It’s essential that your wheels are balanced correctly to have a safe & comfortable drive. Out of balance wheels lead to premature tyre wear and a tell-tale vibration through the steering wheel.
If you have a wobble in your steering wheel, particularly at higher speeds then the first thing we’d recommend is to get your wheels re-balanced. Wheels that are correctly balanced should eliminate vibrations and ensure a smoother, safer and more comfortable ride.
What is wheel balancing?
Whenever we fit a tyre, we need to ensure the weight of the wheel rotates evenly and so routinely carry out a wheel balance. You will probably have noticed that “wheel balancing” is included in the price of a fully fitted tyre for this reason.
To balance or re-balance a wheel we use a specialist wheel balancing machine that is designed to rotate the wheel, calculating even the slightest differences in weight across the wheel. This specialist equipment highlights the exact position where a balance weight should be applied by the tyre technician. Tyre fitting retailers like us carry a selection of varying weights to ensure we can select the best combination of weight to achieve the most balanced wheel.
How do I know if my wheels are out of balance?
The most common symptom of a wheel that’s out of balance is a vibration or “wobble” through the steering wheel. This can be caused by other issues however if you have this problem then we’d recommend getting your wheel balancing checked as the first thing to try.
If your wheels are left unbalanced for a period of time then the result may be uneven, often patchy premature tyre wear. Suspension & steering components are also put under undue stress and may suffer from additional wear.
What's the difference between wheel balance & wheel alignment?
It’s easy to get confused between wheel balancing and wheel alignment, after all they sound very similar and both cause premature, even tyre wear.
However, they are very different. Wheel alignment, or tracking as it’s sometimes called, means adjusting the angles of the wheels to vehicle manufacturer specification. On the other hand, wheel balancing helps the wheels to spin evenly, reducing unnecessary vibration.
- Balancing addresses the distribution of weight around the wheel.
- It helps solve issues such as vibration at higher speeds (usually 55mph – 70mph+)
- The tyre wear associated with balancing issues is usually patchy
- Wheel balancing is included in the price of a fully fitted tyre
- Alignment measures & corrects the position of the wheels in relation to the vehicle and to the road.
- It helps solve issues such as a car pulling to one side, a steering wheel that isn’t straight or a tyre that’s wearing more on the edge.
- Wheel alignment is often recommended after new tyres have been fitted to prevent premature tyre wear however adjustments aren’t always necessary and it’s not included in a tyre fitting price.