Difference Between Tire Balance and Alignment

Tire Swap

When your tires are balanced, a technician will use a special machine to check that the weight of the tire and wheel are balanced. If that’s not the case, he or she will attach small lead weights to the wheel’s rim to restore balance to your car.

Wheel alignments, on the other hand, involve adjusting the wheel angles to be perfectly perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Typically, computerized equipment is used to ensure precision. Not only will this service extend tire life, but it’ll help your vehicle drive in a straight manner.

Alignment vs Balancing: At Ira Toyota of Manchester

As Amherst, Manchester, and Derry motorists know, keeping up with your auto maintenance is essential. Every oil change and brake inspection goes a long way toward making your car safe and secure out on the road. However, to the untrained eye, some services sound very similar and may need an explanation.

For instance, what is the difference between a tire balance and an alignment? These two services may sound like the same thing, but they’re not. Each helps extend the life of your tires, and our team at Ira Toyota of Manchester is here to show you how!

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Tire & Wheel Service Intervals

Tire Swap

So, just how often should you have your tires balanced and your wheels aligned? We recommend having your tires balanced every time you have them rotated-so, roughly every six months or 6,000 miles. Doing so will help you avoid uneven tire wear and telltale vehicle vibrations at highway speeds.

There are no specific requirements for wheel alignments-how long your wheels stay aligned depends on how you drive your car. We recommend having your wheels realigned when you get new tires as a way of minimizing uneven wear from the get-go. To be safe, get an alignment every two or three years.

Signs You Need Balancing or Alignment

It’s good to keep service intervals in mind, but the real world is messy. You may need tire or wheel service outside those intervals if there’s a problem with your car, which is why it’s always a good idea to watch for warning signs that something is off.

The telltale sign that you need your tires balanced is a shake or vibration in your car when you’re driving between 60 and 70 MPH. You may notice these sensations in the steering wheel or even the seat of the vehicle, but they’re the most common warning signal.

For your wheels, something as simple as a large bump in the road can throw off your alignment. If you hit such a bump or crevice and you notice that your steering wheel is off center or that your vehicle pulls to one side, consult a trained technician. If necessary, have an alignment performed.

Schedule Tire Balance and Alignment with Us

Has it been a while since you last had your tires balanced and wheels aligned? Noticed any vibrations in your steering wheel or seat at high speeds-or your vehicle pulling to one side? If so, schedule wheel and tire service at Ira Toyota of Manchester.

Our factory-trained and certified technicians will use the latest computerized equipment to ensure precise and accurate balancing and alignment. We’ll have your ride ready for the roads of Amherst, Manchester, and Derry in no time!