Tires And Wheels – What You Need To Know

Mounting and Balancing Tires: The Basics

Tire balancing ensures that the distribution of mass within the tire is even, extending the life of the tire and the safety of the ride. It’s necessary to balance tires before they’re installed on a vehicle, and as tires accumulate more miles, they can lose balance, so they may need to be checked again.

Properly balancing and mounting the tire ensures that the mass of the tire will be equally distributed around the axle when the wheel is properly attached to the vehicle.

What Happens When Wheels are Not Balanced?

You might notice the symptoms of unbalanced wheels when driving. Is the steering wheel vibrating at certain speeds? What about the floorboard? If you look at your tires, they may show uneven wear due to tire imbalance. From outside the vehicle, it may look like the wheels are wobbling when driving – and you may be able to feel it inside.

Usually, the faster you drive, the more you’ll be able to feel these symptoms. Lighter-weight modern vehicles combined with modern tire technology and newer suspension systems are more likely to show signs of imbalance than older vehicles, so you’re likely to feel even slight imbalances.

Remember that both brand new tires and tires that have driven many miles can show signs of imbalance.

What is an Imbalanced Tire?

There are two ways that a tire can be unbalanced: a static imbalance or a dynamic imbalance.

– A static imbalance is when there is one spot on the tire that it heavy or light, and it causes the tire to bounce. You’ll feel it as a small hop every time the tire rotates.

– A dynamic imbalance is when there is a heavy or light spot on one or both sides of the tire or wheel. You’ll feel this as a wobble as the tire spins.

Mounting and Balancing Your Tires

When your tires are installed, you should find out how many miles you can drive before having the balance checked again. Bumps, potholes, uneven roads, and more can lead to wear on your tires, affect your vehicle’s alignment, and throw off the balance.

There are several ways to balance tires, but proper balancing requires professional equipment and exact measurements. During the balancing process, the technician will test both moving and nonmoving tire balanced. To fix unbalanced tires, weights can be added to balance out the tires.

If you have concerns about your vehicle’s tire balance, ask Rands Automotive Center to check your tires today. Driving on unbalanced tires can lead to uneven tire wear, and shortens the life of your tires.