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Wheel Alignment vs. Wheel Balancing: Cost, Process, Benefits

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Wheel alignment and balancing improves your car's performance and lifespan. But what's involved, and how much does alignment and wheel balancing cost?

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  • Wheel Alignment vs. Wheel Balancing: Cost, Process, Benefits

Depending on where you go to have your vehicle serviced, the price for wheel alignment and wheel balancing can vary. On average, the alignment process costs £45 as a standalone service. Likewise, the wheel balancing cost ranges from £5-10 for each wheel.

Many garages, such as Autofusion, offer combination packages that can roll these services into one appointment. But do you really need both? Isn't wheel alignment and balancing essentially the same?

Let's explore how these two services differ, what you can expect from the process, and how it can improve your driving performance overall:

Difference Between Wheel Alignment And Balancing

Wheel balancing and wheel alignment are two very different practices. In general:

  • Balancing addresses the distribution of weight around the wheel
  • Alignment looks at the position of the wheels in relation to the road and each other

Let's investigate in more detail:

What Is Wheel Balancing?

Wheel balancing ensures that weight is distributed equally around the wheel and that the tyre rotates evenly. If a mechanic inspects your tyres and finds them to be unbalanced, they will fix it by adding small balancing weights to the rim, which counter any inconsistencies.

For example, if an imbalance towards one side of the wheel is identified, wheel weights are added to the opposite side until weight is distributed properly.

What Does Wheel Balancing Entail?

Wheels that are incorrectly balanced can harm your driving performance. You will experience more vibrations, especially at high speeds, and this can rattle your entire suspension. This, in turn, can wear out the tyres, suspension, and steering components of your car more quickly.

On the flipside, balanced tyres ensure your car operates smoothly, efficiently, and provides better comfort during your drive.

Wheels can be re-balanced on a tyre balancing machine available at all Autofusion centres. The tyre and wheel assembly are mounted on the machine, which then spins the wheel to calculate even the slightest variance in weight.

The balancing machine then highlights the exact position where a counterweight should be applied, as well as the ideal size of the weights to use.

What Is Wheel Alignment?

Wheel alignment involves checking the direction and angle of the wheels to ensure they remain parallel to one another. Adjustments can then be made to the tie rods and control arms to correct alignment. This has several benefits, but the primary advantage is that it helps you drive in a straight "line." Vehicles with misaligned wheels can pull or drift to one side.

What Does Wheel Alignment Entail?

Wheel alignment is necessary for most cars. Misalignment happens over time because of road conditions, such as by hitting a pothole, kerb, or multiple speed bumps.

As such, it's recommended that you have your alignment checked every year. Doing so could save you money in the long run, as you will change your tyres less frequently and spend less on fuel, thanks to lessened roll resistance.

Wheels can be adjusted using specialist alignment gear. It will measure:

  • 2-wheel alignment : This covers the front wheels, also known as tracking
  • 4-wheel alignment : This covers all four wheels in relation to one another

At Autofusion, our specialist equipment uses a series of high-definition imaging sensors to measure 14 primary alignment angles on your wheels. To book in a free wheel alignment check, have a look at our wheel alignment service page.

Fix Wheel Alignment And Wheel Balancing Issues Today

If your vehicle is experiencing wheel balancing or alignment issues, get in touch with the experts at your nearest Autofusion. We can improve your driving experience and boost the lifespan of your vehicle with these corrections. When matched to routine servicing, this can keep your car in its best condition for years to come.