Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly
balanced wheel is a beautiful, perfectly tuned wheel-tire
is accomplished by placing measured lead weights on the opposite
side of the "heavy spot"—the noticeable tread wear on your
Every time a wheel is first mounted onto the rim
with a new tire, it has to be balanced. The goal is to make sure the
weight is even around the wheel.
Wheel balance is checked on a wheel balancing machine that can sense
as little as 1/4 ounce difference in weight around the wheel. Why
worry about 1/4 ounce on a wheel that weighs many pounds? That tiny
amount of weight is traveling very fast around the axle: hundreds of
times a minute. It creates enough momentum to cause serious
vibration. And when you multiply by 4 wheels, the wobble really adds
up. Unbalanced tires put uneven pressure on the treads. Tires get
too hot and wear unevenly. Tire imbalance can also strain the wheel
bearings and suspension system.
balance the tires, our technicians places tiny offsetting weights at
specific points around the wheel.
Not "once and done"
The minute you pull away from the service station with your newly
balanced tires, they begin getting out of balance again. Every bump
and corner affects balance; so does tire wear. Over time, your tires
get out of balance again. That's why it's important to have tires
What are the warning signs that my tires aren't balanced?
You're most likely to notice uneven wear on the tires. Many drivers
also notice vibration over 40 mph, especially if the imbalanced
tires are on the front.
How often should my tires be balanced?
During typical use, it's a good idea to have your tires rotated and
balanced every 4,000 to 6,000 miles. Have them balanced any time a
tire is replaced or patched.
Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly balanced
wheel is a beautiful, perfectly tuned wheel-tire combination. This is
accomplished by placing measured lead weights on the opposite side of the
"heavy spot"—the noticeable tread wear on your unbalanced tire.
How do I know if I need my wheels
Is your vehicle vibrating at certain
speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheel is out
of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because
it's endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Most
people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and
inexpensive procedure makes.
Look for these signs, and if you find
either one, come see us:
● Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
Vibration in steering
wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.
How do I know when I should get my tires rotated and balanced?
Willoughby Hills Auto Repair Answer:
The interval for tire rotation could depend on a recommendation from
either the tire manufacturer or the auto manufacturer. The interval
is typically around 5,000 miles but could range from 3,000 to 8,000
miles. The background question for Willoughby Hills car owners is
why do tires need to be rotated?
Front tires wear differently than the rear tires because steering
wears the shoulders faster up front. Rotating the position of the
tires allows for more even wear among all the tires. Now the
suspension set-up on certain vehicles may also affect the relative
wear between the front and rear. There are several rotation patterns
– your caring Willoughby Hills Auto Repair service advisor will see
that you get the correct pattern for your particular vehicle.
Wheels and tires are not perfectly balanced due to slight variations
in the manufacturing process and the placement of tire pressure
monitoring sensors. So weights are strategically placed on the wheel
to ensure that the tire spins true. When a wheel is out of balance
it is essentially bouncing thousands of extra times every mile. Now
this can result in an uncomfortable vibration for Willoughby Hills
auto owners in the steering wheel or through the seat. An unbalanced
tire will also wear quicker and it is dangerous for your shocks and
Willoughby Hills motorists should have their wheels balanced if they
detect a vibration or uneven wear. A wheel balance check every year
is a good idea. Because tires cost so much in the Willoughby area,
it’s a great idea to do everything you can to make them last as long
as possible. Proper tire inflation, regulartire
rotation and wheel balancingare
critical keys to long tire life. The team at Willoughby Hills Auto
Repair in Willoughby Hills can check your tires for signs of uneven
wear and diagnose and correct the problem.
As part of the effort to increase awareness
of the need to maintainproper
tire pressure, the U.S. government
has taken steps to make it easier for drivers to be aware of
potentially unsafe low pressure in their tires. As of the
2008 model year, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) now requires that all passenger cars
and light trucks feature the Tire Pressure Monitoring System
(TPMS). In conjunction with the new requirements, the
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) has initiated a
consumer safety campaign focusing on the importance of
maintaining proper tire pressure.
We service Tire Pressure
Monitoring Systems (TPMS)
TPMS is an automated system that monitors the air pressure
in a vehicle's tires. When air pressure in one or more tires
drops 25 percent or more below the correct pressure, a
warning indicator alerts the driver. TPMS typically delivers
these alerts to the driver through one of two types of
warning lights on the dashboard.
1. The first uses the official TPMS symbol, which is a
cross-section of a tire with an exclamation mark in the
The second is a top-view graphic image of a car that
indicates which tires are low.
Tire pressure is monitored through one of two
methods: direct or indirect. Direct TPMS monitors the actual
air pressure inside each tire via a sensor mounted within
the tire. Indirect TPMS measures tire pressure by monitoring
the speed and rotation of each individual wheel. When a
significant variation in speed and rotation is detected in
one or more wheels when compared with the others, it is
often an indication of underinflation. This information is
then transmitted to the vehicle's on-board computer, and the
driver is alerted.
However, while TPMS systems offer increased
safety to drivers through low pressure warnings, they are
not meant to be a substitute for proper tire pressure
We service Tire Pressure
Monitoring Systems (TPMS)
Sources: NHTSA, AAM, Intelligent Tire
Willoughby Hills Auto
Repair is a Car and Light Truck repair shop providing automobile
service for foreign & domestic cars