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What Car Wheel Alignment Means for Dummies

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My car is an integral part of my professional life. As a Business Development Manager, I travel from Noida to Delhi for visiting clients almost every day. On average I travel 100 km in my car daily and I make sure that it is serviced and repaired regularly. One morning on my way to visit a client, I experienced my car sliding on the right-hand side. The regular service of the car was due the very next day. The car garage near me provided car pickup & drop-off facility; so I booked for the car servicing for the next day.

The mechanic picked up my car at the scheduled time and in the evening dropped it back to my home after service. On the next day when I was out for work, I again experienced the car sliding on the right-hand side. I was confused about what could have gone wrong as it was serviced just yesterday. I called the mechanic and explained to him the problem. He told me it might be a wheel-alignment issue and he will schedule the pickup tomorrow morning. I refused for the pickup and decided to personally visit him. I was suspicious because the car was serviced yesterday and he missed out on something important.

The next morning I visited the garage and asked the mechanic how he could miss something so important and that too when I had asked for a full service. He told me that I did not mention any specific problem in the car when I placed the servicing request. The full service of the car does not include wheel alignment. It is checked only if the client complains of mileage, uneven tyre wear, car sliding, or disturbance.

I was curious to know what car wheel alignment means and how it can affect my car. I asked the mechanic to tell me more about it and the problems associated with improper alignment. The mechanic explained that wheel alignment in simple terms means adjusting the angles of the wheels of the car as it was prescribed by the car manufacturer. It is necessary since the default alignment tends to be disrupted due to continuous use.

The effect of destabilization of the car’s wheel alignment may be tyre wearing or siding. This means that each wheel is supposed to take a certain proportion of weight in the car and when the distribution becomes uneven, problems ensue.

A misaligned car wheel takes up more power and still does not perform at its optimal point. This causes a severe drop in the car’s mileage. The most disturbing effect of an improper wheel alignment was the one that I faced –  sliding.  Sliding steering means that even if the steering is rotated in a particular direction, the misaligned may turn towards another direction. While the effect is initially subtle, it is extremely dangerous, especially for sharp turns and emergencies.

According to him the wheels of the car are aligned to handle a specific amount of pressure. An improper alignment exerts excessive pressure on the tyres and hence they wear quickly. Improper wheel alignment can cause the tyre to wear faster and the tyres that have already worn further cause more misalignment.

Even without these signs, regular car servicing is necessary. My car was serviced regularly which minimized the impact of the improper alignment. I immediately contact the car mechanic near me whenever I face any problems with my car and I recommend the same to you. Take note of every minor problem of your car and maintain the wheel alignment. If you are facing any particular set of issues, no matter how small they seem, tell your mechanic about them when you give your car for servicing.

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