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WHEEL ALIGNMENT AND BALANCING
 
Wheel Alignment is often confused with Wheel Balancing. The two really have nothing to do with each other except for the fact that they affect ride and handling. If a wheel is out of balance, it will cause a vibration at highway speeds that can be felt in the steering wheel and/or the seat. If the alignment is out, it can cause excessive tire wear and steering or tracking problems.

Wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of these adjustments is maximum tire life and a vehicle that tracks straight and true when driving along a straight and level road.

The inclusive term “wheel alignment” involves three main measurements -- caster, camber, and toe. These measurements have standards that our expert technicians at Motoshines use as targets of adjustment.

The symptoms of a car that is out of alignment are:
  • Uneven or rapid tire wear
  • Pulling or drifting away from a straight line
  • Wandering on a straight level road
  • Spokes of the steering wheel off to one side while driving on a straight and level road.
Some shops try to make it seem like rocket science, but wheel alignment and wheel balancing is a fairly straightforward affair.

Wheel Balancing, on the other hand allows the tires and wheels to spin without causing any vibrations. This is accomplished by checking for any heavy spots on the wheel-tire combination and compensating for it by placing a measured lead weight on the opposite site of the wheel from where the heavy spot is.

The simple explanation of “wheel balancing” includes reference to spots on the wheel and/or tire that are heavier than the rest of the wheel. At Motoshines our trained service professional places a lead weight on the side of the wheel opposite to the heavier spot, to balance out the weight.

If a wheel is out of balance, it will cause a vibration at highway speeds that can be felt in the steering wheel and/or the seat.

The symptoms of a wheel that is out of balance are:
  • Vibration in the steering wheel at certain highway speeds
  • Vibration in the seat or floorboard at certain highway speeds
  • Scalloped or cupped wear pattern on the tires

All of the elements that make a wheel vibration free are called “balancing”. As said earlier some shops try to make it seem like rocket science, but even wheel balancing is a fairly straightforward affair.

Wheel alignment and balancing is important to the health of your car. If you hit a massive pothole, you might bump your suspension out of the carefully calculated locations that the components have been set. All of the elements that make your car go straight are called “alignment” and all of the elements that make it vibration free are called “balancing”.

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