The wheels of your car require a lot of attention. However, maintenance extends to more than just keeping an eye on tread depth levels and tyre pressure. If you find that your tyres are wearing away a little quicker than usual, then you may have an issue with your vehicle’s wheel alignment, also known as ’tracking’. Whether your front or back tyres are the culprits, incorrect alignment could mean crooked steering, pulling and increased tyre wear, so amending these issues could actually improve your experience as a driver and prevent more complex (and expensive to fix) issues from arising.
Whilst the increasingly sophisticated makes and models we equip ourselves with make it easier to spot incorrectly aligned wheels, understanding what causes wheel tracking problems and what you can do to fix them is should save you money and time.
What is tracking on a car?
Tracking on a car refers to the wheel tracking or alignment, specifically the angle of your tyres and their effect on the direction your car will drive in. Correct wheel tracking will benefit your car’s safety and performance.
The causes of wheel tracking problems
There are many factors that contribute to wheel misalignment, and whilst regular wheel tracking checks will help identify issues so you can seek a resolution quickly, getting to know the causes and tell-tale signs for yourself will go a long way. Whilst worn suspension and incorrect adjustments are primary causes of wheel misalignment, general wear and tear is the most common cause. UK roads can after all be harsh on your car, and every time you hit a pothole or kerb, your wheels will bear the brunt.
Wheel misalignment is also common following accidents so it is worth having your alignment checked no matter how gentle the collision.
The benefits of wheel alignment
Getting your vehicle’s front and rear wheels aligned periodically is recommended by all, but still many car and van owners fail to book in for wheel alignment, leading to further issues with their wheel tracking later down the line. So why exactly should you get your wheels aligned before problems arise? Check out just some of the benefits that go hand-in-hand with wheel alignment…
- Increased fuel efficiency
- Reduced repair costs
- Enhanced vehicle handling
- Improved vehicle safety
- Slower tyre wear
Finding a wheel tracking solution for your vehicle
It is recommended that you have the alignment of your wheels checked every 12,000 to 15,000 miles to ensure wheel tracking issues can be identified fast, and some mechanics even provide wheel alignment checks as standard as part of their annual servicing packages. However, if you notice increased wear, particularly on the inside or outside edges of your tyres, and crooked steering, even when driving in a straight line, seeking help from an alignment specialist like ourselves is advisable.