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Search My Automotive Directory to Find Car Dealers, Used Auto Parts & Salvage Yards in Canada - USA  - Article Details

Getting New Tires and Tire Balancing

Date Added: December 13, 2010 07:48:53 PM
Author: admin
Category: Worldwide Auto Services

During my years at the service counter costumers who purchased tires often asked me, “Do I have to have them balanced?” followed by, “Does it need an alignment too?”

I understand why consumers ask these questions. Tire balancing coupled with wheel alignment can be expensive. So let’s look at why balancing new tires and performing a wheel alignment are necessary.

Tire balancing

Despite advanced tire manufacturing processes and advanced rubber compounds used today, some weight imbalance can still be evident in new tires. Therefore they should be balanced with wheel weights to achieve smooth rolling of the tire. An imbalanced tire expresses itself as a wheel shimmy (rocking back and forth of the steering wheel while driving, usually at a specific speed).

To balance a tire, it must first be mounted in the proper rim and then inflated to the proper air pressure and a new valve stem installed. Next, the complete tire/wheel assembly is affixed to a machine that is designed to spin the tire and identify the location and severity of the imbalance. The tech must then affix the proper weight to the rim in the location designated by the machine. Finally, the wheel is spun again to ensure that the tire is properly balanced. A tire is balanced based on the mass of rubber present at the time of its first balance. As the tire rolls down the road, rubber wears off, causing the tire to become imbalanced again. For this reason, when tires are rotated on the vehicle every 5-6,000 miles or 6 months, they should be checked and rebalanced if necessary.

written by: Tom Torbjornsen


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