Wheel Alignment vs. Balancing - Levin Tire & Service Center

Wheel Alignment Services | Firestone Complete Auto Care

Large Wheel Alignment Kit - Truck, Semi, Bus, Firetruck

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  • TAG : Tire Tech Information - Alignment
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  • At Car Servicing and You our fully equipped workshop in Carnegie, next to Caulfield and Malvern East, provides wheel balancing and wheel alignments for all makes and models. All our car repairs come with a minimum 12 month/20000km warranty.

    Tire Balancing

    How do you know when the tires on your car are due for wheel balancing or wheel alignment? Does the steering wheel in your car shake and shimmy from side to side while you are driving? Does the shimmy get worse the faster you drive? Can you drive out of the shimmy?

    "How often should you have the tires and wheels balanced on your vehicle?"

    I like to rotate and balance my tires about every 3 oil changes, so about every 12,000 miles of driving. Tires are pretty expensive these days so I want to make sure I take care of them and get the most life out of them that I can.

    The "new" rule of thumb is to place your newest and best tires on the rear of the vehicle, so you have more traction and control during wet weather stopping on curves. If the rear tires are worn out and do not have much traction to them your vehicle could hydroplane if you were to make a panic stop in wet weather while driving around a bend or a curve in the road.

    "How often should you get the front end aligned in your vehicle?"

    There really is no set in stone answer here. It can depend on many things, like how many curbs or pot holes you have come in contact with? How is the alignment doing, is there a pull to one side? Is there excessive tire wear going on, which is worse on just 1 or 2 tires?

    I personally like to align the wheels (4 wheel alignment) on my cars about every 25,000 miles unless I have a problem or experience an issue like I talked about above. Most vehicles these days will use a 4 wheel alignment machine which is laser guided.

    Most shimmies, shaking or steering wheel vibrations are NOT due to a wheel alignment issue but rather a wheel BALANCE issue. If you can drive out of the tire shimmy, say it starts to shimmy at 50mph but at 60mph it is better or gone...its usually a wheel balancing issue that needs to be addressed.

When should I check my wheel alignment