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Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing: All you need to know

It is important that the driver has a sense of control over the movement of his vehicle. And tyres, which are the vehicle's touchpoints to the road, play a critical role in ensuring driver confidence. What is more important than confidence is the safety of the driver and vehicle. Wheel alignment and balancing play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the driver. Wheel alignment can help your tyres work properly and last longer. It can also improve handling and prevent your vehicle from drifting in one direction or vibrating unnaturally on the road.rnrnTherefore, today we will explain the most important tasks of tyre care, wheel alignment and wheel balancing.rn

What is wheel alignment?

rnWheel Alignment refers to the adjustment of a vehicle's suspension, the system that attaches the car to its wheels. It is not an adjustment of the wheels or tyres themselves. The extremely important part of proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tyres, which affects how they touch the road.rn

How do you know if your wheels need an alignment?

rnThere are two ways to tell if your car needs to align the tyres. If you notice one or more of these indicators, an authorized service technician should check their alignment immediately.rn
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  • If the steering of your vehicle off-center and it seems difficult to maintain a straight line of the vehicle even at low speed.
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  • Steering wheel vibration
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  • Rough Treadwear
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rnAlso Read: The top tyre brands of the countryrn

How to detect and correct bad wheel alignment?

rnWhen you take your vehicle to a mechanic for  wheel alignment, he/she is majorly concerned with three things:rn

1. TOE

rnToe wheel alignment Toe wheel alignment
(source: bridgestone.com)
rnrnThis is the angle the tyres make while moving outward or inward with the car's longitudinal axis when viewed from the top angle. When both tyres on your car are angled the same way inwards, we call this toe-in alignment and when they are angled outwards we call this toe-out alignment. Both require adjustment.rn

2. Caster

rnCaster wheel alignment Caster wheel alignment
(source: bridgestone.com)
rnrnThe angle of the wheels helps balance steering, cornering, and stability. Specifically, it is the angle of the steering axis when viewed from the side of your vehicle. If you have a positive wheel, the steer axle will lean toward the driver. On the other hand, negative wheels mean that the steering axis is tilted towards the front of your vehicle.rn

3. Camber

rnCamber wheel alignment Camber wheel alignment
(source: bridgestone.com)
rnrnCamber deals with correcting the angular proportions between the vertical axis of the wheels and the vertical axis of the car seen from the front.rn

What is wheel balancing?

rnWheel balancing majorly with wheel and tyre association. Indicated to correct an imbalance between the weights of the wheels and the tyres. Balancing is always done in conjunction with wheel alignment to keep weight and alignment in sync.rnrnMaintaining a balanced weight on the wheel/tyre assembly is important for a safe and smooth ride, eliminating the vibration and minimizing the tyre wear. Misaligned tyres greatly increase the risk of wheel and suspension damage.rn
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Wheel balancing is essential for proper tyre care for the same reason as wheel alignment: prevention of tread wear. Having wheels aligned and balanced every 5,000 to 6,000 miles can help maximize their lifespan and overall performance.Also Read: Tips for proper maintenance of tyresrn

How is computerized wheel balancing done?

rnStep 1rnAll four tyres are taken off the vehicle and placed on a computerized wheel balancer.rnrnStep 2rnAll four wheels are tested individually for weight imbalance and the computer simulates all the specific irregularities.rnrnStep 3rnThe weight imbalance is corrected by placing counterweights on the rim at the exact spot where the computer instructs.rnrnStep 4rnThe wheels are checked again if the imbalance continue.rnrnAlso Read: Best Car Tyres for Indian roadsrnrn
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