What Is the Difference Between Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing?

Tire technician repairing a tire

Have you noticed your car squealing, pulling to the left or right, or vibrating lately? Unaligned wheels may be the cause. This malfunction could affect the safety of yourself and your loved ones while on the road. 

Don’t take any risks to affect the reliability of your car. All four tires should be balanced, and tread checked every 2,000 – 5,000 miles and alignment every 10,000 – 15,000 miles based on rim and tire size, driving, road conditions, average speed, and other factors. Regain control of your car when you make an appointment at Big Chief Tire. We’ll help you drive away with comfort and confidence. 

Tire Balance vs. Wheel Alignment: Understand the Difference

Wheel alignment, also known as tire alignment, is a service performed on your vehicle’s suspension. Alignment affects how the car connects to the wheels and how they make contact with the road. The angle and direction of the wheels can be adjusted to improve vehicle handling and help the tires last longer.

A tire or wheel balance is a service used to fix the uneven distribution of weight. Car mechanics perform a wheel balancing to precisely distribute the weight of your tires, so they track evenly. 

Unaligned or unbalanced wheels cause shaking, bumping, pulling, and vibrating. Your tires and wheels must be in perfect alignment to roll smoothly. A tire technician places your tires and wheels on a machine that spins them and measures the imbalance to fix this problem. Then, they make the proper adjustments to suspension angles and tire weights to meet manufacturer specifications. 

Know the Signs

Pay attention to the signs you need a tire balance or wheel alignment to keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe. You may notice uneven tire wear and vibrations from your steering wheel, floorboard, or seat. You may also experience veering or pulling in one direction or squealing from below your car. 

Ignoring these signs is not only unsafe, but it can also lead to increased costs over time. When tires are misaligned or unbalanced, it can lead to premature tire wear, which decreases the lifespan of your tires. When your tires wear down, they don’t grip the road as well, and your chances of swerving out of control increase. When you first begin to notice them, addressing these issues will help you avoid dangerous situations.

Enjoy the Benefits

When your wheels are properly balanced and aligned, you can prevent premature wear and tear on your tires. Most importantly, you won’t have to worry about safety issues or paying for a costly repair. With more control over your vehicle, your overall ride quality will improve tremendously. A proper wheel alignment will give you improved steering capabilities, tire traction to the road, and increased tire lifespan.

Ensure better vehicle handling, fuel efficiency, and tire life. Reap the benefits of wheel alignment and tire balancing when you bring your vehicle into your local Big Chief Tire in Jacksonville.

Dealing with a bumpy ride, squealing tires, and unpredictable steering while driving is a nuisance. Diagnose the root problem and make an appointment at Big Chief Tire to get your tires aligned. Our mechanics will promptly fix your problem so you can rest assured your car will drive normally in no time.

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