Stay Safe, Stay Legal, Save Money

Stay Safe, Stay Legal, Save Money

Posted in General

Regular four wheel alignment checks mean you can Stay Safe, Stay Legal and Save Money. 

Take a look at the tyre in this picture. How it didn't cause a catastrophic blow out on the motorway is sheer luck. This damage could be down to poor wheel alignment, and it is entirely preventable. 

But you'd never let your tyre get this bad, would you? It's surprising, accelerated wear suddenly creeps up on you - the less tread you have, the faster what's left wears. A recent survey by a major tyre manufacturer found that 8 out of 10 cars  in a typical supermarket in a typical town needed alignment, why would yours be any different?

Four wheel alignment has always been a safety check that must not be ignored, and in the new millennium we have a new dimension too. ADAS - Advanced Driver Assistance Systems - requires correct wheel alignment. 

For those that don't know, new safety-critical tools are fitted to the latest cars, vans and lorries. Lane change radar, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and auto-parking are just some examples and there are many more in the pipeline. Most rely on what's known as the "rear thrust angle", which broadly speaking is the angle pof the rear axle line to the straight ahead. If this is wrong due to wear or damage, the ADAS sensors can be incorrectly calibrated. What's the impact on road safety? There's no statistics as yet, but VW insist that wheel alignment checks and repairs are carried out before the ADAS sensors are calibrated.  

So you're a conscientious driver and you do replace your tyres regularly before they reach the minimum level, but are you doing it more often than you need? A tyre that's just 2mm out of alignment is scrubbing sideways for 24 feet every mile (Source: The Tyre Business), that's 24' of extra wear on the shoulder of the tyre. Not only will this cause the wear we see in this picture, it will also cause a wear in your wallet as the US EPA have calculated poor wheel alignment can cause as much as 7% loss in fuel economy. 7% extyra drained from your wallet, and a reduction in CO2 as well!

DID YOU KNOW? If you have a four wheel drive car with one tyre illegally worn you need to replace ALL FOUR tyres? The complicated differential mechanisms inside your car's drive train rely on a constant rolling diameter on all four corners, and any penny pinching with tyre replacement could lead to big bills in the future. Imagine the cost of a wheel alignment check to eradicate that misalignment on one wheel compared to the cost of replacing three perfectly good tyres!

Speaking of illegal, if the safety aspect or the cost savings don't persade you that a regular four wheel alignment check should be part of your motoring budget, then I'm sure the Boys in Blue can! The minimum tread depth is 1.6mm in a continuous band around three quarters of the tyre, and to help you modern tyres have tread depth wear bars set at approximately 1,6mm around the tyre. If you can see the wear bars your tyre should be changed.

In truth, your tyre has lost optimum performance at about 3mm depth, although the police won't step in until 1.6mm.  But why risk it?

Regular wheel alignment checks will help you Stay Safe, Stay Legal and Save Money. Find your local Absolute Alignment Approved Centre here and give them a call today. Don't leave your safety to chance, our centres are all fully approved by factory-trained technicians in the use of our wheel alignment equipment, and offer industry-leading help and advice.