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Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment

mechanic performs wheel alignment


Proper wheel maintenance is essential to keeping your car running smoothly in Providence, RI, so you’ll want to keep up with regular service on your wheels and tires. Two of the most important routine services on your tires are wheel alignment and balancing. Though these may sound similar, they are two distinct services that service two different purposes. It’s important to know the difference between wheel alignment and balancing, so the service team at MINI of Warwick has put together a handy guide. Check it out, then head over to our tire center to see what other tire services we offer!

What Is Wheel Balancing Service?

When wheels start to lose their balance – which happens naturally over time – it can cause your steering wheel to shake or vibrate uncomfortably. It also causes your tires to wear out unevenly because one part of the tire is heavier than the other parts. When this happens, it’s time to get your wheels balanced. Balancing your wheels ensures a smooth ride by minimizing tire bouncing. It also extends the life of your tires and improves your vehicle’s traction and control, so it’s absolutely essential in order to keep your vehicle in top condition. 

Most dealerships recommend that you get your wheels balanced every 5-6,000 miles or every 6 months when you get your tires rotated.

What Is Wheel Alignment Service?

Unlike wheel balancing, wheel alignment doesn’t have to be a part of your car’s routine maintenance – rather, it should only be done as needed. Wheel alignment is also called “front end alignment,” and it involves a service technician ensuring that your tires are perpendicular to the road while being parallel to each other.

When your wheels are out of proper alignment, it can result in problems for your vehicle including steering issues, unnecessary wear and tear on your tires, and uneven tread on the road. It can also lead to unnecessary drifting and pulling, which can cause serious problems on the Cranston, RI roads such as accidentally drifting into the next lane. If you discover any of these problems, take your car in to get its wheels aligned right away.

Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment: Which Do You Need?

Now that we’ve gone over the key differences between wheel alignment and balancing, you should have a better idea of which you need the next time you’re having issues with your tires. If your steering wheel starts vibrating, you’re in need of wheel balancing. If your car is pulling to one side, you should schedule a wheel alignment. If you find yourself in need of either of these services, you can schedule a service appointment with MINI of Warwick right from our website.

Wheel Balancing & Wheel Alignment Cost

How much does wheel balancing cost? Although it varies based on location and the condition of your vehicle, you can expect wheel balancing services to cost between $40 and $75 on average.

How much does a wheel alignment service cost? Front-end alignments usually cost around $65-$100, although it depends on the brand. To get all four wheels aligned rather than the front two, expect to pay around double that figure.

Rely on MINI of Warwick for Wheel Services!

If you have any questions about wheel balancing vs. wheel alignment, or if you’d like to learn more about the services MINI of Warwick offers, contact our office today! You can also check out our service financing if you’re looking to save on your next service appointment.

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