A car elevated on a lift in a garage with an important wheel alignment machine attached to its tire.

Car Wheel Alignment – Why It’s So Important


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Wheel alignment might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of automotive maintenance, but its impact on your car’s performance, tyre wear and your safety can be big.

As you steer your way through daily commutes, long road trips, or even quick jaunts to the market, the alignment of your wheels is silently playing a critical role in how your car handles each curve and turn. In this article, we will delve into the reasons why proper wheel alignment is not just a technical necessity but a cornerstone of vehicle care.

Close-up of a white sports car's rear tire and fender, important for demonstrating detailed wheel alignment to stop tyre wear

What is it?

Car wheel alignment is about making sure the angles of the wheels on your car are set correctly so they all point straight ahead or match the angle the car manufacturer recommends. This helps your car drive straight without pulling to one side and makes sure the tyres wear down evenly. It involves adjusting parts of the car’s suspension system, which connects the wheels to the car. When your car’s wheels are aligned, it drives better and your tyres last longer.

Why is car wheel alignment important?

Having your car’s wheels aligned correctly is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Smoother drive: Proper alignment ensures your car drives smoothly and stays straight on the road without drifting to one side.
  2. Less tyre wear: If the wheels are aligned correctly, your tyres wear evenly. Misaligned wheels can cause your tyres to wear out faster and unevenly, which means you’ll need to replace them sooner. Speaking of tyres, here’s why tyre pressure is so important.
  3. Better fuel efficiency: Wheels that are properly aligned reduce the rolling resistance of your car. This means your car doesn’t have to work as hard, which can improve your gas mileage.
  4. Safer driving: Correct alignment helps maintain optimal control of your car, contributing to safer driving conditions. Misalignment can make it harder to steer, especially when you need to react quickly.
  5. Saves money: Research shows we Aussie drivers spend roughly $15,754 each year on running and maintenance costs. This is over and above any car purchase price. Avoiding early tyre replacement and improving fuel efficiency saves you money in the long run.

How much does a car wheel alignment cost?

It can widely based on the type of car you have. Generally, you can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for a wheel alignment. For regular-sized cars, the price usually starts around $50 and can go up to $100, while more complex or larger vehicles like SUVs and 4x4s may cost between $75 and $150​ ​.

How does car wheel alignment affect my insurance?

Wheel alignment doesn’t directly affect your car insurance rates, but it can have an indirect impact over time. Here’s how:

  1. Safety and accident risk: Proper wheel alignment helps keep your car stable and easy to control. If your wheels are misaligned, it might increase the risk of an accident because the car could pull to one side or handle unpredictably. Accidents can lead to claims, and more claims can make your insurance rates go up.
  2. Tyre wear: Misaligned wheels cause uneven tyre wear. This means you might have to buy new tyres for your car sooner than expected. While this doesn’t directly affect insurance, frequent tyre changes show poor car maintenance, which could influence how insurers view your risk level.
  3. Maintenance history: Insurance companies may consider a well-maintained car as a sign of a responsible owner. Regular maintenance, including wheel alignments, can be part of demonstrating this. Some insurers might offer discounts for good maintenance practices, although this isn’t very common.

Wheel alignment vs tyre balancing

Tyre balancing and car wheel alignment are both important services for your vehicle, but they do different things. Balancing is about making sure each individual wheel spins smoothly, while wheel alignment ensures all the wheels are positioned correctly relative to each other and to the vehicle.

Tyre balancing ensures that the weight of the wheel and tyre is evenly distributed around the axle. When a wheel is out of balance, it can wobble or bounce, leading to uneven tyre wear, vibrations, and potentially a less comfortable ride. Tyre balancing involves attaching small weights to the wheel to even out these imbalances.

Insure more than just your wheels

Despite taking care of your car wheel alignment and maintenance, accidents can still happen.

Having a car insurance policy helps protect your pocket in times of repair or even vehicle replacement. It simply depends on the policy and level of cover you choose. Additionally, your PD Insurance plan can help cover costs incurred for damage your car accidentally does to other people’s property.

Car insurance is good for your peace of mind and your driving experience. Why not click below and get a quote today?

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