Wheel Alignment Check and The Side Slip Meter

Car tires are wearing unevenly? Going for a car inspection soon? One will need a wheel alignment check. This article describes how one can have this check done at home.

1. Why Wheel Alignment?
When the front wheel hits a road side kerb, that nasty impact might have affected the car steering mechanism. One might have a wheel mis-alignment. If that problem is not taken care of, one's car tires will wear out quickly. In many countries, wheel alignment check is a mandatory requirement for a car to obtain a fitness certificate.

2. How Do They Check?
Car Inspection Centres and most shops use side slip meters to check the wheel alignment. Some use optical alignment method. The very rough method was to use strings and human eyes, aligning the front to the back wheel.

3. What is a Side Slip Meter?
It is an instrument that will tell how much the wheel will slide sideway on a free-to-slide surface. A perfect wheel alignment will have no sideway sliding movement on the wheels.

Types of Side Slip Meter
There are many different types of side slip meters. It ranges from simple and portable ones being used at home to the bulky and sophisticated types being used by the Tire Alignment Shops. This article will make an attempt to describe the simple and portable type that is available from Ebay at around S$230/=.

The Portable Side Slip Meter
The meter basically consists of 5 components:
a) The base plate
b) The small cylindrical rollers
c) The roller plate
d) The indicator needle and
e) The top plate

The components are all made of plastic materials except for the cylindrical rollers which could have been made from hard polyester material. The roller plate that contains the cylindrical rollers is designed to slide freely in between the top and the base plate. The sliding movement of the top plate is detected by an attached indicator needle that will tell the relative sideway movement of top plate.



Note: the above are automated GIF picture

The Wheel Alignment Check
The tire alignment check is straightforward and easy using the portable side slip meter. Simply place the meter in front of the wheel. Drive and move the front wheel slowly and steadily over the side slip meter. The indicator will give the slip of the wheel.

DIY Side Slip Meter
It should not be difficult to DIY the portable side slip meter if you are a handyman type and have 3 Nos of 4-mm thick plastic sheets of size around 48 cm x 25 mm. The author will describe how to DIY this side slip meter if there are interested readers.

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3. Car Air-conditioning Part 2

4. Car Air-conditioning Part 3
5. Car Freon Charging for Novice
6. Car Safety Inspection and Check at Home
7. Replace Engine Oil by Vacuum

1 comment:

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