Knowing the Difference Between Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment

For those who own a car, or use one frequently, terms like wheel balancing and wheel alignment would be commonly used. But is every one of them aware of what actually these two terms refer to? do they know, if they are synonymous or deals with different actions related to the wheels? If not, then this article can help them clear the concepts and everything that relates to these two parts of regular car maintenance. 

The Commonsense Approach

When we took our car at the Chevrolet wheel alignment service near Apple Valley, for a wheel alignment service, they suggested us to undergo a wheel balancing as well. 

When asked what difference do they make, we got the answer with practical, hands-on experience. The mechanics at the service centre explained that though wheel alignment and balancing both are done to ensure a smooth ride while prolonging the lifespan of tires, however, they are actually no way the same process. 

Among the two, wheel alignment will involve the adjustment of the angles that make the wheels sit below the vehicle, to maintain a perfect parallel distance with each other while standing perpendicular to the ground, the act of wheel balancing is all about identifying the places where the weight of the wheel needs to be applied in excess to counter-balance the heavy spots. As both the processes are complementary to each other, the tire maintenance schedule will include both in their service, and every vehicle owner needs to get the alignment and balancing of their wheels done usually once in a year, or when you are going to install new tires.

Technical Approach

What we described above was only a commonsense approach to both these processes, that might not have made things perfectly clear in your mind. So we take the deeper and technical route in explaining you the difference point by point.  

Wheel Alignment

A car that has gone out of its right alignment will drive uneven and cause rapid tire wear. The car will tend to pull at one side or start drifting away from its own lane, wherein the driver will find it difficult to maintain a straight line, will need a wheel alignment. 

Wheel alignment is done to make sure that the wheels sit correctly at three kinds of angles that are technically given the following names:

Camber – It is that angle of the wheel which can be viewed right from the front of the vehicle

Caster – This angle is for the steering pivot that can be seen from each of the sides of the vehicle

Toe – It is the name of the direction in which the tires are pointed and related to each other

Wheel Balancing

As explained by the experts of the Apple Valley Chevrolet wheel alignment service center, when there are severe imperfections and blemishes found in the rubber of the tires and the damages to a tire or their rim push to that extent that they can throw the wheel completely out of balance, you need to go for a wheel balancing. But it is a fact that wheels are balanced and aligned as a set of wheel maintenance procedure to make sure your car drives the way it should.

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