Alignment and Balancing of the Tires: What Is It and What Is It For?
When driving, have you noticed that the car pulls to one side? Do you accelerate and the car produces vibrations? Don't worry, your vehicle needs a tire alignment and balancing service.
The tire alignment and balancing service is a fundamental maintenance that must be carried out periodically to avoid irregular tire wear and allow the car to move in a straight line, so it will not lose efficiency and considerably reduce consumption. made out of fuel. Therefore, it is a fundamental service to avoid accidents and provide a better driving experience.
So so you don't get caught off guard, read on to learn about this essential service and know how to identify it when your car needs it.
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What is tire alignment?
Alignment is a car maintenance process that consists of calibrating the tires so that they are straight and parallel to each other, perpendicular to the ground. This ensures that there is even tire tread wear and safe driving of the vehicle.
However, the time and use of the vehicle, potholes and other irregularities in the road can cause the wheels of the car to become misaligned, which will cause them to lean to the sides, or the steering wheel to tend to one side, or not at all. return to its original position after turning it, which will cause uneven tire wear.
Alignment is done by adjusting the suspension components, steering gear, and wheel angles so the tires are straight and facing forward.
What is tire balance?
Balancing is a procedure that consists of adjusting and evenly distributing the weight between the tires and the rims to maintain a balance between them, and thus avoid the vibrations produced by the car. This imbalance can be corrected in two ways:
- Static Balancing: Small weights are placed on the rim for stability. This type of balancing only corrects the vibrations produced by vertical forces since the weights are placed on only one side of the wheel.
- Dynamic balancing: it is the type of balancing commonly recommended and most used today. To do it effectively, the air pressure is checked and the weight of the tire is taken into account to make the corresponding adjustment. It also allows correcting both vertical and lateral vibrations of the wheel.
Performing this service regularly will keep the tires in good condition for a long time, not only providing comfort in the driving experience, but also protecting the vehicle's suspension from damage.
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How do I know if my car needs the alignment and balancing service?
The time to perform this service may vary depending on the car and factors such as the model, the year of manufacture, the time of use and the mileage. Also, you can check the manufacturer's specifications in the owner's manual.
However, it is recommended that the alignment and balancing service be carried out every 10,000 km or every six months, emphasizing that maintenance must be done on both axles of the vehicle, that is, both at the front and at the rear.
However, if you identify any of these problems in your car, you should carry out the corresponding maintenance as quickly as possible.
When to perform tire alignment?
- After an impact with a pothole, a stone on the road or a hole in the asphalt.
- If you recently changed tires, or any part of the suspension or steering.
- If when driving you feel that the car tends to go to one side or the other.
- If when driving the vehicle it does not return to its original position in a straight line.
- If you detect significant wear on the rims.
- When the front tires have a different direction than the rear.
- When the car feels forced when turning.
When to balance the tires?
- If you notice wear on the edge of the rims.
- If you detect noises or vibrations in the steering wheel or in the car at a certain speed.
- Loss of car stability at high speeds.
Benefits of Alignment and Balancing
Although sometimes these small problems in the car can go unnoticed, they are very important for its correct operation. Among its benefits can be mentioned:
- Extends the life of vehicle tires.
- Provides greater security to the vehicle.
- Provides greater stability to the car when driving at a speed higher than 60 km/h.
- Optimizes the rolling of the vehicle.
- Increases fuel efficiency.
- Improves vehicle stability in a curve or straight line.
- Eliminates vertical bounce and lateral vibrations from the vehicle.
As you can see, alignment and balancing are essential maintenance services to keep your tires in optimal condition, extend their useful life and preserve the safety of the car.