Wheel balancing: what is it for and how it is performed

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Many car owners underestimate car maintenance procedure as wheel balancing. But any experienced mechanic will tell you that correct work and working life span of suspender depends on it. It is easy to comprehend that regular and correct performing of this procedure increases safety of traffic. It is necessary to do wheel balancing quite often, especially if there were other procedures performed for wheels of your car (f. e. alloy wheel replacement, tire changing). Well, it’s not really a problem, because it can be done on any vehicle service station.

1. How the wheel balancing is performed
2. Frequency of balancing
3. Reasons for balancing and first warnings of wheel unbalance.
Wheel balancing: what is it for and how it is performed

1. How the wheel balancing is performed

The main purpose of wheel balancing is providing of even wheel weight distribution about its rotation axis. Due to this the wheel will give minimum fluctuation while in motion, because the center line of mass will not deflect from pivot.

Doing a wheel balancing it is very important that the wheels were diversely counterbalanced. Otherwise the wheels might vibrate on the move, they’ll wear out faster and also the suspender will wear out in general. The result of incorrect balancing can be:

1. Ruination of bearings in spider. If it happens right on the move, then there is a high chance that the wheel can fly off in motion. It is clear that such accident can end badly.

2. Aggravation of grip of the wheels, because due to vibrations the contact spot becomes unstable. In its turn, unstable grip of wheels causes problems with driving. If there is a need to stop short, the breaking path increases twice. That means that driving such vehicle is dangerous.

3. Tire wears out. This means that it loses fast its basic technical characteristics necessary for car tilt stabilization.

4. The vibration passes from wheels to steerage, which causes increased fatigability of driver during driving.

Balancing stand is required for wheel balancing. Securing cone, due to which the wheels straighten automatically, is the base of this device.

While installation of wheel balancing the wheel on it is rotated with maximum intensity, during this process mechanic shifts special flyweights made of lead (they located on alloy wheel). Position of the wheel in the moment it stops is random and not always correct. This is a coarse balancing.

Wheel balancing: what is it for and how it is performed

To perform a fine wheel balancing, electronic balancing stand is used. All wheel initial parameters are inserted in this stand. After that the unit specifies place of installation and weight of leaded flyweights. Different balancing flyweights can be used. Experts prefer clip-on ones, which are convenient to use in winter. This is because such flyweights will hold on the wheel even while alloy wheel extension.

Now let’s find out why the wheel balancing cannot be performed at home. First, you don’t have a balancing stand. Even if you do, you must set it up correctly to do the balancing right. Skills of mechanic, who performs balancing, are also very important. The mechanic defines if equipment is prepared for this task and if it is adjusted correctly so far. Otherwise, the result of wheel balancing will be unsatisfactory.

Wheel balancing: what is it for and how it is performed

Following nuances must be taken into account while balancing:

1. Clean your wheels before balancing procedure.

2. Remove old balancing flywheels.

3. After you fixed the wheel on a stand, you must meter its tire play radially and sideward to compare obtained result to initial.

4. If you changed tires before balancing, then you should use special solution or oil lubricant. Without it the tire will be installed irregularly. That will cause a full wheel unbalance. If you cannot balance the wheels of your car correctly, then you should check if your tires were installed correctly. You can do this by just knocking on wheel rim or by increasing a tire pressure. In last case incorrect tire installation can be seen with a naked eye.

5. If you want maximum fine wheel balancing, then select those service stations, which offer the so-called “3D tire fitting”. Due to laser device, all necessary parameters will be adjusted with maximum accuracy. The advantage of such device is that wheel balancing can be performed with due account for all their defects.

Wheel balancing: what is it for and how it is performed

2. Frequency of balancing

It is not possible to determine the exact time of last wheel balancing procedure. This fact depends on exploitation conditions and manipulations that were done to the wheels. Frequent visits to car wash can also have an impact on necessity of this procedure, because under high pressure old flyweights can drop off. In this case wheel balancing is required.

Another reason that makes wheel balancing necessary is habit of driver to jump-start and turn on high speed. As a result, the tires wear out unequally and the balancing angles. If you overcome potholes or road humps on high speed, you’ll deform even alloy wheel. That will make you do that balancing and alloy wheel replacement. The most typical situations, when you can’t do without balancing are following:

1. Season tire and wheel changing.

2. If you flew into pothole on the car, hit a border, overcame a road hump on high speed.

3. Every 15 000 of operational kilometers, on which insist the vehicle manufacturers. But, as a rule, with season tire changing this operation must be performed even more often.

4. Before starting on a journey, when you’ll have to overcome more, than 2 000km. On return, another wheel balancing won’t hurt.

The more often you use your car, the more aggressive your driving style is, the more often you’ll have to do the wheel balancing for your car. You shouldn’t forget that your life and lives of your passengers depend on correct wheel balance.

3. Reasons for balancing and first warnings of wheel unbalance.

We have already mentioned about when the wheel balancing must be performed in the last section. But now we must make an accent on external features of wheel unbalance:

Wheel balancing: what is it for and how it is performed

1. You feel the beat of your car driving wheel. This might be the evidence of front wheels unbalance. Though it does not exclude the backward suspender throw failure. But if the driving wheel beat is intensive then you might also need to replace a car hub bearing. You shouldn’t delay with solving this problem, because the vibrations can cause car cooling system depressurizing.

2. The vehicle rear bodywork is carried to and fro. Except wheel unbalance this problem can also be caused by suspender breakdown. In particular, this might be wearing out or cracks of piles or bulk bushing. In any case the wheel balancing is necessary.

To avoid unpleasant situations with your car and not to endanger your life, you shouldn’t neglect wheel balancing. You can increase the periodicity of this procedure only in case if you drive very carefully without overspeeding and avoiding road bumps.

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