Your Porsche needs a wheel alignment for the same reasons that any vehicle needs an alignment. Tires will eventually come out of sync on any vehicle and need to be kept in line in order to keep the vehicle and its wheels in good condition, and safe. Here’s what you need to know about your Porsche’s wheel alignment.
Signs that Your Porsche Needs an Alignment
Typically, you need a wheel alignment every one or two years. However, if you have not gotten an alignment in some time, you may start to notice some symptoms that it is wearing on your tires and the rest of your Porsche. Signs that you need a wheel alignment include:
- Pulling: As you drive, your vehicle is designed to head straight automatically. If it pulls to the left or the right, then this may be due to uneven tire wear, from a lack of wheel alignments.
- Steering wheel orientation: You may not notice pulling, because you may compensate for pulling by holding the wheel to the left or the right. If you need to hold the steering wheel off-kilter for the vehicle to go straight, you may need a wheel alignment.
- Steering wheel vibration: When two or more of your tires are pulling in a different direction, this causes stress on the steering wheel and can wear it down.
- Noises from tires: Tires that have been worn down unevenly may make noises.
- Tire wear: You can sometimes tell that the tires have been worn unevenly by scalloping or cupping wear.
Your Porsche may also need a wheel alignment after new tires. Some tire warranties are only valid if you get a wheel alignment, otherwise, the tires will degrade unevenly, and the tire manufacturer or mechanic will not be responsible for any issues with the tires.
What Causes Your Wheels to Change?
So, you know the signs that your wheels need an alignment, but why has this happened? No matter how well-designed or high-end the vehicle, wheels naturally come out of line. Here are some causes:
- Impacts: Driving your wheels onto obstacles like potholes are one reason that the wheels can come out of alignment.
- Collisions: Major collisions can bend and break wheel components such that alignment is well out of balance. Minor collisions can do minor damage too.
- Wear: Bushings, springs and other parts of the wheel start to wear over time. They will slowly hold the wheels less securely.
- Steering: Your steering wheel can wear and slowly apply uneven pressure on the tires.
Once the alignment is out of whack, the uneven wear on tires will slowly exaggerate the problem. Regular wheel alignments will prevent this.
What Does a Wheel Alignment Do?
Your Porsche has factory settings for the angle of your wheel suspension system. There’s the camber, caster and toe. All three need to be measured in relation to how they should be, and to each other. Then the alignment process will restore each part to its proper angle. There is a specialized alignment machine that helps mechanics perform this alignment.
The angle of each part is unique to your model Porsche. However, you may be curious about how each piece of the suspension system holds the wheel in place:
- Camber: The camber is the measurement of the inward or outward tilt of the tires, as seen from the front or back of the vehicle. Tires should be straight as compared to an imaginary line from the pavement straight up.
- Caster: The caster is the steering pivot point, or the point at which the wheel turns. Imagine a long vertical spindle that holds the wheel in the car to understand the caster. When you look at the tire from the side, the spindle should be straight up and down. If it leans forward, the pivot point will be too far back. If it leans back, the pivot point will be too far forward.
- Toe: Toe is a measurement of whether the tire points in and out. Imagine you are looking down at the vehicle from a bird’s eye view. The tires should be straight. If they point in or out, they have a toe angle and need to be corrected.
What Happens If You Don’t Get a Wheel Alignment?
If you don’t get a wheel alignment, these issues get worse. Your Porsche may need a tire change earlier than normal and may suffer early wear and tear.
Get back to a smooth ride with our tire services, schedule your appointment today!