Is there a difference between wheel balancing and wheel alignment?

YES – there is! When it comes to tyre maintenance, there is a common misconception that wheel balancing and wheel alignment are two terms for the same service, they aren’t. They may sound very similar, but there is a huge difference in their function and the effect they have on the performance of your tyres. Wheel balancing deals with the distribution of weight around the wheel, and wheel alignment dictates the position of the wheels in relation to the road and each other.

Tyres that are not maintained properly can severely affect your car’s performance and handling, well-maintained tyres, however, will save you money on repairs, tyre replacements and fuel.

Let’s take a look at both services, and how Trostre Tyres can ensure you have a safer driving experience, smoother ride, longer-lasting tyres and better fuel-efficiency…

Wheel balancing

When a wheel is fitted it should be perfectly balanced, but over time balance is lost, due to wear and tear and obstacles in the road such as speed bumps, kerbs and more often than not on UK roads – a pothole.

Wheel balancing resets the weight distribution back to an equal balance, by adding small balancing weights to the rim creating a counterweight, removing inconsistencies.

How do I know my wheels need balancing?

Incorrectly balanced wheels often cause the steering wheel to vibrate, usually at high speeds, which suggests your front wheels are unbalanced. Or you may feel vibrations in the floor or seats which is often associated with unbalanced rear wheels.

What are the benefits of wheel balancing?

When your wheels are perfectly balanced you can expect a smooth driving experience with fewer vibrations through the car.

Wheel alignment

Wheel alignment, also known as tracking, checks the direction and angle of the wheels to ensure they’re perpendicular to the road and parallel to each other. After an assessment, the wheels are corrected by making adjustments to the tie rods and control arms to correct alignment to the optimum position as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.

How will I know my vehicle needs wheel alignment?

Again driving over potholes or harsh speed bumps or directly impacting a kerb will alter the position of your tyres. You may notice a drifting movement, pulling you to one side of the road or the other while driving on a relatively straight road, or the steering wheel may look off-centre while you are driving straight. This will cause uneven tyre wear that will be quite noticeable.

What are the benefits of wheel alignment?

Fixing misaligned wheels will prevent your vehicle from pulling to one side, increasing the vehicle’s safety. You will also see a drop in fuel consumption after alignment, plus there will be an increase in the life of the tyre as wear and tear will be even – eliminating potentially costly repairs.

Our Pontarddulais depot has a state of the art wheel alignment bay, and we offer a free wheel alignment check and only charge if you would like to make any adjustments. Our website gives detailed descriptions of the types of adjustments available…

  • Front toe adjustment or “tracking” is charged at £25.00.
  • Rear wheel toe adjustment or “tracking is charged at £25.00.
  • If you require a camber adjustment this is charged at £25.00 front and £25.00 rear.
  • A complete wheel alignment service is discounted to £75.00 and comes with a free check and adjustment within 30 days of purchase.

*All prices above include VAT at 20%.

Contact us on 01554 227373 or to book your assessment.

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