The Differences Between Wheel Tracking, Wheel Alignment & Balancing

Feb 23,2022

Wheel Tracking / Wheel Alignment

What is wheel alignment and what does it do for your car? Essentially, wheel alignment, also referred to as wheel tracking, helps your tyres perform better as well as ensures they last longer. Alongside these key elements, wheel alignment also helps improve the handling of the vehicle and keeps it from pulling in one direction or the steering wheel from vibrating when driving.

How is wheel alignment carried out? First, an assessment is carried out on the position of the wheels at the front. After taking their position into consideration, a mechanic then perfectly aligns the front with the back wheels, ensuring that the wheel tracking is straight and doesn’t pull to the left or right.

Wheel Balancing

What is wheel balancing? This is the process of equalising the weight of the entire structure, including the tyre and wheel assembly. This is to make sure that it spins smoothly at high speed. 

What causes wheel misalignment?

There are two main things that cause bad wheel alignment: incorrect tyre pressure and hitting a kerb or pothole.

Incorrect tyre pressure – Before embarking on a long journey, it is always recommended to check your tyre pressure, otherwise uneven or incorrect pressure can lead to poor handling, the vehicle pulling to one side, premature tyre wear and/ or it becomes dangerous when braking.

Hitting a kerb/ pothole – Potholes on the roads are becoming increasingly more prevalent, if you’ve recently hit a kerb or pothole, then it’s best to get your wheel alignment checked out as soon as possible. Hitting either of these two road hazards can damage the rims of your wheel, tyres and the wheel itself.

How do you know if your wheel alignment is off?

To begin with, it’s best to carry out a visual inspection of your tyres, this will give you a good indication of the state the tyres are currently in. When visually inspecting, check the tyre tread depth is even across the whole width of the tyre. If there is misalignment, it will be uneven; one side of the tyre will be more worn than the other. If this has happened, it is one sure sign that the wheel tracking is out.

The second thing to check is whether your steering wheel is in an unusual position. When you drive, your steering wheel should return to the same position after turning, otherwise, this suggests faulty alignment.

The next few things to check for are vehicle drifting, rapid tyre wear, your tyres squealing, and steering wheel vibration.

Contact Longbridge Tyres

If you’re interested in the services of a premium tyre dealer in the Birmingham and Solihull areas, then look no further than Longbridge Tyres. We are a local and independent dealership that supplies new tyres, replacement tyres and performance tyres for all types of vehicles. You can contact us today by calling 0121 457 7582 or by filling out our online contact form, and we’ll be in touch with you soon.

Our Testimonials

Claire Fairburn-GreenClaire Fairburn-Green
21:35 24 Feb 23
Superb, professional, courteous and knowledgeable. Will recommend to anyone needing their service. Excellent service.
10:52 17 Feb 23
I've been here many times for new tyres, no booking needed as it's first come, first served. Just call ahead of time to ensure tyres are in stock. All staff are very friendly and... helpful.Longbridge Tyres was recommended to me for wheel refurbishment, dropped my wheels off, and left with them. A couple of days later, they were ready for collection. Final results 5*read more
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