Proper vehicle maintenance is a process that takes time and just a little bit of money. Performing monthly checks of the oil level, tire pressure, and tread wear may take a little time but it can save you a good deal of money in costly repairs. Getting the oil changed in accordance with your vehicle’s owner’s manual as well as getting your tires rotated and realigned is also an important safety check that can some trouble down the road.
It’s not to hard to tell if your vehicle’s alignment is off because it will affect how a car handles . If the vehicle pulls to one side or the other that’s a pretty good indication that the tires need to be realigned. If you hit something, such as a curb, that throws your alignment off then you will be able to feel the difference immediately; otherwise, the change will probably be gradual with the vehicle becoming increasingly difficult to keep on a straight path.
There are three ways that your tire alignment can be off. Determining which can be a challenge so it’s best to take it to a certified mechanic who has the tools to establish exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it.
The first is camber. Camber can be seen when you view your tires from the front of the vehicle. Positive camber is when the top of the wheels lean in and negative camber is when they lean out.
The second is caster. This problem pertains to the steering pivot axis and can be viewed from the side of the vehicle. If that axis, which is normally vertical, is leaning forward or backward that is am indication of a problem.
Problems with either the camber or the caster, while easy to identify, can be a challenge to repair. Typically it is a sign of not just an alignment issue but of suspension problem that needs to be repaired or replaced.
The final and most common problem is toe. The tires should be parallel to one another; however, if they point toward each other it is called toe-in and if they point away from each other it is called toe-out. This is a relatively easy problem to fix and will usually cost you very little.
Maintaining proper alignment is an important part of taking care of your vehicle. It helps you stay on the road and maintain proper control as well as extending the life of your tires. Improperly aligned tires can wear unevenly and cause spots that can damage your tires; which can cost hundreds to repair or replace. So take care of your vehicle, and your hankook brand tires , by taking your vehicle in if you suspect your alignment is off.