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Wheel balancing is a valuable service that is necessary for the consistent performance and efficiency of the car. Generally, your car wheels must be re-balanced after every 5000 miles. Wheel balancing is a crucial automobile service that must be undertaken regularly. Over time, due to constant wear, a tyre's mass tends to become unevenly distributed around its wheels rim. There are a number of things that can cause a car’s wheels to lose balance, with lost wheel weights caused by sudden impacts or damaged suspension components being among the most common reasons.
Other signs of imbalance wheels are as follows:
- Increased wear to suspension components & tyres
- Vibration through the steering wheel (most commonly at motorway speeds)
- Increased fuel consumption
- Reduced ride comfort
- Increased braking distance
- Changes to steering sensitivity
Generally, there is confusion between wheel alignment and wheel balancing as they both seems to have similar impact on the tyres. To simplyfy, wheel balancing ensures that the distribution of weight around the wheel is equal, a tyre fitter will add tiny weights to counter any imbalances to ensure the tyre rotates efficiently and evenly. Wheel alignment however looks at the position of the wheels in relation to the road and each other. This helps ensure your vehicle drives in a straight line and are in the optimum position.
Loss of wheel weights is the primary cause of poorly balanced wheels because it means that the wheels no longer have an even weight distribution. Wheel weights can become lost from a sudden impact on the wheel, this is often enough to knock the weights out of place, and lose their balance.
Even though wheel balancing is a common procedure that can be required any number of times during the period you own the vehicle, the effects of imbalanced wheels can end up costing you money unnecessarily if left unattended.
Benefits of wheel balancing are as follows:
- tyres will perform efficiently - If your tyres are not correctly balanced this can lead to more serious and far more expensive, vehicle issues in the long run.
- steering wheel starts to vibrate at certain speeds - This can make it more difficult to keep control of your vehicle and provide an uncomfortable ride for the vehicle occupants.
- uneven tyre wear will be noticed – this may result in you having to replace your tyres a lot sooner than you need to. This can also cause a drop in fuel economy, however, this may be less noticeable.
- If left unbalanced for a long period of time, the stress on the wheel bearings and suspension system can cause them to wear more quickly. Which could result in a much more expensive problem to fix.
There are two 2 types of wheel imbalances that must be addressed –
- Static imbalance – A light or heavy spot in the tyre's body prevents it from rolling smoothly. As a result, your car's tyre exhibits an up-and-down vibrating motion. It is also called a wobble motion.
- Dynamic imbalance – With unequal weight on one or both sides of a tyre's lateral centre line, it causes a side-to-side vibration. This motion is also often termed as a ‘shimmy' motion.
If left unattended, wheel imbalance can damage suspension components which can potentially result in significantly higher costs to put right.
Visit One Stop Tyre Centre for wheel balancing
Wheel balancing requires the use of specialised machinery. Additionally, it involves the application of proper judgement of an experienced automobile technician. At One Stop Tyre Centre in Tamworth, our experts use a spin balancer machine to bring your car tyres to an optimal balance. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above while driving your vehicle. We use high quality clip-on weights made of zinc or steel. Our experts ensure that the weights attached doesn’t damage your wheels alloy coating.