What is the difference between Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing?

Wheel Alignment in Keswick and North Cumbria

During normal everyday driving parts of your suspension become worn, rubber bushes deteriorate, springs can become stretched, etc. Small knocks such as hitting pot holes, kerbs, etc. Even a small accident can knock a highly calibrated suspension out of kilter, making the wheels sit at wrong angles.

Wheel Alignment (Tracking), when done correctly, restores these angles to the manufacturing guidelines, ensuring your wheels are straight in line with your vehicle.


How do you tell if your alignment is out?

The easiest way to do this is to take a look at your tyres, uneven wear on the outside or inside edge is a prime indicator.

Secondly, you can look at your steering wheel when driving in a straight line; is the steering wheel straight or on an angle? If it's on an angle, then there is a good chance the alignment is out.

Does your car drift to one side when you think you are driving straight? This is another good indication that the alignment might be out.

The most visible benefit of a wheel alignment is less tyre wear, and when the tyres do wear down they should wear evenly. Less stress is put on the suspension components, the car will handle better and although small, there will be a fuel saving.

Mobile Wheel Alignment in Cumbria

At Hometyre we carry laser wheel alignment gauges on our vans, we use these along with charts that give the correct manufacturers settings, to bring your vehicle back into the correct tolerances.

When having new tyres fitted it is always worth having your wheel alignment checked, if it is out then have it corrected or pay the price of another set of tyres sooner rather than later.

Wheel Balancing in North Cumbria

Wheel balancing is something the tyre dealer does to counterbalance the tyre imbalance from when a tyre is manufactured.

This is done on either a static or dynamic wheel balancing machine. On this machine, it is spun at a given speed. The wheel balance machine then highlights the light side of the wheel, and the tyre dealer attaches weights to this side, to even out the balance.

One way of knowing if your wheels are out of balance is to drive at around 65 to 70 mph, if your vehicle starts to shudder or if you feel a vibration through the steering wheel then that is a good indication that the front wheels may be out of balance. Should you feel a vibration through the seat, then there is a chance that the rear wheels are out of balance.

It is recommended to have your wheels rebalanced after around 6000 miles, as rubber is worn off, or if you do a front to rear wheel swap.

If you need wheel alignment or wheel balancing in Keswick, Cockermouth and Workington, give us a call today on 0333 444 5454!


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