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Tyre Balancing – What you need to know!

Wheel weight selection laid out on table.Wheel weights can be clip on or stick on, and come in various sizes.

Tyre Balancing: Everything You Need to Know

Tyre balancing is one of the overlooked services that can make a big difference when it comes to the longevity of your tyres and avoiding premature wear and tear on your vehicle.

Regardless of whether you’re zipping through inner city streets, putting in long miles driving interstate or cruising through windy backroads, having a well balanced and aligned vehicle is key.

Here’s what you need to know about a tyre balancing service at Tyrepower and what the benefits to you are.

What is Tyre Balancing?

Tyre balancing and wheel balancing are terms that can be interchangeably used, and in reality, a balancing service is performed on both a wheel and tyre as a single unit.

Modern tyre balancing is performed on a computer controlled balancing machine. This machine spins the wheel and tyre up to a certain speed and then measures for any vibrations. The technical operating the machine can also visually inspect the wheel for non-concentricity.

After the machine has measured the wheel and stopped, the machine provides a readout on how much weight should be placed on the wheel and where it should be placed for the best results.

When both are evenly balanced, the tyre will rotate without causing undue vibration in the vehicle, offering a smoother ride and increased tyre life.

Why Don't Tyres and Wheels Just Come Balanced from the Factory?

Tyres and wheels are balanced within certain tolerances right from the factory, but when the wheel and tyre are paired together, they require balancing as a single unit. Wheels typically have a slightly heavier spot near the valve stem and tyres can sometimes have a slightly heavy spot where the internal cords and plies overlap.

Occasionally the two heavy spots cancel each other out and it’s possible to have a really nicely balanced wheel and tyre with no extra work, but most of the time a few stick-on weights are needed to bring the wheel and tyre into balance.

As tyres wear through normal use, it’s possible for the tyre to become unbalanced. This is why periodic balancing services are recommended.

A wheel and tyre fitted to a balancing machineA wheel balancing service is quick, inexpensive and can potential reveal a multitude of issues.

What are the Benefits of Accurate Tyre Balancing?

Proper tyre balancing is essential for vehicle performance, tyre lifespan and to avoid suspension wear and tear. Some of the primary benefits include:

  • Avoid premature tyre wear – Unbalanced tyres will tend to wear certain parts of the tyre more than others, reducing the useful lifespan of the tyre.
  • Improved comfort – The faster you drive, the larger the vibrations caused by imbalanced wheels will be noticed. At certain speeds, they may cause the whole vehicle to shake.
  • Avoid suspension damage – Over time, unbalanced tyres and wheels can cause excessive wear and tear to suspension components such a shock absorbers.

What Are the Signs I Need My Tyres Balanced?

There are several signs that your tyres may need to be balanced. The most common symptom is a vibration while driving that comes and goes at certain speeds. There are several other issues that can cause the same symptom though:

  • Uneven tyre wear can be caused by a poor wheel and tyre balance when it is left unchecked. Unbalanced tyres and wheels oscillate while driving, causing parts of the tyre to wear faster than others.
  • Vibrations that are felt while driving can often relate to rotating and moving parts of the vehicle and the issue is typically brake, tyre or wheel related. A tyre rotation and balance service is the fastest and easiest way to diagnose such an issue.
  • Noisy tyres aren’t always a symptom of a tyre imbalance, but if you can hear the type making a flapping/pulsing sound it’s a sure sign that your tyre needs attention.

When Should I Have My Tyres Balanced?

Tyre balancing services should be considered part of your routine maintenance schedule. Generally, we recommend having a tyre balance performed:

  • If you ever notice any of the above signs listed above.
  • Whenever having new tyres fitted.
  • Whenever you’ve have to have a tyre repaired, due to a puncture or similar.
  • Every 5-10,000kms as a preventative measure.
  • If you ever hit a curb or pothole.

Book in a tyre balance today!

Your local Tyrepower store are experts when it comes to tyres, wheels and suspension. Whether you’re after a free tyre health check, a puncture repair, wheel alignment or tyre balance, we’re here to help.

Booking your vehicle in at your local Tyrepower gives you the peace of mind that your vehicle is being looked after by Australia's largest independent tyre retailer network.

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