Car on stand with sensors on wheels for wheels alignment camber check in workshop of Service station

A Closer Look At Wheel Balancing And Alignment

Perhaps this term is not strange to you. So far you are an active driver, you may have had to take your vehicle for tyre balancing and alignment servicing. A number of car owner’s and users see wheel balancing and alignment as just a routine service and nothing more. But this is a vital part of preventive measures and safety while driving. We’ll be looking at this closely to appreciate the importance of wheel balancing and alignment in relation to our tyres’ health and safety on the road.

Wheel alignment and tyre balancing are one of the most common auto repair services offered by technicians. To understand the importance of wheel balancing and wheel alignment, it first becomes necessary to understand the differences between the two.

Wheel balancing is important because wheels lose their balance over time. Factors concerning the weight distribution of your vehicle, road conditions and tread wear can cause an unevenness in the tyres, which can then lead to further uneven tread wear. As a result, the vehicle might shake or vibrate while in use. To correct this, tyres are subjected to a calibrated spin balancer, and will normally also test both the static (non-moving) and dynamic (moving) aspects of wheel balance. Any existing unevenness is corrected. Wheel balancing is a service that’s normally done when tyres are replaced or rotated on the vehicle, or roughly every six to 12 months, depending on the vehicle and its use.

Wheel Balancing

Wheel Balancing

Wheel alignment differs in that it involves an adjustment of the angle of the vehicle’s wheels. This is normally done based on the manufacturer’s recommended specifications. A wheel alignment usually includes a tyre tread check along with the three basic components for measuring wheel orientation, involving the toe, camber and caster. Wheel alignments are generally recommended if the vehicle feels like it’s pulling to one side, if it has been involved in an accident, or during annual inspections. Since vehicle use will differ among drivers, there is no specific mileage or designated timeline for wheel alignments. For these reasons, the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as those of your automotive facility are likely to be the best sources of advice concerning alignments.

Wheel Alignment

Wheel Alignment

Importance of Tyre Balancing

As soon as you purchase new tyres or you are rotating your tyres or simply after 6 months it’s very importance to balance your tyres. This process is performed in order to ensure that all of the tyres are balanced with the wheel weights to ensure the smooth running of each of the tyres. When there is an imbalance in your tyres, the steering wheel will rock back and forth as you drive, especially when you drive at a certain speed. When you notice this happening, you should contact a mechanic to fix the problem straight away as it can be very dangerous to drive with imbalanced tyres.

You will be able to tell that your tyres are not balanced when certain tyres are wearing at a faster rate than others. This means that your tyres are imbalanced and you will need to correct this as soon as possible. It is importanct that all of your tyres are balanced as when they are not, you will start to feel vibrations when travelling at certain speeds and this is very dangerous for the driver and its passengers.

Importance of Wheel Alignment

It is very important that motorists get their wheels aligned to maximise the lives of their tyres as much as possible. Tyres that have not been aligned properly are more prone to excessive tyre wear and will result in you having to change your tyres a lot more regularly, resulting in you having to pay out costs that are unnecessary.

You can always tell when your wheels have not been aligned correctly because the vehicle will not move straight when the steering wheel is not being held. If this occurs, you should find a mechanic that can align your wheels as it could lead to some problems with your vehicle such as problems with your suspension and vibrations when you are driving.

When your tyres are not aligned, it can also put your safety at risk. Improper alignment of the vehicle’s wheels will also result in poor cornering and handing of your vehicle and this will make it less safe for the driver and its passengers, especially in wet conditions. Also, drivers will have to make more of an effort driving the vehicle when the tyres are not aligned as the vehicle will tend to steer to one side which will mean that the driver will have to constantly correct it when driving. This means it requires an increase in concentration and effort at all times in order to drive safely and especially with long journeys, can result in the driver becoming tired quicker and become unsafe for everyone.

When was the last time you balanced and align your wheel. If you haven’t in the past 6 months, it’s advised you do it now. This is not expensive.

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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  1. Thanks for this information

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