After mounting tires on your wheels, balancing your wheels is the next essential step to take. Balancing should be done regularly after every tire rotation. By balancing your wheel, you extend the life span of the tires. Balancing also helps you to save maintenance money in the long run.
When your wheels remain unbalanced, it can cause minor to severe damages such as:
- Static vibration to the vehicle
- Irregular wear on the tread of the tire
- The steering wheel experiences dynamic vibration
- Poor fuel mileage, which makes driving unsafe
Balancing Tires At Home Using a Balancer
Tire imbalance occurs as a result of imbalance dissemination of tire weight around the tire-wheel unit circumference. Static balancing is tern that describes manual balancing. It is not difficult but a bit time-consuming.
Static balancing is suitable for professional road racers and people with the correct knowledge and tools. Some people who don’t like stress would rather prefer to take their car to a shop. Paying to get a wheel balance is the less stressful approach. However, there is still a good number that prefers the manual method of balancing.
Manual balancing requires various tools. They include a flat end screwdriver, a jack, and a lug wrench. The purpose of the lug wrench is to detach the wheel from the tire. There is also the need for a balancer with numerous wheel weights. Follow the steps below if you have a regular static or spin balancer.
- Remove all weights on your wheels before rebalancing
- Detach the wheels from the vehicle
- Wash every part of the wheels and tires and allow them to dry
- Reassemble and place on the balancer and follow the manual
- Use something to mark spots where you will balance your weights
- Place the weights and check the balance again
- Adjust the weight until the tires are aligned
- Fix back the wheels to the vehicle, tighten the nuts and topple the jack
Steps To Take When Balancing Tires At Home Using a Machine
Put On Your Safety Gears
Anything can go wrong at any moment, even for professionals. Before you begin balancing a tire at home, make sure you are on your right and complete safety gears. Put on your safety goggles, your steel toes boots, long thick pants, and gloves.
Ensure The Tires Are In Good Condition
The general safety of a vehicle starts with the condition of the tires. Ensure the tires affixed to the rims are road-worthy, having at least (50%) tread depth and no cracks on the sidewall.
Make Sure You Have No Wheel Weights And Center Caps
If you have your center caps on, make sure you remove them before mounting the wheel onto the machine. Don’t forget to wipe off the old wheel weights from the previous balance. Doing this enables you to get the most accurate results from the balancing machine.
Mount The Wheel
After adhering to all the previous instructions, you can now carefully mount the wheel on the machine. Once you mount the wheel, don’t forget to double-check it. Be sure that the wheel fits correctly.
Measure The Wheel
When you mount the wheel, the machine will want to know the actual size of the rim. You will be required to measure the height and the width of the vehicle rim.
Select Your Vehicle
This option isn’t available for all machines. However, some have a feature that lets you select what kind of vehicle your wheel fits. The purpose is to enable the device to put the appropriate amount of road force while testing.
Enter Correct Tire Pressure According To Vehicle Specifications
Ensure to adhere to this step before closing down the hood. Even though you somehow forget to do it, the machine will remind you by asking you a question.
After measuring your rim and choosing the appropriate type of vehicle, you can now close the hood or press start.
Fix Wheel Weights
The machine will notify you after testing and balancing the road force of the wheel. The balancing machine helps you to figure out how much weight it requires. It will also point out what side of the wheel requires extra mass.
When you finish fixing the wheel weights, you should rebalance the wheel. Doing this will ensure that you apply the proper amount of wheel weight at the appropriate spots of the rim.
When the machine says “Ok” after rebalancing, you are now free to detach the wheel from the balancer and install it back to the vehicle.
Advantages Of Tire Balancing
- Comfortable car ride
- Increases lifespan of tires
- It ensures the wheels are in good shape
- It significantly helps the car suspension
- Prevents accident
Cost Of Tire Balancing
It will cost you between $15-$80 to balance the four wheels of your vehicle. Location, tires, warranty, and supplementary procedures all matter when it comes to pricing. The average price you can bargain for is between $12-$14 ($48-$56) at a dealership and $10-$13 at a tire shop.
Some stores usually offer free services ranging from mounting, balancing, rotating, etc., when you purchase tires from them. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence’s database exists at all the certified tire shops you can patronize if you can’t balance your tire yourself when it goes out of balance.
Safety should come first for every car owner. It is the only way to ensure the safety of its occupants as well as other road users. Tire imbalance is as common as every other problem that comes with owning a vehicle. The earlier an imbalance is noticed and fixed, the fewer problems it generates. It is advisable to visit a mechanic when they encounter an imbalance. However, an imbalance is something you can adequately fix on your own as long as you have the right tools and equipment.
Kamran, A. (October 23, 2020). How to balance tires yourself. https://bellengineering.net/tires/how-to-balance-tires-yourself/.
WikiHow. (2019, March 28). https://www.wikihow.com/. Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Balance-Your-Tires#/Image:Balance-Your-Tires-Step-9-Version-2.jpg