What Is Wheel Balancing and When To Do It?

Maintaining your vehicle involves many important tasks, and wheel balancing is one of them. But what is wheel balancing, and why is it so important? In this article from Martins Tyres, we’ll explore all you need to know about wheel balancing and by understanding these points, you’ll learn why wheel balancing is vital for your car’s performance and safety.

What Is Wheel Balancing and When To Do It?

What Is Wheel Balancing, and How Is It Different from Wheel Alignment?

Wheel balancing is the process in which the weight of the tyre and wheel is evenly distributed around the axle. This balance prevents vibrations and improves the ride quality. It’s different from wheel alignment, which adjusts the angles of the wheels to the manufacturer’s specifications. While both are important, wheel balancing specifically deals with the weight distribution of the wheel and tyre assembly.

What Happens During Wheel Balancing Checks?

A machine is used to identify where weights should be added to balance the wheels during the checks. These weights correct any imbalance by counteracting the heavy spots on the wheel.

What Is Wheel Balancing and When To Do It?

Components of Wheel Balancing

The key components involved in wheel balancing include the wheel weights, the balancing machine, and the wheel itself. The balancing machine spins the wheel and tyre to identify any imbalances.

Benefits of Wheel Balancing

Proper wheel balancing improves vehicle performance by ensuring a smooth ride and reducing tyre wear. It also enhances safety by preventing vibrations that could affect handling. Moreover, balanced wheels can extend tyre life, saving you money in the long run.

What Is Wheel Balancing and When To Do It?

Signs That Your Car Needs Wheel Balancing

How Do I Know If My Wheels Are Unbalanced?

Common signs of unbalanced wheels include vibrations in the steering wheel, floorboard, or seat, especially at high speeds. Additionally, you may also hear unusual noises while driving.

Consequences of Ignoring Wheel Balancing

Neglecting wheel balancing can lead to several issues like uneven tyre wear which reduces the lifespan of your tyres. Additionally, unbalanced wheels can decrease fuel economy and lead to costly repairs over time.

What Is Wheel Balancing and When To Do It?

When To Do Wheel Balancing

Balancing is always necessary when a new tyre is fitted. In addition, if your wheel has been hit by a kerb, for example, the rim may be damaged and may require rebalancing. Whenever you have doubts, it’s best to have your wheels checked by professionals.

How Often Should You Do Wheel Balancing?

It’s generally recommended to have your wheels balanced every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. However, you should also consider wheel balancing during regular vehicle maintenance or whenever you notice signs of imbalance.

Other Cases

Wheel balancing should be checked after hitting a pothole or kerb. Additionally, it’s a good practice to balance the wheels whenever you rotate your tyres. Regular maintenance checks are also an ideal time to ensure your wheels are balanced.

What Is Wheel Balancing and When To Do It?

How Wheel Balancing Is Done

Process of Wheel Balancing

What is a wheel balancing process? Well, it involves several steps. First, the wheel and tyre are mounted on a balancing machine, and then the machine spins the wheel to measure imbalance. 

For steel rims, weights are hooked onto the flanges of the rim while for aluminium rims, weights are placed on adhesive strips behind the spokes. The technician adjusts the placement of these weights until the wheel is perfectly balanced.

Tools and Machines Used in Wheel Balancing

Key tools include the balancing machine and various types of wheel weights. The balancing machine is crucial as it detects the exact points where the weights are needed.

How long does wheel balancing take?

Wheel balancing typically takes about 30-45 minutes for all four wheels. This quick process ensures your vehicle runs smoothly, improving performance and extending the lifespan of your tyres.

What Is Wheel Balancing and When To Do It?

FAQs About Wheel Balancing

How much does wheel balancing typically cost?

Wheel balancing prices can vary depending on the vehicle and the service provider. Check our tyre service prices for more details.

Is wheel balancing necessary for all types of vehicles?

Yes, wheel balancing is essential for all vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Balanced wheels ensure smooth operation and prevent excessive wear on tyres.

How long can you drive on unbalanced tyres?

Driving on unbalanced tyres is not recommended. While short trips might be manageable, long-term use can cause significant damage to your tyres and suspension.

Should I balance the wheels before an alignment?

Yes, it’s advisable to balance your wheels before an alignment. Properly balanced wheels ensure accurate alignment and better overall vehicle performance.

Conclusion

Wheel balancing is key for maintaining your vehicle’s performance, safety, and longevity. Regular checks and professional maintenance can prevent many issues related to wheel imbalance. 

For reliable wheel balancing services, visit Martins Tyres or call us at 01276 856846 and ensure your vehicle stays in top condition! Regular maintenance is a must for a safe and smooth driving experience. Don’t wait for problems to arise!—keep your wheels balanced and enjoy the ride!

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