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Old 25th April 2006, 14:00   #1
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Default Wheel Alignment and afterwards

The 10K service for my NHC had a planned wheel rotation and therefore alignment and balancing.

I drove the car out after the service and noticed that the steering was tilted towards the left by an "mm" or so.

I drove it back in, and was suprised to hear from the service manager that this was indeed normal and happens after every alignment. He was trying to indicate that it is not possible (fat chance) to get the steering wheel positioned exactly to the middle.

Is this correct? Is this a problem across all cars having power steering?

This was a Dakshin Honda (Bangalore)

Any comments?

-Neel
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Old 25th April 2006, 14:06   #2
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This was what I noticed too, after I got my zen back from its regular 9 point service from the Mitra service station. But my wheel was tilted toward the right. Mclaren assured me it is fine.
But then after a while of driving, I noticed that the car is more prone to drifting towards the side the steering is tilted (while the wheels are straight).

Godspeed.

Alok.
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Old 25th April 2006, 14:10   #3
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I too noticed the same problem when I got the alighnment for the first time art Madhu's tyres Mission road. I drove back to them and told about the problem after a week, and it was immediately corrected. They said, steering off set was off.
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Old 25th April 2006, 15:06   #4
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Hi Guys,

It is definitely not Ok. Did you get a before/after printout of the alignement. Pl check and it is no deal to centre a steering wheel irrespective of the car.

Go back to them and ask them to do it properly for you. In all probabilities they have not aligned the car.

Viper
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Old 25th April 2006, 15:24   #5
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This is not alright and definitely needs to be rectified. The reason for this is that during service, the wheels are also rotated(rear to front and front to rear) and aligned. But if the rear tyres were wearing unevenly and they are now in the front, they will tend to pull towards the direction of the wear. This can be countered by properly aligning the wheels.

Also, IMO I feel that 10,000 kms checkup\service although alright for MPFI engines, is too long a period for wheel alignment and should be done every 5000 kms. If there a problem with tyre wear, it does not get attended to for a long time and damage caused is huge. I would like to know your views on this.
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Old 25th April 2006, 16:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S@~+#0$#
Also, IMO I feel that 10,000 kms checkup\service although alright for MPFI engines, is too long a period for wheel alignment and should be done every 5000 kms. If there a problem with tyre wear, it does not get attended to for a long time and damage caused is huge. I would like to know your views on this.
It depends. If your car ran over a huge crater or smaller ones over a period of time and has small turned in edges on the rim probably you are better off getting the alignment and balancing done earlier than the 10k period. Ditto for an old car whose rim's structural strength may have deteriorated over a period of time due to constant thrashing. Otherwise for a new car it is ok to get it done around 10k.
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Old 25th April 2006, 18:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S@~+#0$#
Also, IMO I feel that 10,000 kms checkup\service although alright for MPFI engines, is too long a period for wheel alignment and should be done every 5000 kms. If there a problem with tyre wear, it does not get attended to for a long time and damage caused is huge. I would like to know your views on this.
and religiously do it every 5k kms; had neglected it once in my Ikon (for an inordinately long period, in excess of 10k probably) and paid the price by way of two completely chewed up tyres....nowadays I've decided better be safe than sorry!
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Old 26th April 2006, 22:58   #8
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sometimes I really wonder, how does this happen..In the previous 4 years my ownership of the lancer..I had got the tires rotated at service times..but Have got wheels aligned only thrice...! Once when the car went for its second service - once in the last paid service- and now when I had changed the tires at 50,000 KM from Bridgestone Potenza OEM to Bridgestone Potenza G3. So I guess its only an issue if you are facing some alignment problem, then get it done at shorter intervals...!
And yes the car is not moving to any direction- It maintains its course...So I guess Driving style can also affect the Alignment and Wear and Tear of Tyres...!
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Old 29th November 2007, 12:48   #9
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Default wheel alignment/balancing

i had a few questions on wheel alignment and balancing...

1) what is the purpose of these activities
2) what is done during these activities
3) and how does one interpret the reports that are generated after this is done
4) what purpose do those tiny weights serve
5) is this required only for cars with alloys or is it to be done even on regular wheels
6)whats the frequency at which this needs to be done
7)how does one notice the lack of balance/alignment

thanks in advance for the responses..
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Old 29th November 2007, 13:25   #10
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Ask him to remove the horn cover,open the steering nut from the center and straighten the steering wheel out.
Its a different issue if the car is pulling towards the left bla bla but if its only the steering which is tilted towards the left/right it can be fixed in 2 min.
Alignment must have been adjusted and they must have changed the damper nut settings in the steering gearbox and hence the little tilt to the left in your case.
Happened in my 800 many a times and all they do is remove the horn cover,open the steering wheel nut and fix it back straight.
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Old 29th November 2007, 15:41   #11
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@Narayan
Your answers for these queries
1) what is the purpose of these activities
2) what is done during these activities
3) and how does one interpret the reports that are generated after this is done
4) what purpose do those tiny weights serve
5) is this required only for cars with alloys or is it to be done even on regular wheels
6)whats the frequency at which this needs to be done
7)how does one notice the lack of balance/alignment

1) Wheel alignment is in simple terms to see that your vehicle goes in a straight line and you have a smooth ride at high speeds. It helps increase the life of your tires too.
2) During these activities the alignment of the tires is rectified so that the ride quality improves also with bad alignment the vehicle may pull towards a particular side of the road depending on the wear of the tires.
3) Well some guru can explain this but i have noticed a great increase in stability
4) The weights is for wheel balancing so as to prevent wobbling. When you rotate the wheel the center of the wheel is actually not supposed to change position. This is usually done during wheel rotation and before alignment.
5) It has to be done to cars without alloys too .
6) 5000kms.
7) When you brake the vehicle tends to veer to a side when the alignment aint good. Also at high speeds the wobbling can turn into vibrations noticed on the steering wheel.
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Old 29th November 2007, 16:16   #12
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@Narayan
Let me try to answer your queries

1) what is the purpose of these activities

Balancing is done so that the weight of the wheel+tyre is the same if you take every 90 degrees of the 360 degrees of any single tyre/wheel. Due to the inlet valve present in the the tyre/tube, a completely stock wheelrim/tyre/tube combination may not satisfy this. The solution is to add snall weights (you can see those on the edge of your rims after balancing).

Alignment: A car wheel is not fixed like a bullock cart wheel (you have only one vertical plane in which you can fix a cart wheel - the one that is perpendicular to the axle). In a car, you can, to some extent, decide how inclined to the vertical plane, you want to fix the wheel. After some running, wheels tend to change their vertical plane to inclined plane (with the bottom moving away from the vehicle). You can really visualise this on many vehicles on the road, esp Indicabs. What happens then is that the inside tread on the tyre gets worn out faster. Hence, when alignment is done in service centres, they usually 'rotate' the tyres and also do go 'overboard' in 'correction' - I guess you know what I mean - the alignment correction is overdone and the result is that the bottom of the wheels (the one that touches the road surface) now are pointed inwards. This causes the tyre tread on the outer to wear faster however after some kilometres it automatically corrects itself to 'vertical' plane and then to the plane where the wheels will start jutting out at the bottom.


2) what is done during these activities

explained above

3) and how does one interpret the reports that are generated after this is done

Haven't seen those

4) what purpose do those tiny weights serve

explained above. They balance any unbalanced weights whose mass centre would lie diametrically opposite to them

5) is this required only for cars with alloys or is it to be done even on regular wheels

Both

6)whats the frequency at which this needs to be done

depends on the surface on which u drive. No need to do it before 5K kms on any account.
7)how does one notice the lack of balance/alignment

You will notice the lack of alignment on a lot of rear wheels esp on Indicabs.. I have seen many Scorpios as well (not sure if that is a 'quality' of scorpio to lose alignment fast)
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Old 29th November 2007, 16:27   #13
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Answers in bold letters

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
i had a few questions on wheel alignment and balancing...

1) what is the purpose of these activities - To help the vehicle to travel straight & true & extend the life of the tyres.
2) what is done during these activities - Wheel angles are adjusted to bring it back to the mfr's specifications.
3) and how does one interpret the reports that are generated after this is done - The values before & after are given indicating the work done.
4) what purpose do those tiny weights serve - They help balance the wheel which in turn helps the wheel to rotate without wobbling.
5) is this required only for cars with alloys or is it to be done even on regular wheels - All wheels need to be aligned.
6)whats the frequency at which this needs to be done - 5000kms in ideal conditions, earlier if driving on very bad roads.
7)how does one notice the lack of balance/alignment - when it goes really bad, when you are driving in a straight line & take your hands off the wheel, you will notice that it pulls towards one side, or when you are driving fast > 80kmph, the off balance wheels will start to wobble & you can feel that.

thanks in advance for the responses..
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Old 29th November 2007, 23:30   #14
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umm - thanks guys...i guess its long pending for my car and im noticing a pull on the wheel...

let me see what this report looks like...

last time i got it done was nearly 10ks earlier when i changed the alloys and tyres..

thanks e_l, jeep , maddy
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Old 30th November 2007, 10:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
Ask him to remove the horn cover,open the steering nut from the center and straighten the steering wheel out.
Its a different issue if the car is pulling towards the left bla bla but if its only the steering which is tilted towards the left/right it can be fixed in 2 min.
Alignment must have been adjusted and they must have changed the damper nut settings in the steering gearbox and hence the little tilt to the left in your case.
Happened in my 800 many a times and all they do is remove the horn cover,open the steering wheel nut and fix it back straight.

exactly my thoughts.

the way the steering is turned even after the front wheels are positioned straight ahead is only related by the nut that holds the steering rod to the steering wheel.

that is why after the alignment is completed the setting of the steering wheel for the sake of aesthetics is done atlast.

as for the pulling to one side issue,... get the pre and post alignments' values and compare them. you can get more information in another thread on TBHP / internet about alignment terms. get the alignment from a good place.
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