Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment

Mechanics Aligning Vehicle

Austin drivers, like most other drivers, tend to forget how important it is to keep your wheels balanced and aligned. Usually, the wear and tear that happens to your wheels is gradual, and so you might not even realize just how bumpy and uneven your drives around the Kyle area are. Fortunately, Sterling Acura of Austin can help. Learn more about wheel balancing vs wheel alignment here, and when your tires need attention make a service appointment with us.

What is Wheel Balancing?

Over time, wheels lose their balance. This is where wheel balancing comes into play. Unbalanced wheels can cause your steering wheel to shake or vibrate, which can cause safety concerns around Buda. When tires are unbalanced, they develop varying levels of wear because of part of the tire is heavier than another.

With properly balanced wheels, your vehicle is sure to provide a smooth and safe ride. Wheel balancing works to extend tire life, improve traction and control, and minimize potential tire bounce. You should have your wheels balanced when you go in for a tire rotation, which is about every 5-6,000 miles or every 6 months.

What is Wheel Alignment?

Wheel alignment is a more case by case basis than wheel balancing, and doesn’t need to be a part of routine car maintenance. Getting your wheels aligned, also known as a front end alignment, our service technician will ensure the tires are perpendicular to the road and parallel to each other.

When wheels are out of alignment, this can cause unnecessary, excessive, uneven tread, and wear and tear on your tires. You could also experience steering issues, so it’s important to check your alignment once you begin to detect an issue. Wheels that are not properly aligned can also cause vehicle pulling, which leads to unwanted drifting when driving the roads of San Marcos.

How to Fix Unbalanced and Unaligned Tires

Balancing wheels is done by clamping weights strategically around the insides of each wheel until the weight is distributed equally around all parts of each wheel. To accomplish this, tires are attached to a spinning machine to detect vibrations and imbalances, with weights being clamped around the rims until all the wheels are spinning smoothly.

Excessive vibrating can also be a symptom of unaligned tires. If your car pulls to the left or right as you drive, your tires have probably worn unevenly and will need to be aligned. Uneven roads, potholes, and other factors like hitting a curb, can cause wheels to misalign. To correct it, mechanics will measure the camber, toe, and caster of each tire. Changing the way your tires tilt to the outside, inside, front, and back, makes your car drive smoother, retain air pressure, and helps to conserve fuel.

Get Your Wheels Balanced and Aligned at Sterling Acura of Austin Today

Now that you know the difference between wheel balancing vs wheel alignment, next time your tires need attention, call Sterling Acura of Austin Remember, your wheels should be balanced and aligned about every 7,000 miles, or approximately every other oil change. You can even check out other features like how to rotate tires, how to change your key fob batteryor how often to change your oil or cabin air filters. The expertly trained technicians at Sterling Acura of Austin, near San Marcos, have the experience to do it right the first time. Schedule a service appointment today!

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