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Treadfirst Tyres & Exhaust
Bury St Edmunds
Saffron Walden
Sudbury MOT & Service Centre
Sudbury Tyre Centre
Bury St Edmunds - Agricultural

What’s the Difference Between Wheel Alignment, Tracking & Balance?

Wheel alignment, tracking and balance are issues that can have a significant impact on your tyres and car. Often, people mix up these issues thinking they’re one and the same. But this is not the case, and it’s vital to get a proper diagnosis of the problem in order to fix it.

What is wheel alignment? (sometimes known as laser wheel alignment)

The more road time your car gets, the more likely it is that your wheels and tyres will encounter problems.  Over time your wheels can become misaligned from knocks to the kerb and hitting, hard to avoid, potholes .

If you notice that your car is beginning to pull to one side as you’re driving, then it’s likely that your tyres need realigning.  Another symptom of misalignment is steering becoming harder to control and unsteady braking. 

Wheel alignment focuses on the position of each of your tyres, checking where they are positioned on the road and ensuring they match the necessary specifications of your vehicle. 

If your tyres have become misaligned it is important to get them fixed as soon as possible to avoid uneven wear on your tyres and bad handling.

Check out our video

We do not charge to check the wheel alignment; it’s only chargeable if they are out and need adjusting – book your free test here

What is wheel tracking?

Wheel tracking is simply another term used when describing the process of wheel alignment. It refers to the act of your car’s wheels being repositioned and set back into the positions stated by the manufacturer’s specifications. 

So, if you hear anyone interchanging the terms wheel alignment and wheel tracking, you’ll now know that they’re talking about the same thing.

What is wheel balancing?

Wheel balancing refers to the distribution of vehicle weight your tyres are carrying. If you notice vibrations in your car while you’re driving, then this is a sign your wheels may be unbalanced. 

Wheels can become unbalanced because of wear to the tyres but the rubber compounds used in tyre production these days are much more advanced so vibrations are more likely to be because of damage to the wheel

If your car’s wheels do become unbalanced and require a redistribution of weight, then there is a specific way this is carried out. We have modern equipment at our branches in Sudbury, Haverhill, Diss, Saffron Walden, Bury st Edmunds and Stowmarket to accurately check the balance. 

Our wheel balancing machines will mount the tyres, and rotate them to check whether there is an imbalance. If any unevenness is detected, the machine will calculate the size of the counterweight which is needed to rectify the problem.   We add small weights to the rim of the tyres to aid with weight distribution to make the vehicle more balanced. 

In summary wheel alignment and wheel balancing are two different things. Wheel alignment refers to the angle and direction of the wheels and wheel balancing ensures the wheels are equally balanced and spin evenly. 

We can help with various wheel alignment & balancing issues, as well as supplying tyres for a whole host of vehicles from all of our locations, To find out more about our servicescontact our team today

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