Need to Know: Tire Alignment & Balancing

mechanic preparing a vehicle for an alignment

Tires need to be adjusted to perform at their highest level. This is why tire alignment, sometimes called wheel alignment, is essential for your car to keep working properly.

What is Tire Alignment?

Alignment means an adjustment of the vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels.  Correct alignment will adjust the angles of the tires, which affects how they make contact with the road.

Do I Need My Tires Aligned?

To tell if your car needs a tire alignment, look for one or more of these indicators:

  • Uneven tread wear
  • Vehicle pulling to one side
  • Steering wheel is off center when driving straight
  • Steering wheel vibration

If you notice those signs, you should have your alignment checked by a licensed service technician immediately.

Why Tire Alignment is Important

Improper wheel or tire alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely. If you’re experiencing any unusual wear patterns, have a technician check your alignment. The consequences of misalignment can ruin your overall vehicle performance. A car that pulls to one side or steers erratically can get dangerous if it’s not dealt with.

Tire Balancing

This is different from tire alignment, tire or wheel balancing refers to compensation for any weight imbalances in the tire and wheel combination. It’s usually performed at the same time as tire alignment. There are two basic types of imbalances that need correction, static (single plane) and dynamic (dual plane).

Static balance addresses balance on the vertical movement plane, which can cause vibration. Dynamic balance addresses balance in two planes – vertical and lateral movement. Both types of imbalance require the use of a balancing machine.

Having tires aligned and balanced every 5,000 to 6,000 miles can help maximize their lifespan and overall performance.

If you would like to know more, contact the experts at Performance Auto Repair at (334) 245-6600 today.


  1. I’m going to be going on a big road trip with my family, so I want to make sure that my car is ready. It makes sense that my tires are properly aligned and balanced! I’ll check to see if my current tires and wearing unevenly so I can tell if they need an alignment.

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