What You Need To Know About Wheel Alignment & Wheel Balancing

Driving is more enjoyable if the driver feels that he has control over what he is doing. Similarly, tyres, which provide the vehicle with physical contact with the road, are essential to ensuring driver confidence. But the most important aspect of driver and vehicle safety is the driver's safety. In order to ensure the safety of the driver, alignment and balancing of the wheels are crucial. The alignment of your wheels can improve tyre performance and improve their life. Besides enhancing handling, it can prevent your vehicle from drifting in one direction or vibrating unnaturally.

In this article, proper tyre care and management, particularly, wheel alignment and wheel balancing are to be explored in detail.

Why do wheels need to be aligned?

Alignment of the wheels of a vehicle refers to the adjustment of the car's suspension, the system of connecting the vehicle to its wheels. The adjustment does not involve changing the wheels or tyres themselves. In order to align the car properly, it is extremely important to adjust the angles of the tyres, as these affect how the wheels touch the road.

Wheel Alignment is required for all cars that have been on the road for a certain period. Cars are less likely to pull in one direction or to experience unnecessary vibrations when using this. The wheels can then be lowered, reducing stress on the wheel suspension components. This keeps the car in its best performance state.

Each car is provided with a set of predefined angles according to the manufacturer for maximum performance. These specific angles are:

 

  • There are two kinds of Camber Angles for wheels: positive and negative. When comparing inner and outer wheels, the outer wheels must exert greater friction. Because the outer wheels will have very little contact with the floor during cornering, the inner tilt will be a great benefit. As a result of the inner wheels tilting inwards, the wheel alignment doesn't suffer in any major way, as friction on the outer wheels must be maximized.
  • A caster angle is nothing more than a steering angle inclination. In most cases, when the steering angle is released after making a turn, it returns to its original position. The caster angle is the mechanism that makes this happen.
  • Among all the angles, the Toe Angle is the most sensitive. It is imperative that the inner wheel turn more than the outer wheel for perfect steering. Wheel Alignment demonstrates this perfectly by achieving a perfect toe-out condition. In contrast, a high steering response could pose a danger to driver safety since the car may accelerate even in response to small steering movements. It is for this reason that in a passenger vehicle the toe-in arrangement is used

Balancing a car's wheels: Everything you need to know

The term wheel balancing refers to a wheel on which the weight on either side of the centre must be the same as the weight in the middle. It is necessary to mount the wheel and tyre on a balancer, which centres the wheel and spins it in order to determine where the weights should be attached. There are 5 weights per gram (5g, 10g, 15g, etc.).

A wheel and tire association is primarily responsible for wheel balancing. This is a tool used to balance out an imbalance between the weight of the wheels and the tyres. Keeping weight and alignment in sync requires balancing and wheel alignment in conjunction with each other.

Balanced wheels/tyres provide a smooth ride, minimize vibration, and prevent tyre wear while ensuring the safety of the vehicle. Tyres with misalignment drastically increase the likelihood of a vehicle's wheel and suspension being damaged.

Wheel alignment is essential to proper tyre care for the same reason that wheel balancing is: to prevent tread wear. A balanced and aligned set of wheels every 5,000 to 6,000 miles would maximize their lifespan and overall performance.

In order to reach the zero difference, necessary weights will be added on either side based on the difference in weight. As a result, the momentum in the car must be maintained evenly so as not to cause vibrations.

Whenever you have a car serviced, the technician should inform you that they are going to perform a wheel balance. Because of the numerous discomforts caused by unbalanced wheels, this is extremely important.

It is pretty much dependent on the equipment used in the service centres about the balancing steps to be followed. Here are some general steps to follow:

  • Keeping the tyre, wheel flange, and rim clean.
  • Putting the wheel and tyre assembly on the balancer.
  • Inputting the wheel dimensions of A&D.
  • Turning the wheel while lowering the hood
  • After the tire has stopped rotating, raise the hood and note when the centre bar on the inboard side begins blinking.
  • Assembling the corrective weight inboard.
  • Watching the centre bar blink as the wheel is rotated.
  • Installing the corrective weights at the outboard ends.
  • Respin and balance the hood while lowering it

What is the ideal time to have the wheels aligned and balanced?

It is recommended that you get your wheels aligned and balanced every 5,000-6,000 kilometres. In general, it is recommended to complete the process within a two to three year period. The best course of action, however, is to use them every time you change the oil in your car to ensure maximum safety for the cars and the passengers.

Remember, wheel realignment and balancing are important in ensuring your safety, including your loved ones while on the road. In addition, it helps keep the quality of the travel at par with the expectations of your family and friends. You do not want to ruin the quality of your trip or travel because of some complications along the road.

In addition, if you are living in places with swift weather changes, even having harsh weather conditions, it would be best to have your tyres checked for quality assurance.