The Importance of Wheel and Tire Balancing

The Importance of Wheel and Tire Balancing

You’re cruising down the highway, and you feel these odd vibrations from the steering wheel. Your car even begins shaking as you pick up speed. But why? It all could be a result of imbalanced wheels and tires, which causes a rough ride, safety hazards and costly repairs. However, you can prevent the fast wear of your tires and imbalanced components by balancing your wheels and tires after new sets or during a regular inspection.

It’s a vital part of maintaining your vehicle that can prevent excessive tire wear and other factors. If you want your new set of tires to last as long as possible, make sure your truck or car is adequately balanced.

Why Wheel Balancing Is Required?

Balancing your wheels not only maximizes the longevity of your car’s tires, but also increases your safety. If not aligned correctly, the wheels will be prone to more wear and tear, resulting in your having to change the tires more often. It can become an expensive upkeep. The best way to tell if your wheels are not aligned the right way is if your vehicle doesn’t move straight when you take your hands off the steering wheel.

Either fix the problem, or it can lead to difficulties with the suspension and cause extreme safety hazards, especially in unsafe conditions like rain or ice. It will also result in poor cornering and handling.

The Importance of Tire Balancing

Whether you refer to the experts or perform tire balancing yourself using tools from North American Auto Equipment, it ensures your tires are balanced with the wheel weights for a smooth ride. Imbalanced components will cause the steering wheel to rattle back and forth and cause the tires to wear quicker than normal. You’ll feel a vibration which causes stress on the lower ball joints and axles.

Benefits of Balance Tires and Wheels

  • Smoother and more comfotable ride
  • Better drive-train performance
  • Reduced treadwear
  • Extended tire and wheel life

Balancing the tires of your vehicle ensures the longevity of the tires and other gears.

How to Balance Tires and Wheels Using a Wheel Balancer Machine

Balancing the tires of your vehicle starts with removing each one and fixing it to a wheel balancing machine. It will determine the imbalances of each and show where weight needs to be distributed. Weights are replaced on the inside of the wheel, and the process repeats for each one.

Steps to Balance Tires and Wheels

  1. Safety First: To ensure your safety, first consult with an expert and the manufacturer's directions. Recommended safety equipment includes; steel toes boots, safety glasses, and gloves
  2. Inspect Tires: Inspect your tires and ensure your tires have no cracks and still have good treadwear left. (If your tires have cracks or low tread depth you may be better off replacing your tires)
  3. Remove Caps and Weights: Before mounting wheel on wheel balancing machine remove any center caps or wheel weights from your wheel
  4. Mount the Wheel: Consult your wheel balancing machine's manufacturer manual for specific details and steps, then follow these steps to properly mount your wheel in the machine
  5. Measure the Wheel: After mounting your wheel, next you will need to measure your wheel's height and width to input into the wheel balancing machine
  6. Choose your Vehicle: Some wheel balancing machines will ask for your car's year make and model to more accurately balance the tires and wheels
  7. Enter Proper Tire Pressure: Next the wheel balancing machine will need to know your tires proper air pressure based on your vehicles own specifications. The proper tire pressure for your car can be found in the car manual and the inside of the drive side doorframe
  8. Start the Machine: After mounting the tire, entering the measurements, car make and model and tire pressure you will be able to start the wheel balancer and let the machine take it from there.
  9. Reinstall Wheel Weights and Rebalance: After the wheel balancing machine is complete, you will want to add the wheel weights back onto your car and rebalance the wheel with the machine. Rebalancing the wheel after reinstalling the wheel weights ensures the proper amount and placement of the wheel weights
  10. Remount Your Tires: After rebalancing your wheels and the machines shows that it is coomplete, you are good to remount the tires on your car

Consequences of Neglecting Wheel and Tire Balancing

There is a strip of weights in the wheels. Over time, the masses shift. It causes an imbalance, either concentrating in the horizontal plane of the wheel and causing side-to-side vibrations or along particular spots, resulting in turbulent forward rotation triggering less traction, shifting and accelerated tread wear. Your wheels will wear unevenly and, if untreated, they can affect the steering and suspension, and cause bad handling and lower gas mileage.

Set Yourself Up for Success

When you partner with professionals from North American Auto Equipment, we will support you in finding the right tools to balance your wheels and tires. We work with your specific application and budget to deliver exceptional solutions. Contact us online for more details or browse our wheel balance tools.

Read More About Car Care