Tyre Balancing and tyre alignment are two different things, but many people often get confused. Tyre alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the tyre so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The reason of doing this adjustments is prolong tire life and a vehicle that tracks straight and true when driving along a straight and level road. Tyre balancing is to allows the tires and wheels to spin without causing any vibrations. This is finished by inspecting for any heavy spots on the wheel-tire combination and remunerate it by placing a measured lead weight on the opposite site of the wheel from where the heavy spot is.
The sign of a tyre that is out of balance are:
- Vibration in the steering wheel at certain expressway speeds.
- Vibration in the seat or floorboard at certain speed
- Scalloped or cupped wear pattern on the tyre
Car tyre out of balance will cause a car to vibrate at certain speeds, usually between 50 and 70 mph. A tyre is out of balance when one section of the tire is heavier than the others. One ounce of imbalance on a front tyre is enough to cause a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel at about 60 mph. To balance a wheel, the technician will mount it on a balancing machine which spins the wheel to locate the heavier part. He will then remunerate for the heavy part by attaching a lead weight on the opposite side. Many people are relatively surprised at how smooth their car drives after balancing all four wheels.
Most good quality tires will withstand their balance fairly well and go out of balance very gradually. If you notice a vibration that was not there the day before, it is possible that one of the lead balancing weights fell off. If you feel the vibration mostly in the steering wheel, the problem is most likely in a front wheel. If the vibration is mostly in the seat, the problem is probably in the rear.
For those of you who are very sensitive about vibrations and your shop could not seem to get that last bit of vibration out, inspect to see whether you have locking wheel lugs. Some locking lugs are as much as 1.5 ounces heavier than the other lug nuts which translates to about half ounce at the wheel rim. Try putting a 1/2 ounce weight opposite the locking lug and see whether if it helps.
For every (5,000 km – 10,000 km) or you experiencing steering-wheel vibration, Seat or floorboard vibration at expressway speeds. your tyre may need balancing.