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What's the difference between Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment?

Is their any difference between Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment?

1 Answer

Wheel alignment and Wheel Balancing are two totally different things, but the two services often get confused.

Wheel Alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of these adjustments is to maximize a tires life as well as to keep a vehicle tracking straight rather than drifting off to the left or right when driving down a straight and level road.

Wheel Balancing, on the other hand allows the tires and wheels to spin without causing any vibrations. This is accomplished by checking for any heavy spots on the wheel-tire combination and compensating for it by placing a measured lead weight on the opposite site of the wheel from where the heavy spot is.

The symptoms of a car that is out of alignment are:
-- Uneven or rapid tire wear
-- Pulling or drifting away from a straight line
-- Wandering on a straight level road
-- Spokes of the steering wheel off to one side while driving on a straight and level road.

The symptoms of a wheel that is out of balance are:
-- Vibration in the steering wheel at certain highway speeds.
-- Vibration in the seat or floorboard at certain highway speeds.
-- Scalloped or cupped wear pattern on the tires

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