Wheel balancing also known as tyre balancing is the process equalizing the weight of the tyre and wheel assembly so that it runs smoothly at high speeds. Tyres are never of the equal weight and have to be balanced to achieve smooth and even rolling of the tyre. Even a minuscule difference in the amount of weight can unbalance the tyre. Now since these tyres are travelling at high speeds, the unbalanced tyres create enough thrust to create noticeable vibrations in the steering wheel at high speeds. Unbalanced tyres lead to uneven treads, too hot tyres and unnecessary strain on the suspension system.
When to check for wheel balancing?
If you feel vibrations on your steering wheel while driving, there is a chance that the tyres are unbalanced. The vibration will be distinctively felt at high speeds. If the vibration is specifically in the steering, your front wheels could be unbalanced. Likewise if the vibration is only in the seats, the rear tyres could be unbalanced.
It is also advised that you have your wheels checked for balancing in case of an accident or a collision that could have unbalanced the wheels and would have gone unnoticed. Unbalanced tyres also lead to loss of fuel economy. Unbalanced tyres also lead to loss in performance and handling on the car.
Wheel balancing should only be carried out at an authorized service centre. The professionals attach the tyre to the balancing machine that is designed to spin the tyre and precisely identify the location of the imbalance. The professionals will attach the needed weight to balance the tyre. The wheels are then spun again to achieve the correct balance on the tyre.
Wheels are subjected to wear and tear and have to be balanced regularly. Unbalanced wheels cause uneven tyre wear which degrades the life of the tyres earlier. Moreover, the tyre heats up faster and is threatening at high speeds. Tyres with worn out treads or bald tyres have to be replaced to avoid any mishaps. Make sure you maintain the optimum PSI on your tyres to ensure their long life. It is advised that the wheels are balanced every year or at 10,000 kms along with the wheel alignment. Do check out our guide on when to have your wheels aligned.
This is what the weight added to the wheels looks like. That will go unnoticed at the first glance if you search for it on the wheel.