It seems like tire balancing and tire alignments are used almost interchangeably, leaving most drivers confused. There appears to be a common misunderstanding between the service of lining up the front end of a car and balancing tires. A tire balance and alignment are two very different services. Both of these services contribute to a smoother ride, improved handling performance, and extended tire life. However, they shouldn’t be confused for the same thing.
A tire balancing service corrects any uneven distribution of the weight of the wheels. If your wheels are not adequately balanced, your tires can experience excessive wear and tear. This can lead to your suspension becoming damaged, resulting in your vehicle vibrating during drives. Your wheels can become unbalanced due to normal wear or worn suspension parts. Sometimes if your car accidentally hits a curb, it can throw off the wheel balance as well. To combat this issue, your tires are placed on a balancing machine during your service. The balance machine spins your tires and analyzes your wheel assembly to measure how unbalanced they are. This helps our technicians install the proper weights to achieve a balanced wheel and tire assembly.
A wheel alignment adjusts your vehicle’s suspension. The suspension system is critical because it connects your car to its wheels. An alignment makes sure the wheels are adequately positioned to the road. Your wheels can become misaligned due to normal wear and tear, if you drive over potholes, transport heavy loads, or drive aggressively. If your vehicle needs a wheel alignment, you may notice that your car drifts right or left when driving on smooth, straight roads. Your tires may squeal, or the tire tread will wear out prematurely. Improper alignment can cause your vehicle to resist steering commands and result in a significant decrease in fuel efficiency.
If you believe your vehicle may be due for a wheel alignment or wheel balancing, reach out to Prestige Auto Works for the best alignment and balancing service in the Elk Grove area today.