We’ve grown used to cars being tough, sturdy and reliable but wheels are still sensitive and vulnerable to things like potholes, kerbs and speedbumps.
If you’ve hit a kerb, you may notice how the car pulls slightly in one direction or the steering wheel doesn't look quite centralised in the straight-ahead position. It probably means your front wheels are not aligned correctly. It’s time to have them checked and, if necessary, corrected using laser wheel alignment.
It sounds complicated but it’s simply a way of using light beams to check your car’s front wheels are set up as they should be. You’d think this means simply pointing forwards but in fact, wheels are set up to point at specific angles to ensure the car rolls along smoothly.
To check the alignment, our technicians attach brackets to your car’s wheels and shines a light from one to the other or, using an overhead projector, to all four. Depending where the beams of light fall on a scale, the technician can see whether the wheels are in or out of alignment.
For greater accuracy, a computer is used to check the position of the light in relation to the scales. Once the degree of misalignment has been established, it’s a relatively simple job to adjust the suspension so the wheels are set up correctly once more.
Three angles of wheel alignment are checked, called camber, caster and toe. Each has a different angle calculated by the car maker to improve the performance of the car’s steering and suspension systems with the goal of making the car handle smoothly, responsively and predictably.