Wheel Alignment & Tracking
The terms "Wheel Alignment" and "Wheel Balancing" are often used to talk generally about your tyres position in relation to the road and to the vehicle itself. While they are very separate things they are also easy to understand.
What is 'Wheel Alignment'?
Wheel alignment refers to the position of your tyre / wheel to both the car itself and the road surface. Your vehicle's wheels should be perpendicular or at exactly 90 degrees to the road to ensure even wear, the best grip and the most comfortable drive.
Your wheels should also be 100% parallel to each other for much the same reason. The adjusting of your wheels / tyres to achieve this is known as Wheel Alignment.
Problems that occur if wheels are not correctly aligned include uneven or rapid tyre wear, or your vehicle may have a slight pull to one side when driving.
Wheel Alignment is a common failure with the NCT as it plays a big role in how your car handles on corners and during braking and emergency maneouvres. For instance a car setup for a race track would have very good handling but would have rapid tyre wear. The best setup for a road car is to have a setup that is recommended by the manufacturer, and our four wheel alignment computer has a data bank with all the manufacturer's settings preloaded.
What is 'Wheel Balancing'?
Your wheels spin at very high speeds even when driving relatively slowly. As such it's very important that they spin evenly without vibrations. Vibrations do not usually indicate a flaw and are usually rectified by placing a small measured balancing weight on the opposite side of any heavy spots that may exist on the wheel thereby balancing out any issues caused.
This process is known as Wheel balancing.