What are Wheel Balancing and Alignment?
When it comes to tyre maintenance, there is a common misconception that wheel balancing and wheel alignment are synonymous for the same service. However, despite having a similar name, these are two hugely different services. We will have a look in this article as to what are the differences and benefits of wheel balancing and alignment.
What is Wheel Balancing?
The purpose of balancing your tyres is to make sure the weight is equally distributed around your car’s axle. It not only increases your tyres’ lifetime as well as suspension (as it ensures that your suspensions are working together in a correct fashion) but also helps you have a smoother drive.
Every pothole or bump you hit on the road will destabilise your car’s balance; depending on how hard you hit them and if you feel like your steering is vibrating whilst driving over 40 mph, chances are your tyres are not correctly balanced.
When Do I Need Wheel Balancing?
As we were saying earlier in this article, if you feel like your steering is vibrating more than usual, that is a sign to get your car checked up and make sure your wheels are properly balanced as this may be an index of your front wheels being unbalanced, whereas, if you feel like the floor or seats are vibrating when you reach higher speeds, it may be a sign that your rear wheels are unbalanced. As a rule of thumb though, we recommend getting your tyres balanced every 5,000-6,000 miles and always refer to your car’s manual if unsure.
What is Wheel Alignment?
The purpose of aligning your wheels (also known as tracking) is to ensure they are in the correct position (both direction and angle), perpendicular to the road and parallel towards each other. After a general check-up, adjustments will be made to your wheels tie rods and control arms to correct the alignment as per your manufacturer’s recommendations.
How Will I Know When My Car Needs Wheel Alignment?
When your wheels aren’t properly aligned, you will notice a drifting movement pulling you more to the right or left side of the road, even though your steering wheel is positioned straight. If this happens and it’s quite noticeable, we recommend getting your car checked out at one of our dealerships. Wheel misalignment can lead to poor fuel economy and put unnecessary stress on your vehicle’s suspension.
Also, remember, if you’re getting new tyres always ask to get them aligned to ensure a safe and smooth drive.
Benefits of Car Alignment and Wheel Balancing
There are several benefits to having your car’s tyres aligned and balanced as, unfortunately, potholes, bumps and curbs negatively affect the car. Having these services carried out at regular intervals will not only contribute to making you safe whilst driving but also save money in the long term. Here are the greatest pros of having wheel balancing and alignment:
- Safe ride
- Improved car handling
- Smooth drive
- Increased fuel efficiency
- No stress on suspension and car parts
- Longer tyre life.
We hope our article has helped you understand the differences between wheel balancing and alignment and these services’ importance. However, should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
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