Wheel Alignment vs. Wheel Balancing

Wheel alignment and balancing are necessary for a smooth ride and extending the service life of tires as you drive in Hutto TX. However, they are not the same process. Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so they are perfectly parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground, while wheel balancing identifies where wheel weights should be applied to counter-balance heavy spots. You should have your alignment and balance checked annually or when you buy new tires.

Wheel Alignment

A car that is out of alignment will experience uneven or rapid tire wear, pulling or drifting away from a straight line, wandering on a straight, level road or steering wheel spokes that stick off to one side while driving on a straight, level road.

Wheel alignment is used to correct three types of angles:

  • Camber – The angle of the wheel when viewed from the front of the vehicle
  • Caster – The angle of the steering pivot as seen from the side of the vehicle
  • Toe – The direction the tires point, relative to each other

Wheel Balancing

Imperfections, blemishes in rubber and damage to a tire or rim can throw a wheel out of balance. This makes one section of the tire or rim heavier, which causes the tire to wobble or even jump as it rolls down the road. The bouncing can often be heard, as well as felt in the steering wheel. If your car wheel is out of balance you’ll likely notice vibration in the steering wheel, seat or floorboard and scalloped or cupped wear patterns on the tires. Wheels should be balanced any time tires are rotated or repaired.