What’s The Difference Between Wheel Alignment And Tire Balance?

Wheel alignment equipment on a car wheel in a repair station

We hear the words balancing and aligning frequently when we are taking care of our cars. We know that both are necessary and important to the upkeep of our vehicles. However, not many people know the difference between the two. DifferenceBetween.com has explanations for both, as well as highlights the difference between balancing and alignment to help car owners. Read along to find out exactly why balancing and alignment are necessary and why you should know the difference.

What is Balancing?

Balancing is important when it comes to servicing your vehicle. Tires become unbalanced with constant rotation. If your tires are not balanced, the vehicle can experience vibration, which greatly increases the opportunity of something bad occurring. Your tires should be replaced every 12 to 15 miles. Balancing also increases tire life and use.

What is Alignment

When tires are aligned, they all point in the same direction. All tires on new cars are perfectly aligned. Alignment ensures that tires do not pull or push inwards and cause issues for your vehicle. When your tires are aligned, they last longer but your mileage is better as well. Pressure on the suspension is also eased, making driving your car an overall more enjoyable experience.

Balancing vs. Alignment

Both balancing and alignment are good for tire health and your car, so what exactly is the difference? Balancing corrects the minor imbalances of the wheel assembly, while alignment focuses on correcting and ensuring that the angles of the castor, camber and toe are correct to make sure the toes are pointing in the right direction.

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How are Balancing and Alignment Similar

While balancing and alignment focus on different parts of the tire and tire health, the similarity is that they benefit both your tires and your car overall. It can be difficult to understand their differences and to know the specifics of both. However, what is necessary to know is that they are important for your tires to last longer and the functionality of your car. You cannot have a healthy car and long-lasting tires without both balancing and aligning your tires. Even if it is hard to remember the exact differences, know that balancing your tires will not fix an alignment problem and vice versa.

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