If the wheels are changed, it may be necessary to have them balanced. Because an imbalance not only leads to one-sided wear of the profile, it can also damage the vehicle and impair driving comfort. In the following article you will find out how you can recognize that balancing is necessary.
An imbalance occurs when the mass of a rotating body is not distributed symmetrically to the axis of rotation. When it comes to car wheels, the tires are the decisive factor. They drive off unevenly, which creates an imbalance. Regular balancing counteracts this effect.
How does balancing work?
The stationary method is usually used to balance car wheels. The wheels are clamped in a special balancing machine and set in rotation. Sensors then determine whether there is an imbalance. If this is the case, small weights are attached to the rim, which compensate for the inequalities in the mass distribution of the tire.
Mount and balance tires
The second method of balancing is electronic fine balancing. The rotation of the wheel is checked while it is mounted on the vehicle. In this way, it can be ruled out that small irregularities in attachments such as the brake drum or the wheel hub cause an imbalance.
The weights can be attached to the inside or outside of the rim and are either clamped or glued. Fastening on the outside is often necessary if, due to the small distance to the brake system, there is a risk that weights attached inside would rub against the brake disk cover while driving.
How often do I have to have my tires balanced?
Opinions differ on the frequency of balancing. Many vehicle owners have their wheels balanced every six months, while others only use this service when fitting new tires. A set of inexpensive tires can be found online, ordered and delivered to a fitting partner nearby. Because if you have new tires fitted directly in the workshop, you often get balancing as a free service.
It should be noted that an imbalance can lead to uneven wear of the tires and damage components on the steering and chassis (e.g. the axle bearings). It also affects driving comfort.
You should have your vehicle checked at the latest when you notice inconsistencies while driving. Typical features are the following:
- The steering wheel “flutters” or vibrates at certain speeds.
- The vehicle makes unusual noises or vibrations when driving (often between 80 km / h and 100 km / h).
Correct storage of unused bikes is important. In addition, every time you change a wheel, you should check that all the balancing weights are still in place. If one is missing (it has fallen off while driving), a new balancing is inevitable.
Those who have their tires balanced regularly avoid the occurrence of harmful centrifugal forces. In this way, on the one hand, the service life of the tires can be increased, and on the other, costly damage to wheel bearings and suspension can be prevented.