Tire Balancing Vs. Tire Alignment: What’s the Difference?

Tire balancing and tire alignment refer to different services. Some car owners, though, mistakenly use the two terms interchangeably. Know how the two differ and why both are equally important for smooth and safe driving.

Tire Balancing

Tires lose their balance over time. This is caused by tread wear that alters the weight distribution of the tires. This leads to imbalance that may be felt in the form of shaking and vibration when the car is in motion. Of course, shaking and vibration may also be a symptom of a number of other problems, such as a worn CV axle or differential. Factors like hitting a pothole, hard braking, or even poor construction of the tire itself can also cause balance issues.

We recommend balancing your tires every 5,000 to 6,000 miles, or every six months, whichever comes first.

Tire Alignment

With tire alignment, the technician repositions the tires according to the manufacture’s recommended specifications. Tires that are perfectly aligned should be completely parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. Misaligned tires occur slowly over time and may result in reduced fuel economy and also contribute to the wear of suspension parts.

We recommend a tire alignment every 10,000 miles. You should also schedule an alignment if you notice that the car tends to pull to one side. An alignment should also be done whenever the tires, suspension, tie rods, or ball joints have been replaced. Some car owners also schedule to have their tires balanced and aligned at the same time.

We Perform Both Tire Balance and Tire Alignment

Contact Chuck’s Auto Repair to schedule your next auto maintenance. Don’t ignore symptoms of a tire misalignment or imbalance. Both Tire balancing and tire alignment should be a regular part of a car tune-up to prevent issues that can lead to bigger problems.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Complete Vehicle Tire Services

Serving motorists of Seattle and the greater area

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