What's A Laser Alignment And Why Is It So Important?

Posted by Don MacDonald on Thu, Apr 5, '18

In Service, Land Rover, Range Rover, Tires

Rovalution is proud to announce we’re now able to offer laser guided alignment checks in house in a few minutes during your regular service.

It sounds complicated but it’s simply a way of using light beams to check your car’s front and rear wheels are pointing precisely where they should be. You’d think this means simply pointing forwards but in fact, wheels are set up to point at specific angles and providing the best fuel economy and ideal tire wear

To check the alignment, one of our Land Rover Certified technicians attaches special targets to your car’s wheels and reflects laser light back to the overhead cameras allowing the highly specialized computer system to measure each wheels position, using an overhead projector, to all four. Depending where the beams of light fall on a scale, the technician can see whether the wheels are what adjustments are required to meet the Land Rover Engineered Specifications. Specifications and adjustments are as accurate as hundredths of a degree.

For greater accuracy, a computer is used to check the position of the light in relation to the scales. Once the degree of misalignment has been established, completing an alignment is more often than not a short process to adjust the suspension so the wheels are set up correctly, increasing fuel economy and reducing tire wear.

LR4 (1 of 1)-3

There are three different measurements and adjustments we can make to ensure the long life of your tires:

Camber

This is a measure of how vertical a tire is. If it’s set so that it leans slightly towards the wheel arch it’s described as having negative camber. In the other direction, it’s called positive camber.

Caster

This is slightly harder to visualise, but concerns how directly above the wheel’s centre the suspension sits and, therefore, how central the angle of the tyre’s placement on the road is on the front to back plane. If you think of a ‘chopper’ style motorcycle with its suspension steeply raked back, this would be an example of extremely positive castor.

Toe

Wheels that point inwards at the front towards the centre of the car are experiencing toe-in, while if the front of the wheels point outwards towards the road, this is toe-out.

How can I tell if my wheels need alignment?

The most obvious symptoms of misaligned wheels are:

  • The car pulls to left or right when the steering wheel is straight

  • Uneven tire wear

  • Juddering through the steering wheel

  • The steering wheel is off-centre when driving straight (although this can be due to an improperly installed steering wheel)

  • You’ve gotten new tires that are different than the factory spec (different wheels, larger tires, etc)

So what does all this mean?

Choosing to add an alignment to your Land Rover service is a great value add for your vehicle’s long term health and well being. Small adjustments on the alignment rack can save you thousands of dollars in tire wear and vehicle wear to critical suspension components. A properly aligned Land Rover will also drive better and feel better on, and off road, provide better fuel economy and reduce tire wear.