Difference between Alignment and Balance

Main difference

The main difference between alignment and roll is that alignment means adjusting the angles of the wheels to make them perpendicular to the ground. Whereas balance means making the wheels rotate without causing vibrations.

What is alignment?

Alignment refers to wheel alignment and means breakage or tracking, and part of car maintenance that deals with adjusting the wheel angles to be particular to the ground. The sole purpose of wheel alignment is to make the tire grip parallel to the road and ensure the vehicle runs straight and smooth. Alignment also reduces tire wear. The default alignment set by the automaker’s specifications can also be modified to obtain a specific handling characteristic. The motorsports and off-road application may require angles to be adjusted far beyond normal for many reasons.

What is balance?

Balance refers to the balance of the wheels and means to make the wheels turn without causing vibrations. It refers to the equal distribution of mass within the car tire or the entire wheel, including the rim, to which it is attached. When a wheel turns, mass asymmetries can cause it to skip or wobble, which can cause driving disturbances, usually vertical and lateral vibrations. Tires are balanced in production houses and repair shops using two methods; static balancers and dynamic balancers. Imbalance usually occurs from poor wheel balance, imperfect tire or wheel shape, brake pulsation, and many other reasons.

Key differences
  1. Wheel balancing is simpler than wheel alignment. Wheel balancing is performed on an automated mechanical machine, while wheel alignment includes measuring and correcting camber, caster, and toe angles.
  2. Balance adjust the single tire or wheel imbalance while aligning make sure all wheels are pointing in the same direction.
  3. Wheels out of alignment create more problems compared to unbalanced wheels. Vehicles that are misaligned can result in axle braking, failure to work at optimal levels, uneven braking, poor car suspension, etc.
  4. Improperly balanced wheels can result in an uncomfortable ride due to vibration, while improper alignment can put passengers at unnecessary risk.

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