Wheel Alignment and Front End Alignment: What Is the Difference

Is there a veer in your vehicle?

When you’re driving down the road, do you notice that your car, truck or SUV seems to pull to the left or right? If so, your vehicle is probably suffering from poor wheel alignment–and it’s time to get it into a car shop near you.

What’s Wheel Alignment?

When your vehicle rolled off the assembly line, its wheels were connected to the suspension system to ensure maximum performance. The angles of the tires were measured and tested and adjusted to keep your car, truck or SUV driving straight down the street.

By the time you drove off the lot, each wheel was aligned with one another to ensure that your vehicle drove straight, didn’t pull to the right or left, and never vibrated through the steering wheel.

Why Is Wheel Alignment Necessary?

Over time, your tires and wheels take a beating thanks to pot holes and poor driving conditions. This causes the wheels to fall out of alignment.

Misaligned wheels can shorten the life of your tires, reduce the performance of tires, cause your steering wheel to vibrate and tilt to one side, and make your vehicle veer right or left.

Wheel Alignment Versus Front-End Alignment: What’s the Difference?

Naturally, your vehicle will perform better when all four wheels are properly aligned and in tune with one another–but sometimes only the front two fall out of alignment.

When your front tires aren’t even, you’re almost sure to notice that your vehicle veers to the right or left. When all four wheels are out of alignment, you’re likely to notice uneven wearing of the tread (which is especially common in four-wheel drive vehicles).

If you only need your front two wheels aligned, you need a “front-end alignment.” When all four wheels need to be aligned, you need a “wheel alignment.”

For all intents and purposes, the two terms are used interchangeably, since your mechanic will check all four wheels and determine which type of service is necessary.

It’s important to remember that you want your wheels to be aligned so your vehicle delivers a balanced ride.

What About Wheel Balancing?

Sometimes that unpleasant vibration you feel while driving isn’t caused entirely by improper wheel alignment.

Sometimes your car (or steering wheel) vibrates because your tires are out of balance. This occurs when one part of a tire is heavier than the others. All it takes is an ounce of imbalance in a tire to cause your vehicle to vibrate (especially when you hit higher speeds while driving). Over time, tires slowly go out of balance. Therefore, when you bring your vehicle in for a tune-up, make sure to have your technician balance your tires too.

Make wheel alignment and wheel balancing a part of your routine car maintenance. Get it checked by an auto care professional to determine how often you need wheel alignment. If you are looking for complete auto repair services in Mission Viejo, CA, visit A-Z Tech Automotive.

Also Read: 4 Tire Safety Measures You Need to Follow in Every Ride