What is the Difference between Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing?

In Beginner Info by T.MannLeave a Comment

The two terms, wheel balancing, and wheel alignment are critical maintenance functions with a purpose of improving the functionality and performance of your car tires.

Generally, the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balancing is exhibited in several ways.

What is Wheel Balancing?

Wheel balancing seeks to distribute weight around the wheel, especially in situations where the metal wheel and tire are not well balanced. Immediate indications which can you notice are unusual vibrations, especially at high speeds. Wheel balancing helps to ensure that the wheels are rotating in an even manner on the road.

What is Wheel Alignment?

On the other hand, wheel alignment involves the adjustment of the wheel angles; so that while on the road, they are at the required parallel level with each other. In normal circumstances, wheel alignment helps not only to improve the tire life but also to ensure your vehicle is running in a straight way while on the road. The following are major issues that occur in each of the automotive functions:

The need for wheel alignment comes about under the following circumstances:

  • The tires are either uneven, or there is evidence of too much tire wear
  • There are problems with the steering wheel
  • When the wheels are not running in a straight line, but instead are drifting
  • If driving on a straight and level road, the steering wheel keeps getting off center

Basically, any vehicle that is out of alignment has a common tendency to either drift of pull from the straight line on the road.

Wheel Alignment Remedial Actions

  1. You can easily check your tires for unevenness and wear patterns.
  2. If the signs of wear are quite visible indications could be that your tires are in fact beyond rescue.
  3. You need to carry out regular wheel alignment, which then reduces the wear and tear of your car tires. Doing so also enables your car to be able to run in a straight line.

Some of the signs that your wheels are out balance are:

  • A certain vibration that can be easily felt in the steering wheel, especially when you go at certain speeds
  • A kind of cupped wear on the surface of the tire
  • There is some general vibration at any speed

Wheel Balancing Remedial Actions

  1. Wheels can easily be balanced on a wheel balancing machine.

If your car undergoes wheel balancing, the outcome is that of a much smoother ride. Wheel balancing helps to reduce car bounce; it also improves traction power as well as the steering function.


It’s true, that both of these car maintenance services affect the way you control and ride your car However; they are quite distinct, and different from each other.

Issues which require wheel alignment are completely different from those of wheel balancing. As such maintenance interventions are also quite dissimilar. You can easily see that your wheels have alignment issues when they keep drifting and wandering from the straight line on the road.

But in wheel balancing, you hear those funny and unusual vibrations. Wheels that undergo alignment and balancing have a greater capacity to help you maneuver your car properly while on the road.

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