Difference Between Tire Balance and Alignment
Part of caring for your vehicle means maintaining all the individual parts, such as the tires. They’re an extremely important part of a car, as they bear its weight and serve as your contact point with the roads in the Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley areas.
Therefore, you’ll want to make sure they’re in tip-top shape at all times. This includes getting tire balances and alignments when needed. While they sound like similar services, they’re actually quite different.
Below, we’ll go over the difference between tire balance and alignment. Keep reading through our informative guide, then contact us for tire service at Land Rover Albuquerque.
What Is a Tire Balance?
During a tire balancing, a technician will mount your tires on a special machine that measures where the imbalances are. Once they determine where the imbalance is, they’ll insert small weighted clips at that part of the tire to ensure that you have properly balanced tires. This is so they’ll wear more evenly and end any vibrations that may be happening during your drive.
The Importance of Tire Balancing
Between the tires and wheels is a strip of weights that are lined up inside the wheel. Over time, the weights that were evenly distributed will start to shift. This can cause an imbalance in the wheel, which could lead to side-to-side vibrations. It can also be concentrated in certain spots on the tire, where it’s either too heavy or too light.
Ultimately, this could lead to having a downgrade in traction, which would be quite dangerous on the road. Plus, it could speed up tire wear, which means you’d have to buy new tires sooner than expected.
That’s why you’ll want to get the tires balanced as soon as it’s needed, to help prevent this from happening.
Save on your next tire repair with our Land Rover Service Specials…
When You Should Get Tires Balanced
It’s recommended to get the tires balanced every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. An easy way to remember this is to get the service completed at the same time as an oil change.
Otherwise, if you continue to drive on tires that haven’t been balanced, you may get imperfections that could cause vibrations in your Land Rover. So, if you feel shaking in the steering wheel, floorboard, or your seat, you’ll want to get the tires balanced as soon as possible.
There are other signs that you should get your tires balanced. These include:
- When you buy a new tire or tires.
- After getting a flat and repairing the tire.
- Every two years, or once a year if you drive on rough roads.
What Is a Tire Alignment?
During a tire alignment, a technician will adjust the wheels and axles to ensure that they’re both moving in the right direction and in sync with each other.
Also known as a wheel alignment, there are three measurements to look at in order to properly align the tires on your vehicle:
- Camber: Inward or outward angle of the tire when looked at from the front of your car.
- Toe: Where the tires are turned in or out when viewed from above.
- Caster: Angle of the steering axis when looked at from the side of your automobile.
By adjusting each of these measurements, you’ll help prevent the tires from wearing prematurely.
Why Tire Alignments Are Important
If you don’t get an alignment when needed, the rate at which your tires wear will be accelerated. This could come in the form of specific tread wear patterns, including:
- Feathering: When the tread is smooth on one side but sharp on the other.
- Camber wear: The inside or outside of the tread is more worn than the center of the tread.
- Heel/toe wear: When one side of tread blocks wears down faster than the other. This would be done in a circumferential direction and appear almost like saw teeth when viewed from the side.
Not only will alignments help keep your tires healthy, but they’ll also keep them pointing in the right direction. The result is a smooth ride that continues to handle well on any road for a long time.
When to Get a Wheel Alignment
If you’ve been noticing lately that your car is pulling in one direction, you may need an alignment. Also called a front-end alignment, this is necessary for proper tire wear, as well as your safety.
If you’re not sure if you need an alignment, here’s a little test. When you’re traveling straight, release your grip from the wheel for several seconds and see if the vehicle tries to pull to the right or left. If that happens, then a wheel alignment will need to be completed right away.
Other signs that an alignment is needed include pulsing or shaking of the steering wheel. The steering wheel may even be off center, which would tell you that an alignment is needed as soon as possible.
State-of-the-Art Service Center
Our on-site service center can help perform all your routine vehicle maintenance. We can assist you in determining when to service your car and how often you’ll need to visit us, especially when it comes to proper tire maintenance. We’ll also help you set up properly spaced service appointments, so your tires are always assuredly taken care of.
In addition, we can take on your other maintenance needs, from routine oil changes and fluid checks to more in-depth repairs, such as engine service or transmission fixes. We offer convenient hours for busy professionals and our entire team is highly trained and certified to work on your vehicle, so you can rest assured that you’re always in good hands.
Schedule Tire Maintenance Today
If you’re noticing a vibration or pulling sensation in your car, it’s time to schedule your tire service.
Whether you live in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or South Valley, you can make an appointment at your own convenience. We’ll be here for your vehicle, so it can be there for you.
Don’t wait. Schedule a tire balance or alignment at Land Rover Albuquerque today!