The Difference Between Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment

Wheel balancing and wheel alignment often get confused as being the same service. However, they actually have very different roles in helping to maintain the life of your tyres.

It’s important to understand why they are both crucial and integral elements of vehicle maintenance.

Wheel balance addresses the distance of weight around the wheels whilst wheel alignment focuses on the position of the wheel in relation to the road and each other.

Here are the differences between wheel balance and wheel alignment and how to recognise the signs:

What is Wheel Balance?

Wheel balance ensures the tyres are rotating evenly. Have you ever felt vibrations through your steering wheel whilst driving at higher speeds? If so, this is an indication that your wheel balance needs assessing.

  • Treadwear causes the weight distance to change, meaning tyres become imbalanced. In turn, this can cause the vehicle to shake slightly, making it uncomfortable for drivers.
  • Technicians use a calibrated wheel spin balancer to test the static and moving wheel balance. The test involves adding small weights around the rim which counterweight inconsistencies to improve the balance of the wheels.
  • Imbalanced wheels affect the wear of the tyres, steering and can impact the long-term health of the vehicle.
  • Wheel balancing should be done immediately if you feel vibrations through your steering wheel.
  • Balance your wheels every 6 months or optimal performance and safety.

What is Wheel Alignment?

Wheel alignment should be checked every year. If you notice uneven wear to your tyres, or the vehicle pulling to one side, please have them checked immediately.

  • Wheel alignment checks the direction of the wheels to ensure they remain parallel to each other, so your vehicle can continue to drive in a straight line.
  • Wheel alignment issues can affect the wear of tyres, fuel economy and braking effectiveness.
  • Technicians will adjust the angle of your tyres using specifically designed, high-tech equipment.
  • Most vehicles need their wheel alignment calibrated regularly, including trucks, agriculture vehicles, vans and cars.
  • Technicians will check the tyre condition for signs of wear or damage and will inspect the three components for measuring wheel orientation: toe, camber and castor.

Time to Have your Wheel Health Checked?

Our advanced range of highly accurate wheel alignment equipment can adjust your wheels in as little as a minute! Find your nearest wheel alignment centre here or talk to our helpful team by calling 01489 773888 or via email.

Please fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.