What is the Difference Between Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing?
Your car’s wheels are perhaps the most crucial part of your entire vehicle. They’re what connects you to the road, and any damage or performance issues can be extremely dangerous if not addressed immediately.
Wheel alignment and wheel balancing are two of the most common types of wheel services Despite both services impacting the performance and safety of your vehicle’s wheels and tyres, they actually perform very different jobs.
While you’re not expected to be an expert mechanic, it’s always worthwhile to have a basic understanding of these things. So, if you find yourself asking ‘what is wheel alignment?’ or ‘what is wheel balancing?’, the team at Kilnhurst Tyres has put together a helpful guide to outline everything you need to know and the differences between the two.
What is wheel alignment?
Wheel alignment is all about having your four wheels aligned with one another, so that when you steer your vehicle, it is quick and heads in the right direction. If wheels become misaligned, steering can become more difficult with the car usually veering to one side and having to be constantly corrected by the driver.
Clearly, if this is happening it can be hazardous to you and other road users, so it’s vital that you get the problem fixed as quickly as possible.
Typically, wheel misalignment is a sign of a problem with your suspension, due to it impairing your wheels. Driving over potholes, hitting kerbs and uneven road surfaces are all reasons why suspension can impair wheels, and if you notice your steering becomes difficult or your vehicle is starting to veer to the side when driving, you’ll likely need wheel alignment services to get your wheels back on the right track.
When do I need wheel alignment services?
There are a number of signs to look out for that could suggest you need wheel alignment services. These are:
- The car is pulling to one side of the road when driving
- Tyre tread is wearing prematurely
- Tyres are squealing
- The steering wheel is tilting off-centre when driving
- You feel vibrations when driving
If you notice any of the above, you may need your wheels realigned and you should contact your local garage immediately.
What is wheel balancing?
During the course of normal driving, wheels can become imbalanced with your car’s tyres being unevenly distributed. Largely, this is down to your tyre tread wearing at different times across your four tyres, meaning the weight distribution becomes uneven.
When your wheels are correctly balanced, they move much more smoothly across the road. However, unbalanced wheels can create intense vibrations on your steering wheel and throughout the vehicle. Continually driving with unbalanced wheels will result in the wheel eventually not being able to turn correctly, making it hazardous.
When do I need wheel balancing services?
There are a number of times when wheel balancing services will be required. These include:
- When you notice vibrations on your steering wheel, seats or floor of the vehicle
- Once you’ve travelled more than 5,000 miles
- Every two years
- You have experienced a flat tyre
- You’ve purchased new tyres
- When tyre wear becomes uneven
If any of this is appropriate to your vehicle, get in touch with a garage as soon as possible.
At Kilnhurst Tyres, we provide a whole host of quality tyre services to vehicles across Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield. This includes wheel alignment and wheel balancing. For more information on what we do, get in touch with our team of experts today.