Kogarah Tyrepower
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Wheel Balancing, what is it and when do I need one?

wheel balancing with weights

You might be wondering “when should I have a wheel balance?”. There can be many reasons that require a wheel balance, which will be outlined below. Put simply, it involves weights that are fitted to the rim or edge of the wheel to balance out any imperfections or vibrations caused when wheels are spinning at high speed.

In short, a wheel balance is a must when:

  • Purchasing new tyres
  • You have your car serviced
  • You’ve had a tyre rotation
  • Yearly, if driving rough roads
  • Hitting any severe potholes

What happens to my wheel when I get a balance?

Your wheel is spun at high speeds on a balancing machine from its axis to test for even weight distribution. Your tyre technician then counteracts these vibrations or imbalances with small lead weights around the rim. Multiple weights can be used until the tyre is perfectly balanced and placed back on the vehicle.

Each wheel is fitted on a balancing machine and spun at high speed, simulating highway use. While the wheel rotates on the balancing spindle it measures vibrations, allowing the tyre technician to adjust or counter balance the wheel with small weights before it is fitted to your vehicle.

Each weight is made up of either steel, lead or zinc alloy and is fitted to the outer bead of the wheel with simple clips. It is a good idea to pay some attention to these weights in the unlikely event they come off or become loose.

A wheel balance is required when...

You fit new tyres.

When your new tyres are fitted professionally, a balance is then performed after the tyre has been fitted to the wheel. This could be included in your fitment or an option. Don’t be cheap and opt out when you purchase new tyres. A wheel balance will assist in achieving even tyre wear and save you money in the long run by getting the most out of your new tyres.

Tyres are mass produced, therefore subtle differences do occur. Tyres are manufactured using multiple techniques of layering. Layers of rubber, steel belting and internal piles make up a finished product. You only need one of these to overlap slightly and you have balancing issues.

Although not visible to the untrained eye, a wheel balancing machine will quickly pick up on these problem spots.

You notice wheel vibrations.

We all know how our car drives, so by now we should be in tune with how it handles. Vibrations in your hands through the steering are very noticable. These are the most noticeable signs of unevenly balanced tyres. These will be especially more significant at higher speeds and should be attended to straight away.

You hit some major potholes.

When you hit that pothole you see coming towards you, you think “damn, that could have done some damage to my wheels!”. Well, it definitely could have, or at least put your steering and alignment out of whack.

Potholes are a common problem for misaligned steering and wheel alignment. If your driving is mostly on rough surfaces, a yearly alignment should keep your steering and components in check.

Your tyres are worn out.

It's simple, just a glance down at your tyres when you get in your car will indicate whether or not they are correctly balanced and aligned. Uneven tyre wear is an obvious indication to have your tyres checked by a professional for a balance and alignment.

If you're experiencing any of these issues or are generally concerned about the handling of your car, then come into Kogarah Tyrepower at 7 Lindsay Street, Kogarah NSW, or give us a call on (02) 9587 3366. Our qualified and experienced technicians service most makes and models. We’ll be sure to run a wide range of safety checks across brakes, suspension and steering.

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