2 Wheel vs 4 Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment also known as tracking or the geometry, is the adjustment of the wheel angles. These are specifications set by the manufacturer.

2 Wheel vs 4 wheel alignment. Which should I opt for?

Let’s explain more about wheel alignment first. People usually neglect getting their alignment checked. Usually because they associate it with only steering wheel pull. If that is not something that is happening on their car, they tend not to think too much about it.

What other reasons would I have my wheel alignment checked?

• Tyre wear
• Handling

…And yes, sometimes a pull on the steering wheel. Other issues that you might not think about is that the engine is working harder. The car is fighting against the standard alignment settings set by the manufacturer.
So, if an engine is working harder, it means that it uses more fuel and unnecessarily wastes money, something that we could all do without.
Wheels aligned properly will save you on fuel and tyres, and also improve the vehicle’s handling and ride experience.

2 wheel vs 4 wheel alignment?

• Some cars only have adjustable front wheels, which usually means that you can adjust the toe angle and sometimes the caster and camber on the 2 front wheels only. If your car falls into this category, providing there is no mechanical damage to the rear suspension, then your car should align up, but if there is mechanical damage at the rear, which can happen from simply bumping up the kerb or driving over potholes, then the car would need some mechanical work undertaken on the rear suspension.

• Sports cars and performance cars will have the option to allow all 4 wheels to be adjusted. If this is an option, then you should always have a 4-wheel alignment check, rather than a 2-wheel alignment check. After all, why would you want to align only 2 wheels when you can align all 4? Don’t go for the cheaper option of only having 2-wheel alignment when you can adjust all 4 wheels, it really makes no sense at all.

I’ve heard about different alignment systems, which is best?

Wheel alignment has moved on from some of the older, less accurate methods. Some of the most recent and different wheel alignment systems include:

• Laser
• Computerised

The latest is the computerised wheel alignment system which has a huge database of different makes and models from your everyday cars to supercars such as Ferrari. This is the system that we at Dentzap have installed. Technology has moved on from the older systems and there should not be a massive price difference between them now. Modern cars – modern technology.

When should I get my wheel alignment checked?

Some people opt to align every 3 months or every few thousand miles. If you have driven into a pothole, or guilty of bumping up the kerb, then over time this can start to knock your alignment measurements out.
Even if you fit a new replacement tyre, you should have your wheel alignment checked.

Taking care of all tyres is also important because if 2 of your tyres have significantly more tread than the other 2, then when you finally do replace them, the alignment will need adjusted again as the car was setup with the previous tyre treads measurements. Therefore, it is important to have 4 tyres with pretty much the same tread if you can help it.

And you can help it by doing these simple things which can improve your handling as well as look after your wallet.

• Set tyres to the correct pressure
• Regular wheel alignment checks, especially if you are replacing tyres

Hopefully you can also avoid potholes, and stop bumping up those kerbs if you can avoid it!

Hopefully, this answers the question of 2 wheel vs 4 wheel alignment for you.

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