Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment

Wheel balancing and wheel alignment are two very different things with one notable commonality: drivers tend to overlook how important it is to balance and align their wheels. Often, the wear and tear that occurs to your wheels is gradual, and you don’t even realize just how bumpy and uneven your drives around Grosse Pointe have become. Thankfully, the experts at Jeffrey Honda have all the information you need to make the road ahead silky smooth.

Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment: Not the Same

There’s a misconception that balancing and aligning your wheels are essentially the same procedure and fix the same problems. This is not true.

When to Balance Your Wheels

Tires aren’t perfectly balanced. Even brand new tires are unlikely to have perfect weight distribution all around them. If your tire is not balanced, your vehicle may vibrate at high speeds and your tires may wear out faster. Occasionally, the natural wear and tear caused to your car by the roads will put your wheels out of balance.

When to Align Your Tires

While tire balance is related to weight distribution, wheel alignment is related to the way your tires make contact with roads. If your wheels are aligned, that means they glide perpendicular to the streets of St. Clair Shores. Over time, tire tread can show inconsistent wear. Without regular alignments, your tires will no longer be perpendicular to the ground, and your car will handle poorly and consume more gas.

How to Fix Unbalanced and Unaligned Tires

If you feel like your car is vibrating unnecessarily, especially at higher speeds, you likely need to balance your wheels. This is done by clamping weights strategically around the insides of each wheel until the weight is distributed equally around all parts. Tires are attached to a spinning machine to find to suss out unnecessary vibrations and imbalances, with weights being clamped around the rim until the wheel spins smoothly.

Vibrating is also a symptom of unaligned tires. If your car pulls to the left or right as you drive, your tires have probably worn unevenly and need to be aligned. While your wheels should be perpendicular to the ground, uneven roads, potholes, and other factors can cause wheels to angle in the wrong direction. To fix this, mechanics will measure the camber, toe, and caster of each tire—the different directions your tires point. By changing the way your tires tilt to the inside, outside, front, and back, your car will drive smoother, retain air pressure, and conserve fuel.

We Do Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment at Jeffrey Honda

Your wheels should be balanced and aligned about every 7,000 miles, depending on the model, or every other oil change. The expert techs at Jeffrey Honda near Sterling Heights have the experience to handle these tasks with care and can offer you assistance with tasks like how to unlock a steering wheel and much more. Reach out to schedule a service appointment today!