Are Your Truck's Tyres Telling You That You Have Alignment Problems?

Posted on: 16 February 2021

Your truck's suspension won't stay evenly balanced forever. The more you drive, the more likely you are to have alignment problems. Heavy driving or rough roads can make your suspension, and your wheels, move out of position. Natural wear and tear in your suspension can also cause problems.

Your dashboard doesn't have a warning light that tells you when your wheels are misaligned. So, you have to check things out for yourself. Luckily, your tyres themselves might give you hints when they are out of position.

What should you look out for?

Unusual Signs of Wear

If your truck's wheels are in perfect alignment, then their tyre treads wear evenly. The tyres take all the strain as you drive without putting excess pressure on any point. However, if you have an alignment problem, then you'll often see different wear patterns. For example, some parts of one or more tyres will look much more worn than the rest of the tyres.

So, you might see a lot of wear on one side of a tyre compared to the other side. The side that doesn't have this excessive wear might look too good to be true. You might expect to see some wear on this side but the tyre is in better shape than it should be.

Sometimes, the wear doesn't look that bad. However, you should still check the tread depth on all your tyres. If you measure the tread, you get a more accurate analysis of what is going on. This measurement also helps your mechanic work out what is causing the problem. For example, if a tyre wears a lot on an edge, then you might have a camber problem. Patterned wear is sometimes a sign that you have a misadjusted toe.

Unusual Noises

Tyres sometimes give out audible clues that they have alignment issues. You'll notice a difference in the sounds that come from your tyres as you drive. For example, one or more of your tyres might start to make a squealing or screeching sound.

Typically, you hear these sounds if one of the wheel's camber or toe parts has moved out of place. If only one part has shifted, then it can't work smoothly with other parts. For example, the shifted part might rub against another part. This friction creates the noise you hear.

Misaligned tyres wear down more quickly. You'll have to replace them more often. Your running costs also increase; your truck will lose fuel economy. Plus, on a more serious level, a truck wheel alignment problem can go on to affect your steering and control. So, if you suspect that you have a truck wheel alignment problem, take your truck to the shop to have it checked over.