You are not the only one who gets confused between wheel alignment and wheel balancing. Wheel balancing and wheel alignments are two mechanical concerns that many people confuse, yet they are extremely different from one another.
So let’s understand these two separate terms i.e., wheel alignment and wheel balancing. With the help of this explanation, you will recognize whether your car requires wheel balancing or wheel alignment.
What is Wheel Alignment?
Wheel alignment is the act of making minor modifications to your car’s four wheels so that they are correctly positioned in respect to one another, sitting parallel to one another and perpendicular to the ground. The owner’s manual for your car will list the proper alignment angles.
Unexpectedly, the suspension system of your car has a bigger role in wheel alignment than your wheels do. It concerns the direction and angle at which your wheels are moving.
Wheel alignment ensures that your tires can move across the road with less resistance, which enhances vehicle handling by, for example, preventing the steering from pulling in one direction. Additionally, it lessens excessive tire wear.
Advantages of Wheel Alignment
1. Lower frequency and expense of mechanical repairs
2. Increased steadiness while driving
3. Tires with a longer lifespan
4. Less wear and tear
5. Better fuel efficiency
6. Less strain on your car
What is Wheel Balancing?
Wheel balancing is the technique of balancing your wheel’s weight to make sure it rotates around itself evenly. Your wheels must be perfectly balanced as well, or else they won’t roll smoothly. It’s simply impossible to create a wheel or tire that is perfectly balanced all around, even with the advanced design and manufacturing techniques currently at our disposal.
There will always be places where the materials are thicker and others where they are thinner and lighter. A wheel will vibrate when one side is heavier or lighter than the other while it is rotating. This vibration becomes more noticeable as you travel faster.
Advantages of Wheel balancing
1. Greater traction while driving
2. Lessening of vibrations for a comfortable ride
3. Both the front and rear wheels have equal wear
4. Increased fuel efficiency
5. Improved driving
Difference between Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing
Wheel balancing is the process used to precisely balance the weight of a tire and wheel alignment so that it travels evenly. Wheel alignment describes how your wheels sit when they are connected to your car.
When a new tire is mounted on a wheel, the wheel needs to be rebalanced. Wheel balancing should be done more frequently. The wheel is removed from the car and put on a wheel-balancing machine to accomplish this. Wheel alignment and balancing specialists will often test both static (non-moving) and dynamic (moving) wheel balance using a calibrated spin balancer.
Wheels that aren’t balanced properly will have their balance corrected. Tire balancing is typically done every time the vehicle’s tires are rotated, which occurs around every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or 6 months.
Your tires and steering wheel will always be pointed straight ahead thanks to a correctly adjusted wheel alignment, which also increases tire life. Both the terms “tire alignment” and “wheel alignment” are also used interchangeably. Your technician will do this service by adjusting the angle of your car’s wheels to the position specified by the manufacturer. A toe, caster, and camber are the three angles that are examined and, if necessary, changed. Every 10,000 miles, most manufacturers advise getting the wheels aligned.
Symptoms Of Incorrect Wheel Alignment
Following are a few warning signs and symptoms you should get repaired by a car mechanic who is an expert in handling automotive issues. Let’s take a look now!
1. Car pulling to either side
When you’re on a straight road with low traffic, check your alignment by taking your hands off the wheel and letting the car steer itself. Place your fingers back on the steering wheel and lightly maintain steering control to stay on the road if the vehicle swerves or drifts in that direction.
Try the test once more when the car is moving straight again. The wheels need to be adjusted if the car continues to veer to the side. The alignment is worse the more it deviates from a straight line.
2. Vibrating Steering Wheel
If the steering wheel shakes while the car is moving, the tires are probably out of alignment or imbalanced. However, a steering wheel’s shaking could also be a sign of more significant issues. A specialist can identify the origin of the vibration.
3. Tire Squealing
The tires may begin to squeal as the car accelerates or turns because of uneven tire wear brought on by a misalignment. Has the car checked if you hear squealing because it could be caused by other factors, such as worn brake pads, and squealing tires sounds.
4. Uneven tire wear
Misalignment has a significant impact on both tire wear and tire health. If one tire is more worn than the others or if your tire wear patterns are off-center. Lack of smooth rotation is one of the major factors in tire deterioration. Other wear patterns, such as excessive wear on the inside and/or outside edges of tires, might appear when a tire is out of alignment.
Also, Read – How much does a wheel alignment cost?
So that’s all we have for you today. In this blog, we have discussed Wheel alignment and wheel balancing, and symptoms of incorrect wheel alignment.
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