Wheel and Tire Balancing

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Wheel and Tire Balancing

Wheel and Tire Balancing

Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly balanced wheel is a beautiful, perfectly tuned wheel-tire combination. This is accomplished by placing measured lead weights on the opposite side of the "heavy spot"—of the tire and wheel combination.

Hub centricity - Wheels are centered by the hub, the snout in the center between the studs. If the wheel doesn't fit snugly onto this snout, it can be slightly off center on the hub. Even 10ths of a millimeter can cause problems with vibration. Wheels can be made "hub-centric" with the use of high-tolerance hub-rings that shim up the hole in the wheel to fit snugly on the hub.

Road force balancing - Tires that are out of balance will cause vibrations at certain speeds (wave harmonics). We "Road Force" balance tires to insure a smooth ride. Road Force balancing simulates the weight of the car on the wheel and measures the high and low spots and stiff and soft spots of the tire to help us refine the placement of the tire on the wheel. It also measures the balance front-to-back as well as the circumference to minimize this vibration.

How do I know if I need my wheels balanced?

Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheel or wheels are out of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because it's endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Most people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and inexpensive procedure makes.

Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come see us:
  • Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
  • Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.

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