Kanata Wheel Maintenance 101

If you are interested in a smooth ride… and aren’t we all?  Often we find a common question from visitors to or Kanata garage – what is the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balancing. Well, we’re glad you asked…Wheel alignment is adjusting angles of your Kanata car’s wheels so they’re perfectly parallel to each other as well as perpendicular to the ground (geometry… yay!). Wheel balancing is a process where we identify where wheel weights should be applied to counter-balance heavy spots. When buying your Kanata tires, G&I does this automatically but you really should have your alignment and balancing checked annually.Wheel Alignment
If your car is out of alignment you’ll experience uneven and/or rapid tire wear, drifting off to one side or another, etc. Getting wheel alignment will correct three types of angles:

  • Camber – The angle of the wheel when viewed from the front of the vehicle
  • Caster – The angle of the steering pivot as seen from the side of the vehicle
  • Toe – The direction the tires point, relative to each other

Wheel Balancing
Imperfections, blemishes in rubber and damage to a tire or rim can throw a wheel out of balance. This causes one section of the tire or rim to be heavier and the tire will wobble as it goes down the road. The bouncing can often be heard, as well as felt in the steering wheel. If your car wheel is out of balance you’ll likely notice vibration in the steering wheel, seat or floorboard and scalloped or cupped wear patterns on the tires. Wheels should be balanced any time tires are rotated or repaired.

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