Wheel balancing is a process which is undertaken every time a new tyre is mounted on to an axle. It ensures that your tyres and wheels rotate evenly providing a smooth ride and even tyre wear.
The process of wheel balancing involves equalising the weight of your tyre and wheel assembly by placing tiny offsetting weights at specific points around the wheel. This will help the tyre to remain in constant contact with the road and this results in safe and comfortable driving.
When new tyres are fitted it is essential that the wheels are balanced. This is because there are often inconsistencies in the rubber compound of the new tyre which will affect the weighting of the tyre and wheel.
As soon as a newly balanced wheel hits the road, however, it will gradually begin to become unbalanced again. This is because every bump and corner affects balance, so naturally over time your wheels will become unbalanced again.
The following symptoms are indicators that your wheels may have become unbalanced:
Uncomfortable vibrations whilst driving
The steering wheel wobbles when driving at over 40mph
Tyres wear unevenly
Increased fuel consumption
If you do suspect that your wheels have become unbalanced, you should take them to be checked by a tyre specialist as soon as possible, as this could lead to further damage.
Unbalanced wheels may seem like a small issue but this can lead to more serious problems. This is because a very small imbalance in weight translates in to a large imbalance in centrifugal force. This means that your tyre will spin in a clumsy motion and may be lifted so that it does not make full contact with the road.
This causes uncomfortable vibrations that you can feel whilst driving and it can lead to steering and braking problems. Unbalanced wheels can also place unnecessary strain on suspension and steering components, resulting in excessive mechanical wear.
Furthermore, when tyres aren’t spinning smoothly they become hot with uneven pressure placed upon the tyre tread. This leads to uneven tyre wear and increased fuel consumption, resulting in unnecessary expense, as tyres will need to be replaced sooner.
At Merityre Specialists our fully trained tyre fitters will always balance your wheels when you have your new tyres fitted at one of our branches.
Incorrect wheel balance is easily corrected by using a computerised electronic wheel balancer, and this service is available at all of our branches.