Tire Alignment vs Balancing: What’s the difference?

You would have heard these recommendations quite often from your mechanic that your car needs wheel alignment or balancing to ensure a smooth ride. However, you might be confused about the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balancing. We’ll explain the difference between the two and share recommendations for when each should be performed.

Difference Between Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment:

Wheel Alignment vs Wheel Balancing

Wheel alignment maintains the angle of the tires so that they perform sedately when they come in contact with the road. In comparison, wheel balancing is associated with the weight imbalance of tires.

Let us move toward a more specified review of both services, their causes, symptoms, and procedures.

What is Wheel Balancing?

The uneven distribution of the weight in wheels is corrected by balancing. The imbalance wheels can lead to:

  • Faster and uneven tread wear,
  • Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at a certain speed
  • Noisy ride
  • And poor fuel economy.

Causes of Imbalanced Tires

There might be manifold reasons behind imbalanced tires, but the most common one is that your car might have hit a speed bump, a deep path hole, a sidewalk, or any other road hurdle at high speed. You can identify which tire needs balancing by observing the part of your car trembling while driving. Suppose your steer wheel is shaking; it indicates that the front wheels require balancing. Similarly, the trembling of the seat suggests that the back wheels need fixing.

When to get Wheel Balancing Done?

Know that you need to get wheel balancing done when:

  • The floorboard, seat, or steering start vibrating while driving
  • You buy new tires
  • The weight on the rims fall off
  • You experience uneven tire wear
  • You need to repair or replace a flat tire

What is Wheel Alignment?

Wheel alignment is the adjustment of the system that connects wheels with the vehicle. It prevents your car from spinning to left or right automatically. The wheel alignment ensures that your vehicle tire meets the road at the proper angle. A perfectly align tire gives you:

  • A smooth ride
  • Best gas mileage
  • Durable tire life
  • And decent road contact

What Makes Your Car Alignment Off?

While checking the alignment of the tire, the technician is fretful with:

What Makes Your Car Alignment Off

All three parts are examined by the technician to get to the root cause of the problem your vehicle is causing. Overall, these three parts are directly associated with alignment being off.

Moreover, the circumstances that might have led to off alignment may include:

  1. The vehicle was in an accident
  2. Upon hitting a pothole or bump into a curb
  3. If hit a speed bump in high speed
  4. Poor struts and shocks

Symptoms of Bad Alignment

Your car might be out of alignment, if:

  • Steering wheel is bowed while you are driving straight.
  • Or the steering is making noise.
  • Tires are squealing.
  • Car is pulling to the left or right side.
  • And, if you observe uneven, prematurely and rapid tire wear.

Pro Tip: It is always better to consult a technician than to DIY alignment and balancing procedures.

Wheel Alignment and Balancing Frequency

It is mandatory to check the wheel alignment and balancing when you are installing new tires. Besides, it is recommended after, on average, every 6000-8000km. Once done, wheel alignment lasts for 2-3 years. However, wheel balancing, on the other hand, should be done every 2-years to prolong the life of the tire and to reinstate accurate balance.

Benefits of Wheel Alignment and Balancing

It is always recommended to get your car tuned after every 2-3 years to prolong the life of different parts of the vehicle. Like any other machine, your vehicle also requires your attention and should be fixed in case of any malfunction. Otherwise, it may lead to more significant issues resulting in much more expense and trouble.

Balancing and alignment services are incredibly beneficial as they:

  • Prevent premature tire tread wear.
  • Extend their life span.
  • Improve performance.
  • Provides fuel efficiency.
  • Enhanced vehicle handling.
  • And give you a smoother ride.

Final Verdict:

Wheel alignment and balancing both are different services. We hope this guide on what is the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balancing was helpful. Good Luck.

Related: Michelin Premier LTX vs Defender LTX Comparison

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does wheel alignment and balancing cost?

The procedure might cost $100-200 each, depending on your vehicle or the place you opt for repair.

Do wheel alignment and wheel balancing go hand in hand?

No, it’s not necessary to balance your tires before an alignment or vice versa.

Leave a Comment