Enjoying a New Auto

A Guide On Truck Wheel Alignment

Your truck's wheels are designed to sit at a specific angle as per the manufacturer specifications. Over time, the tires will become misaligned due to suspension problems, hitting potholes or off-road travel. A vehicle with poor wheel alignment will have uneven tire wear, squealing tire noise and vibrations when steering. It may also pull to one side as you drive. Besides, you will notice an increase in fuel consumption since the tires have more resistance on the road. 

Read this article to learn more about truck wheel alignment

Fixing Truck Wheel Alignment

Take your vehicle to a mechanic if you think the wheels are misaligned. The mechanic will use a wheel alignment machine to adjust the angle of the tires. The device looks like a car lift. However, it has a computer and sensors that can tell the angle of each wheel. There are three aspects of wheel alignment. 

1. Camber 

Camber is how the tire leans in or out. If the wheel leans towards the truck, it will have negative camber. If it leans out, the truck is said to have positive camber. Positive camber improves the vehicle's stability and steering. Negative camber is used in high-performance cars since it reduces contact between the wheel and road surface during cornering. As such, it allows the driver to tackle corners at sharp speeds.

2. Toe

Toe is the angle of the tires in relation to the centre of the vehicle. Toe settings affect the truck's handling. Toe-in or positive toe is when the front end of the wheel tilts towards the vehicle. Trucks with front-wheel drive should have a positive toe to prevent oversteer. On the other hand, those with rear-wheel drive should have negative toe to reduce understeer.   

3. Caster

Caster is the angle at which suspension components and the steering axis meet the wheel. If the suspension leans to the left, the truck has positive caster. It improves cornering and stability at straight lines. Too much caster makes it hard for you to steer the vehicle. Negative caster is hardly used in modern trucks. It was common in older models that did not have power steering. Typically, it makes the steering lighter but affects the vehicle's stability. 

You should also consider wheel balancing as you align your tires. Wheel balancing equalises the weight of the tire and wheel assembly. It helps improve stability at high speeds. 

Truck wheel alignment is an essential preventive maintenance procedure. Remember to inspect suspension and steering elements such as the tie rods, bushes, arms, linkages, shock absorbers and the springs.