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  • Windermere Sustainable Car Care

Wheel Alignment Versus Wheel Balancing

As part of taking care of your car, you need to understand what wheel balancing and wheel alignment are. You might also need to understand the differences between alignment and balancing. You can easily confuse the two services if you do not have any background information on either. Read on to learn a few things about wheel alignment and wheel balancing that you may find useful.

Wheel Alignment

If you drive your car daily and hit curbs and potholes along the way, your car wheels are likely to get out of sync. To restore the sync on your wheels, the wheels might need an alignment.

Wheel alignment is the adjustment of the car wheels so that all the wheels are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.

Although the word might suggest otherwise, wheel alignment majorly focuses on the suspension system rather than the wheels. An expert will alter the car's suspension system so that all the wheels roll at the same angle and in the same direction when the car is in motion.

Your car might need a wheel alignment if:

  • Your car's steering wheel vibrates when you turn or accelerate.

  • Your car moves to the side of the road even when you do not steer in that direction.

  • The steering wheel tilts on itself when you drive.

  • Your tires wear out quickly or unevenly.

Even if you don't notice any signs that your car needs an alignment, make sure your mechanic checks the car's wheel alignment at least twice a year.

Benefits of Alignment

A wheel alignment is immensely helpful in the following ways:

  • A car whose wheels aren't parallel to each other tends to strain the car engine. The more you stress your engine, the more fuel the engine consumes. A wheel alignment reduces the stress on the engine and improves fuel efficiency.

  • When a tire wears out evenly, the tire tends to last much longer compared to when one side of the tire wears out.

A wheel alignment can save you a few dollars that you would otherwise use on fuel and new tires.

Wheel Balancing

For a smooth drive, your car’s wheels need to have uniform weight. When a wheel has some parts that are heavier than others, the wheel tends to vibrate when in motion. The vibrations increase with the increase in speed.

Wheel production is not always perfect. Therefore, wheels might have some parts with more or thicker materials than other parts. These thicker parts are heavier than the other tire parts and generally make the wheel vibrate when your car is in motion. Wheel balancing ensures your wheels have an even distribution of weight.

Your car wheels might need balancing if:

  • The steering wheel, seats, or floorboard of your car vibrate.

  • Your car tires wear out unevenly.

  • One of the rims loses weight that was previously on the rim.

  • You change a tire or buy new wheels.

  • Your car has been in your garage for too long.

For the best results, ensure you hire professionals to service your car.

Benefits of Balancing

Balancing your car wheels is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Wheel balancing eliminates vibrations when you drive to ensure that the car rides more smoothly.

  • Balancing your wheels eliminates vibrations that impact your car's suspension system in the long run. Your car's suspension system is likely to last longer when you balance your car wheels.

You will enjoy smoother, safer rides when your car wheels are in the best condition possible.

Ensure you take care of your car wheels and suspension so that your car can take care of you. If you need any car maintenance or repair services, contact us at Windermere Sustainable Car Care.

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