Driving in Australia can be unpredictable. Roads and highways are becoming ever more congested, and as a consequence, it's difficult for authorities to keep up with much-needed maintenance. This means that you cannot rely on "billiard table" surfaces, and every now and again, your car is going to be swallowed up by a cavernous pothole or two. When you consider that some streets and parking areas are narrow and confined, you may not be surprised if you happen to bump up against a curb occasionally, as well. All of this activity does a number on your wheels and tyres. Why is it important, therefore, for you to take your vehicle in for a check-up to look at alignment and balance?

In a Normal World

When it comes to your wheels and tyres, a technician will set you up for safe motoring by using a number of special tools and knowledge in the workshop. Typically, these adjustments are made when you buy a new set of tyres and are intended to last for a long time. However, the aforementioned "obstacles" can undo all of the technician's best work and require an urgent visit for a checkup.

Are You Misaligned?

To see if you need to have your wheel alignment recalibrated, drive down a quiet stretch of road with your hands placed loosely on the steering wheel. Do you feel as if the car is trying to "pull" to one side or the other, bearing in mind if there's any natural camber on the surface? You shouldn't have to make any adjustments to try and keep the car on the straight and narrow, but if you do, it is a sign that your wheels are out of alignment.

You may also notice some uneven wear on one or more of the tyres, as compared to the rest of the covered surface.

Bad Vibrations

Some drivers also report vibration at certain road speeds, which you can feel through the steering wheel. This may indicate that the wheels are out of balance, but this usually only happens if one of the specially added weights has been dislodged. Of course, this can happen when your vehicle strikes a curb or goes in and out of a pothole.

Checking in for a Fix

The good news is that alignment and rebalancing can generally fix these issues. You will save excess wear on your new tyres and could return better fuel mileage, as well.