Understanding Why Wheel Balancing Is Important
Wheel balancing is a process of making sure the weight of the wheel is distributed evenly. By doing this, the wheel can spin smoothly without wobbling or causing vibrations. An unbalanced wheel can cause problems such as steering problems, uneven tyre wear, or a bumpy ride.
One way to think about wheel balancing is to imagine a balance scale. Just like how you need to adjust the weights on each side to balance it out, wheel balancing involves adding or removing small weights to the wheel to find the perfect point of balance.
What’s the Wheel Balancing Process?
The process of wheel balancing includes mounting each wheel on a balancing machine. This allows for measuring the amount and location of any imbalance. To balance the wheel, small weights are added where needed.
A wheel balance makes sure your wheels rotate smoothly and evenly. This helps to reduce wear on tyres and suspension components, providing a smoother ride and improving the overall vehicle performance.
Why do Wheels Need Balancing?
New tyres and wheels commonly have imbalances that result from manufacturing tolerances and design choices. For example, wheels often have a heavier spot near the valve stem due to reinforcement in that area. This is intentional and by design, as the wheel needs to be stronger in that area.
Tyres, on the other hand, consist of multiple layers of materials such as steel, nylon cords, and various synthetic and natural rubbers. These layers are bonded together where they overlap. This can potentially result in small variations in weight across the tyre.
As a result, even when brand new, both tyres and wheels can be unbalanced. That’s why it’s important to have them balanced to ensure a smooth and safe ride. Wheel balancing is important for maintaining safety, comfort, and avoiding premature tyre wear.
Why is Wheel Balancing Important?
Even small imbalances in the wheel can have big consequences. A slight imbalance of just 10 grams or so, can have significant effects on the overall performance of your vehicle.
As speed increases, the forces caused by the imbalance also increase exponentially. For example, every time the speed doubles, the imbalance forces quadruple, resulting in a bumpy and shaky ride.
The vibrations caused by unbalanced wheels are not just annoying; they can also lead to uneven tyre wear and damage to critical components like wheel bearings, suspension bushings, and shock absorbers. Over time, these issues can become more severe, which can cause significant safety concerns and costly repairs.
When do I Need a Wheel Balance?
It’s always a good idea to book a wheel balancing service during a tyre rotation or wheel alignment. Tyre rotation involves switching the position of the wheels to promote even wear and maximise the lifespan of your tyres.
Since the wheels are already removed during this process, balancing them is a straightforward and efficient additional step.
We suggest having a tyre rotation and balance done approximately every 10,000 kms to maintain optimal performance and prolong the life of your tyres.
What Are The Signs My Car's Wheels are unbalanced?
Wheel balance can be affected by various factors. These include uneven tyre wear, physical damage to the wheel or tyre, as well as the loosening of existing wheel weights.
Once wheels and tyres are balanced, they are typically in good condition for the tyre’s lifespan. But impacts from potholes or curbs, along with uneven tyre wear, can disrupt the balance and cause it to deviate from the specified specifications.
If you notice any of the following signs, it's essential to have your wheels checked and balanced by a professional. This will help prevent further damage and ensure a safe and comfortable driving experience.
- Vibration felt through the steering wheel or the car's body. This vibration may be felt at low or high speeds, and it may become more intense as you drive faster.
- Uneven tyre wear, which can be seen as bald spots or uneven wear patterns on the tyre.
- Steering wheel pulling to one side or the other, especially at higher speeds.
- Increased noise while driving, such as a humming or buzzing sound.
- Reduced handling and control, causing it to feel less stable and harder to control, especially when turning or braking.
Get your Wheels Balanced Today
A wheel balance is an effective way to reduce uneven tyre wear and improve your vehicle's driving performance. It can make your car feel brand new.
If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, don't hesitate to contact Tyres R Us and schedule an appointment for your vehicle. Call us on 03 9362 1611, or visit our tyre shop located at 122 Munro Ave, Sunshine. We serve in Sunshine and its surrounding areas, including Sunshine, Sunshine North, Avondale Heights, Keilor East, St Albans, Ardeer and Kealba.
At Tyres R Us, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive automotive care, which is why we offer a range of services beyond wheel balancing, such as wheel alignment, tyre-fitting, and puncture repairs. Our services are designed to ensure your vehicle operates safely and efficiently.