See the dedicated team at GC Suspension Steering & Brakes for all your wheel alignments on the Gold Coast, conveniently located in Southport.
A wheel alignment is the measurement and correct adjustment of the angles of your vehicle’s steering and suspension components. There are four main components to every wheel alignment, camber, toe, caster and thrust angle. Incorrect alignment of one or more of these components can cause many issues including; uneven tyre wear, increase in braking distance, damage to your suspension components, it can pull your vehicle to one side, and that’s just to name a few.
Ideal wheel alignment angles for each vehicle can vary depending on the make, model and your performance requirements. For example, a high-performance track car differs from an on-road vehicle. Our highly trained technicians are experienced with every type of vehicle, and our workshop is equipped with the latest in alignment technology to give you the very best result.
The camber of your wheels is a measurement of the angle between where the centre line of your wheel touches the ground and the true vertical, when looking from the front or rear of your vehicle. If the top of your wheel is further out than the bottom of your wheel it is called positive camber. If the bottom wheel is further out than the top of your wheel, it is called negative camber. Correct camber ensures the right amount of tyre tread is in contact with the road at all times for optimum braking, turning and tyre longevity.
Wheel toe describes the angle the wheels turn in or out compared with the geometric line of your vehicle. You can establish wheel toe by looking in or out compared with the geometric centre line of your vehicle or looking from the top. If your wheel points inwards towards the front of your vehicle, it is called positive toe or toe in. Similarly, if your wheel points outwards towards the front of your vehicle it is called negative toe or toe out. Incorrect toe angle can lead to premature tyre wear, tyre scrubbing and decreased handling performance of your vehicle. Correct toe angle will also assist the straight-line stability and corner handling characteristics of your vehicle.
Caster angle specifically is the angular displacement from the vertical axis of the suspension of the wheel (the imaginary line that runs through the centre of the upper and lower ball joints compared with the vertical, known as the steering pivot axis), looking side on to your vehicle. Basically, it is a measure of how far forward or back your wheel is sitting. Positive caster is when the wheel sits forward of the suspension, and negative caster is when the wheel sits towards the rear of the vehicle in comparison to the steering components.
Race car drivers sometimes adjust their vehicle caster angle to optimise the handling characteristics in certain driving conditions, but for the everyday driver correct caster alignment assists in the self-centring of your steering which adds to the straight-line stability of your vehicle. Excessive negative caster angle can make steering heavier, and correspondingly excessive positive caster angle can make your steering less responsive and make it more difficult to maintain a straight line.
The fourth major component of a complete wheel alignment is the thrust angle. The thrust angle of the vehicle is the angle created between the geometric centre line of the vehicle and the direction the rear wheels are pointing. If the thrust angle is not aligned correctly you can experience “crabbing” or “dog-tracking”.
Thrust angle misalignment can also cause other handling issues such as; causing your vehicle to turn quicker in one direction than the other, resulting in your car pulling to one side and causing excessive tyre wear from the constant need for steering correction. The thrust angle of your vehicle can be affected by many factors including impact damage and wearing of steering and suspension components.
At GC Suspension Steering & Brakes, our qualified car mechanics carefully measure every associated angle and adjust them according to your vehicle’s specifications. There are many factors that can cause your vehicle to require a wheel alignment including; sagged springs, worn suspension components, impact with a pothole or curb, having new tyres fitted or a change in vehicle ride height, just to name a few. This is why our expert car mechanics perform a full undercar inspection and safety check on your vehicle to ensure the problem is being fixed, first time, every time.
If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side, vibration through your steering wheel on the highway, resistance turning, or if you have had any impact with a road hazard, pothole or car, your car should be checked by one of our skilled technicians. By doing this you can prevent uneven or premature tyre wear, unnecessary wearing of the suspension and steering components of your vehicle and it will essentially give you better handling and a safer ride for you and your passengers.
So, call 07 5532 3772, or come and see the team at 72 Ferry Road for all your wheel alignment, steering, suspension, brake and car mechanic needs.
Open 6 days a week, 8am – 5pm.