Wheel Alignment is often confused with Wheel Balancing. The two really have nothing to do with each other except for the fact that they affect ride and handling. If a wheel is out of balance, it will cause a vibration at highway speeds that can be felt in the steering wheel and/or the seat. If the alignment is out, it can cause excessive tyre wear and steering or tracking problems.
Do you need a Wheel Alignment & why?
To find out if you need an alignment, first check each tyre and look for uneven wear patterns. The problem with this method, however, is that if you can see a wear it may be too late to save that tyre. This is why it is a good idea to have your alignment checked periodically.
1 – Reduced tyre wear
Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tyre wear. Over the years, a properly aligned vehicle can add thousands of kilometers to tyre life.
2 – Improved Handling
Does your car pull to one side? Does the steering wheel vibrate? Do you constantly have to move the steering wheel to keep your car travelling straight ahead? Many handling problems can be corrected by total alignment. With all the system components aligned properly, road shock is more efficiently absorbed for a smoother ride
3 – Safer Driving
A suspension system inspection is part of our alignment procedure. This allows us to spot worn parts before they cause costly problems
Front & Rear Wheel Balancing
Out-of-balance tires will cause a vehicle to vibrate at certain speeds, usually over 50 km p/h. A tyre is out of balance when one section of the tyre is heavier than the others. One ounce of imbalance on a front tire is enough to cause a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel at about 60 km.
To balance a wheel, our technician will mount it on a balancing machine which spins the wheel to locate the heavier part. He will then compensate for the heavy part by attaching a lead weight on the opposite side. Many people are pleasantly surprised at how smooth their car drives after balancing all four wheels.
Most high quality tyres will hold their balance fairly well and go out of balance very gradually. If you notice a vibration that wasn’t there the day before, it is possible that one of the lead balancing weights fell off. If you feel the vibration mostly in the steering wheel, the problem is most likely in a front wheel. If the vibration is mostly in the seat, the problem is probably in the rear.