The Difference Between Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment

Many people merge the two services into one, but they’re both subtly different from each other. However, confusion arises because they’re often completed at the same time and are both vital to the quality and safety of your car. But what actually is wheel balancing and how is it different from wheel alignment?

What is wheel balancing?

In the simplest possible terms, wheel balancing addresses the even distribution of weight around the wheel. This is what allows the tyre to rotate evenly. You should book wheel balancing fairly regularly as tyres degrade naturally and the balance changes with age.

Imagine that each wheel was a set of scales. Both sides need to be equally balanced to deliver best results. Wheel balancing evens out the weight distribution around the wheel by adding small weights to the unbalanced side to allow it to turn evenly and smoothly once again.

Now, this seems simple enough but isn’t that exactly what wheel alignment does as well? Well, not quite.

What is wheel alignment?

Wheel alignment focuses more on the axles rather than the wheels and tyres. It keeps your wheels pointing in the right direction and parallel with each other to reduce tyre wear and make driving that bit easier.

Your wheels need to align with each other and with the centre of the car otherwise it will cause strain on the tyres and reduce your control over the steering. Your alignment is affected by potholes, speedbumps and other collisions, so always check your alignment after an accident or if your car pulls to one side or there are strange vibrations in the steering wheel.

Like we said, both services work together to keep you safe and in control of your vehicle, even though they’re subtly different. But why do you need to maintain both and not just one or the other?

Why are they both important?

Both prolong tyre lifespan. Without proper wheel alignment or regular wheel balancing, you will replace your tyres more often than you should. If your tyres are running low every 2 or 3 years rather than 6 to 10, it’s certainly worth booking an appointment to see what the problem is.

Not only that, but your fuel consumption improves with balanced and aligned wheels. Who doesn’t want to save money? Plus, you won’t feel as many vibrations in the steering wheel and every journey will be smooth and safe.

Clearly, these two services are subtly different, but you should always book them whenever you change a tyre or suspect one of yours is wearing thin. Here at PJE Automotive in Brighton, we offer exceptional wheel alignment services from just £50. Why not book yours online today and save yourself the trouble of driving an unaligned car?

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