Not sure what the difference between a wheel alignment and wheel balance is? You’re not alone! Most drivers get these two essential services confused, with many people unaware that they’re actually two very different things and not the one service.
A wheel alignment refers to the readjustment of the car’s wheels so that they position to the manufacturer’s specifications and deliver the best performance and handling. A wheel balance involves testing the static and dynamic balance of the wheel and adjusting the wheels to ensure the correct balance.
When might I need to get a wheel alignment?
Generally speaking, you should get a wheel alignment every 10,000 kilometres which is what most manufacturers recommend, though you should also get a wheel alignment if:
- You were involved in an accident
If you were involved in a road accident you should have your wheels aligned to ensure they’re aligned properly. Any sudden jolt or shock can put your wheels out of alignment.
- You hit a pothole or a gutter hard
As with a road accident or any kind of sudden shock, if you hit a pothole or a gutter hard, it can put your wheels out of alignment. While the impact may only push your wheels slightly out of alignment, even the slightest variation from the manufacturer’s specifications can have an impact on the way your car handles and steers.
- You notice your car pulling to one side
If a vehicle pulls to one side or the steering wheel is crooked when you’re driving straight, it’s generally an indication that the wheels are out of alignment and need to be realigned.
Most signs that you need a wheel alignment are easily noticeable, so pay attention to the way your car handles and how it steers to determine whether you need to have your wheels aligned. If it doesn’t feel right or look right, book it in for an inspection and the technician will also check your tyres for signs of uneven tread wear, as well as the camber, caster and toe, and make the necessary alignments.
When should I get a wheel balance?
You’ll need to get a wheel balance about every 6 months or 10,000 kilometres and usually takes place when the tyres on your car are rotated to ensure even treadwear. Without correctly balanced wheels, your car will start to vibrate or shake, which will affect your ability to steer comfortably and safely. You should also get a wheel balance if you notice vibrations from the steering wheel, your seat or the floorboard of the vehicle, and when you buy one or more new tyres or have a tyre repaired.
At Brian Hughes Automotive, we offer wheel alignments and balancing for all vehicles at our Gympie auto workshop on Station Road. To schedule a time for us to inspect your wheels and tyres and make the necessary alignments or balancing, call (07) 5481 2455.