It’s vital, both for reasons of safety and performance, that the wheel alignment of your Alfa is checked regularly. This should be done annually in any event, but also if you hit a kerb with a wheel, if you notice that your tyres are wearing unevenly, or after any suspension work has been carried out on your car. Steering and suspension wear can also affect your wheel alignment, as can driving too fast over speed humps and potholes.
Improving Safety and Efficiency
Regular wheel alignment checks will help to:
Older cars used to require no adjustment to wheel alignment apart from the tracking of the front wheels. This was carried out using a simple mechanical jig which used mirrors to check the alignment of the front wheels. Unfortunately technicians at many tyre and service centres still believe that this simple check is all that is required
Modern Alfa Romeos, like many sophisticated high-performance cars, have complex independently-adjustable rear suspension systems. When correctly set up, these allow the car to perform and handle much better than a car with a traditional rigid beam axle system.
Even if the front wheels are correctly aligned, the car will not perform properly unless the rear wheels are also in alignment, and tyre wear will be uneven.
Beissbarth Four-Wheel Alignment System
Autolusso’s workshop is equipped with the latest and ultra-sophisticated Beissbarth VAG1813F fully computerised wheel alignment system. A more basic version of this system is used by Silverline’s team in the British Touring Car Championships, and by the Chevrolet Cruzes team in the World Touring Car Championships.
It takes nearly an hour to set a car up for the alignment check. The car is driven on to a specially modified four-poster lift. Each wheel sits on a floating pad, which allows the wheel to be moved along 2 axes relative to the other three wheels. Next, one of the four alignment modules is attached to each wheel. These modules communicate with the computer by means of a radio link. Each module emits an invisible light beam, and the four modules combine to surround the car with rectangular 360º beam. The two CCD cameras fitted to each wheel module then tell the computer how each wheel is aligned. This information is presented both graphically and numerically on the computer display.
When the alignment process has been carried out, the system produces a print-out which shows exactly how the four wheels are aligned.