Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing – All you need to know
The term wheel balancing and wheel alignment may be ambiguous to some people, therefore, today, in this article we would be telling you about the difference between the wheel balancing and wheel alignment.
First, let us start with wheel balancing so when you are driving above a certain speed you might have noticed the wobbly steering which is due to out of balance wheels. It normally happens when you are driving at a high speed like above 50 miles per hour (mph) on a motorway or on a dual carriageway. Mostly, the wobbling of the steering wheel is related to the unbalanced front wheels of your car.
Apart from this, sometimes this problem occurs due to the dampening effect i.e. these vibrations and wobbling of the car are dampened by the weight of the vehicle and thus you may not be able to notice this. Hence, it is needed that you regularly get your vehicle especially the tires checked at a service station or when you go for the tire replacement.
Now moving on, what would be the damage and disadvantage of driving on unbalanced or incorrectly balanced wheels? The following are some of the major problems which you have to face. Unbalanced wheels cause premature wear and damage to:
- Steering components
- Rotating parts of a car
And the benefits of driving on correctly balanced wheels are:
- Safe driving experience
- Better handling and stability of the vehicle
- Long-lasting tires
- Smooth and comfortable ride
- Decreased and fewer vibrations
- And better fuel efficiency
A special machine is used to balance the wheels. The wheels and tires are rotated on the machine which in turn helps to calculate the correct balance which is required for the wheels. If there would be a problem, the technician would balance the wheels if one side is heavier than the other by applying an equal counter-weight on the opposite side of the tires. The tires will rotate asymmetrically when they are imbalanced and it’ll cause wobbles and the speed will be increased due to ride disturbances. If this problem is neglected then it’ll knock out the suspension of your car and will create further problems.
However, sometimes the issue is not with the wheel balancing but rather with the wheel alignment and if it is wheel alignment then it is a more serious issue. Adjusting and checking the wheel alignment will help the wheels in returning to their old specifications as provided by the car manufacturer. When the wheels are out of their alignment, it will affect the handling and lifespan of your tires and the quality of your car’s performance. Therefore, if you want to save money on fuel, repairs and tire replacements then it is necessary to do the wheel alignment on time.
Therefore, in case of ambiguity get your wheel balancing and alignment checked properly by a technician.