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Wheel Balancing

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Owning a car comes with some responsibilities. It is crucial to ensure everything is in good condition to ensure smooth operation at all times. The car should be taken to a service center when it’s due for maintenance or when noticeable signs are observed. Wheels and tires should also be observed closely, it can be risky to drive over flat tires so care should be taken to look out for unbalanced, flat or deflated tires.

Improper wheel balancing creates an agonizing driving experience caused by the vibration of the vehicle and/or steering wheel. When wheels are not properly balanced, it can create more complications and can induce tires to wear out faster than they should. This leads to spending money needlessly on repairs that could have been prevented with a proper wheel balancing.

Typically, the first symptom of an unbalanced wheel is a rickety steering wheel. When above 50 mph on a dual carriageway, if the steering wheel acts rickety, then the balancing isn’t done right. The unstable action of the steering wheel often acts a pointer that the front wheels are not properly balanced. If vibrations are experienced at the back of the car, it typically suggests improper wheel balancing at the rear.

Although vibrations can be alleviated by a vehicle’s weight, wheel balancing checks should be done on a routine basis by an expert, who can help detect any problem,

When wheels are not properly balanced, they can cause damage to:

  • Suspension
  • Tires
  • Steering components
  • Rotating parts

The advantages of a well-balanced wheel include:

  • Better handling
  • Safer driving experience
  • A comfortable and smooth ride
  • Prolonged lifespan on the vehicle’s tires
  • Lesser vibrations
  • Better fuel-efficiency

Wheel balancing is performed by a special machine that spins both the tire and wheel to calibrate the right balance.

During a mechanized wheel balancing operation, the machine operator looks out for proper alignment. If one end is weightier than the other, then the operator will have to make adjustments by applying a counter-weight on the other end. When a tire is not properly balanced, it rotates in a disproportional manner causing disturbing vibrations that will only intensify with time. This can knock out the car’s suspension and cause greater damage.

Occasionally, the problem occurs with the wheel’s alignment and not the wheel balance in itself. This can be the aftermath of hitting curbs, driving over potholes and/or speed bumps and reckless driving. If driving aggressively causes a problem in the wheel’s alignment, it can be easily adjusted at a service center by simply returning the wheel to its default settings. When wheels are not properly balanced, they can reduce a vehicle’s performance, maintenance and lifespan of its tires, so routine wheel alignment, and balancing are crucial so needless expense on additional fuel consumption, repairs and replacements can be averted.

By checking the tread wear of the vehicle’s tires can provide vital information. Hollow or scalloped wear lines suggests problems with the car’s wheel balance, however odd wear lines (this is typified when one tire wears faster than the others) can mean improper alignment.

It after a personal check and a second confirmation is needed; a tire specialist can take a look to provide expert analysis. If replacement or re-alignment is necessary, the tire specialist will advise on what needs to be done.

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