehicle in.
With over 50 years supplying car parts, In Town Automotive can offer a complete solution for your vehicles upkeep and servicing. Whether we are dealing with large fleet customers or one to one with local customers we can offer a one stop service at the best prices in the town.
Our expert car technicians will provide quality services and complete solution for the tyres of your vehicle coupled with advice on the importance of wheel alignment and tyre balancing.
Our On-Site Facilities Available To You
At In Town Automotive we take our customers’ needs seriously. The following facilities are available on site to all of our customers whether you’re here for a brake check, MOT or a full custom exhaust.
- Friendly reception staff
- Coffee machine
- Cold drinks and snacks
- Comfortable reception area with TV
- Wi-Fi available across the premises
- Customer toilets
- Courtesy cars and vans available
- Local collection and delivery from work or home
So, contact us and schedule your next auto service with us today and get your wheels rolling!