“Take care of your car in the garage and the car will take care of you on the road”- Amit Kalantri. After being driven for a considerate amount of distance, all cars have to undergo the basic wheel care strategies, which are Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing. As similar as they sound, Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balancing are two different and equally important concepts concerning a car. Here is a brief description of the wheel care strategies, stating their importance and the absolute necessity to get them done.
What is wheel alignment and why is it necessary for your cars?
All cars, which have been on the road for a certain amount of time have to undergo Wheel Alignment. This helps in keeping the cars from pulling in one direction or avoiding any unnecessary vibrations in the car. This helps in reducing the stress on the wheel suspension components and keeps the cars in their best performance.
Every car comes with a set of pre-defined angles suggested by the manufacturers for better performance of the vehicle.
- The Camber Angle of the wheels can either be positive or negative. The outer wheels must have a greater frictional force when compared to the inner wheels. The area of contact of the outer wheels will be highly minimized during cornering, so the inner tilt is provided. This inner tilt for the inner wheels doesn’t affect the wheel alignment majorly because the frictional force on the outer wheel has to be maximized.
- The Caster Angle is nothing but the inclination of the steering angle. You must have noticed that when the steering angle is released after taking a turn it goes back to its central position. This mechanism is created by the caster angle.
- The Toe Angle is considered to be the most sensitive of all. For perfect steering, the inner wheel should turn more when compared to the outer wheel. This is brought out by the perfect toe-out condition in the Wheel Alignment. But such a high steering response concerns the safety issues as the car might start responding to even the slightest steering movements. That is why the toe-in arrangement is always used in a passenger car.
Wheel Balancing: All you need to know
Wheel Balancing refers to an individual wheel, wherein the weight of the wheel on either side from the centre has to be equal. The mounted wheel and a tyre will be put on a balancer, which centres the wheel and spins it to determine where the weights have to be attached. The weights come in the multiples of 5(5g, 10g, 15g, etc.)
Depending upon the difference of weights on either side, necessary weights will be added to achieve the zero difference. This process has to be carried out evenly to prevent the momentum from causing vibrations in the car.
Whenever a car servicing is carried out, the technician should inform you that they will conduct a wheel balancing check as well. This is highly important because unbalanced wheels will cause a lot of discomfort.
The balancing steps followed by any technician pretty much depend upon the equipment used in the service centres. Some of the general steps carried out are:
- Cleaning the tyre, rim flange and wheel.
- Mounting the tyre/wheel assembly on the balancer.
- Entering the A&D wheel dimensions.
- Lowering the hood to spin the wheel
- Raising the hood after the tire stops rotating and noting when the inboard centre bar blinks.
- Attaching the inboard corrective weight.
- Rotating the wheel and noting when the outboard centre bar blinks.
- Attaching the outboard corrective weights.
- Lowering the hood to respin and check the balance
When should the wheel alignment and balancing be done?
On average, you should have your wheels aligned and balanced for every 5,000-6,000 kilometres. It is generally recommended to get it done in a time period of 2-3 years. But it is best to opt for them every time you go to change the oil of your vehicle to ensure the best level of safety for the cars and the passengers.
Wheel Alignment and Balancing @ Pitstop
Wheel Alignment, Balancing and Rotation are some of the most essential car checks to be done to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. If not done, it might lead to some serious damage and might even lead to you losing control of the car. We at Pitstop offer the best services, at your convenience and ensure to provide the best-in-class facilities at the most reasonable prices. Book a car service with us, and get the car picked up, serviced and dropped back safely to your residence.