Wheel balance must not be confused with wheel alignment.
Imperfections, blemishes in the rubber, and damage to a tire or rim can throw a wheel "out of balance." That means that one section of the tire or rim is heavier. When that's the case, the tire can wobble or even hop as it rolls down the road. That effect often can be heard, as well as felt in the steering wheel.
To balance a tire, we use computerized equipment that identifies where wheel weights should be applied to the rim. Those weights are used to counter-balance any heavy spots. See diagram below.
You should have your wheels balanced any time your tires are repaired or rotated.
How do I know if I need my wheels balanced?
Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheel is out of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because it's endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Most people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and inexpensive procedure makes.
Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come see us:
- Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
- Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.
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