If the weight of a car or truck is not evenly distributed over all four tires, driving the vehicle will cause the tires to bear uneven loads. The rotation of the tires on the axes will then cause the rate of wear on the tires to be uneven, leading to prematurely and excessively worn spots on some areas of some tires. So, each time you replace a tire on your vehicle, you need to have your tires balanced to make sure the weight of the automobile is evenly distributed.
The uneven wearing can further cause a hazardous condition when one or more tires become so worn in some spots that there is a high risk of blowing the tire while driving at highway speed and potentially causing a serious accident. At the very least, driving on unbalanced tires can be expected to cause tires to wear out and require replacement long before the end of their normal lifespan. It can also damage the suspension, drive chain, and other costly parts.
Click to jump to section:
- Wheel balancing meaning
- Why is Wheel Balancing Necessary?
- How Do Wheels Get Out of Balance?
- How Do I Know if My Wheels are Out of Balance?
- How Do I Balance My Wheels?
- Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment
- Quality Wheel Balancing Service
Contact Ace Auto Repair, West Jordan, UT, or use our online contact form anytime for a free wheel balancing service estimate.GET A FREE REPAIR QUOTE
What Does Wheel Balancing Mean?
Tire balancing (also called wheel balancing) is a process to correct unevenly distributed weight on a vehicle’s wheels. Balancing tires is important to prevent extreme tire wear, potential damage to the suspension, drivetrain components, or other issues due to the strong vibration caused by imbalanced tires.
Why is Wheel Balancing Necessary?
At highway speeds, even a small tire imbalance becomes a significant discrepancy in the amount of friction against some of the tire surfaces. The wheels and the tires mounted on them spin unevenly, and the consequences range from the premature need to replace tires to serious safety hazards.
So, having your wheels balanced as needed is essential to protect your safety and the safety of other people on the roadways where you drive and to preserve the expected lifespan of your tires. Some important benefits of proper and timely wheel balancing include:
- Avoids costly damage to your car’s suspension, wheel bearings, and tires
- Helps prevent an auto accident due to loss of control from skidding
- Maintains a comfortable, smooth ride in the vehicle
- Minimizes wear on the tire tread, which reduces the frequency of need for replacement
- Reduces risk of damage to your car’s driveline, or suspension
- Increases your gas mileage
- Improves comfort for you and your passengers while riding in your car
How Do Wheels Get Out of Balance?
Your four tires never really bear precisely the same amount of weight on all corners of your vehicle. The three leading causes of tires that are out of balance include:
- Flaws in manufacturing: Tires are not all produced with identical weights around their entire circumference.
- Exposure to bad roads: Rough road surface conditions can dent or bend wheels, causing a fault in the balance of the tire.
- Routine wear and tear: Normal wear on tires, wheels, shocks, struts, tie rods, ball joints, and related suspension parts wear out over time.
How Do I Know if My Wheels are Out of Balance?
There are multiple faulty wheel balancing symptoms you can identify, some of which you need to check while your car is moving. Or, you can check the tire wear while it’s parked. To determine whether your tires are out of balance, check for these indicators:
- There is vibration in the steering wheel, seats, or floorboards.
- The car pulls to one side, left or right.
- The tires make screeching noise.
- The car rocks or sways while driving.
- Extreme wear is visible on some spots on one or more tires.
How Do I Balance My Wheels?
If you suspect your tires are out of balance, schedule an appointment with your auto service shop for confirmation and wheel balancing as soon as possible. Delaying service costs more due to the inevitable need for premature tire replacement, suspension issues, and potentially other adjustments, repairs, or replacements due to driving on imbalanced tires. Tire balancing involves:
- Removing the wheel weights from the tire rims
- Mounting the wheels on a balancing machine
- Spinning the tires to locate the points of imbalance
- Attaching weights to balance the uneven sides of the wheels
Regularly inspect your tires for spots with uneven wear, especially around the edges of the tread. Take your car for tire balancing as soon as possible if you discover unevenly worn tread, or at least every 10,000 miles, or more frequently if you frequently drive on rough roads.
Wheel Balancing vs. Wheel Alignment
People often confuse tire balancing, also often called wheel balancing, with wheel alignment. Here’s the difference between the two types of services:
- Tire Balancing: This service involves adding weights to locations on the rims on which the tires are mounted, to correct imbalances between the tires.
- Wheel Alignment: This service involves adjusting the wheels to redirect them so that they’re all pointing in the same direction together so that the vehicle operates safely and performs properly.
For Wheel Balancing Service, Call Ace Auto Repair
We provide full-scope replacements and repairs of all vehicle systems for all makes and models of cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. We serve the greater Salt Lake area. After diagnosis, we never proceed with service work without our customer’s consent. Our reliable, friendly, fast-working mechanics are all ASE Certified and maintain continuous training in today’s advanced vehicle technologies. All our work is guaranteed!