What is the difference between wheel alignment and front end alignment?

What you need to know:

  • Rear end alignment is adjusting a vehicle’s tyres to its frame. Rear wheels such as the front ones can change direction or position overtime.

Hello Paul, I have always known about wheel alignment but when I recently took my car for service the mechanic said it needed front end alignment. Is there a difference?  Victoria

Hello Victoria, wheel alignment is setting the specified angle and direction at which tyres are positioned on the front and rear axle.

Front-end alignment sets the angle and direction of front tyres only. When a vehicle’s front tyres are not aligned well, it will tend to pull from the left to the right. The steering wheel will be off centre and the vehicle or its steering may shake. The tyres can wear abnormally or prematurely.

Rear end alignment is adjusting a vehicle’s tyres to its frame. Rear wheels such as the front ones can change direction or position overtime.

This will affect the lifespan of the rear wheels as well as their positioning on the rear axle. Wrong rear end wheel alignment can affect steering.

When rear wheels are not tracked or aligned properly, they can try to steer cars or trucks. When this happens the rear end of the vehicle will move slightly sideways.

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