What is Wheel Balancing?
The concept of wheel balancing can be a bit of a tricky one, not least because you would think the term interchangeable with wheel alignment. Unfortunately, however, despite sounding similar, these two terms denote two very different things. Where balancing is concerned with the distribution of weight around the wheel, alignment addresses the positioning of the wheels in relation to the road and each other.
So, to help make this all a little clearer, the Munster Tyres team will give a thorough breakdown of wheel balancing and why it’s important.
What is wheel balancing?
As previously stated, wheel balancing looks to make the distribution of weight around the wheel as even as possible which, in turn, will ensure that the tyre rotates evenly too. In order to achieve this, mechanics will add small balancing weights around the rim of the wheel which act as counterweights. Doing this ultimately helps iron out inconsistencies in the weight distribution, and allows the tyres to rotate smoothly.
The effects of unbalanced wheels
Here are some of the key problems associated with unbalanced wheels:
- Vibrations: although this may not seem like a particularly big problem, the vibrations caused by unbalanced wheels can have a very noticeable negative impact on the handling of the vehicle, and on the ride comfort too.
- Strain: when your wheels are unbalanced this can cause a great deal of strain on the wheel bearings and suspension. With the inconsistencies in weight distribution, it’s much harder for your suspension to negotiate bumps in the road.
- Damage: unbalanced wheels may not seem like too much of a problem in the short term, but it can have knock on effects. Left for long enough, it could cause damage to your suspension, tyres, steering components and other rotating parts.
The benefits of optimally balanced wheels
If you sort the problem before it escalates, there are plenty of benefits to having your wheels properly balanced. These include:
- Better handling
- Safer driving experience
- More comfortable, smoother ride
- Longer-lasting tyres
- Fewer vibrations
- Better fuel-efficiency
How can I tell if my wheels aren’t properly balanced?
The primary way to work out whether your wheels are unbalanced is to check for vibrations. Firstly, when travelling at upwards of 50 mph, you may notice that your steering wheel starts to vibrate. You may also notice vibrations in your seat, and through the floor mats too.
Sometimes, your problem could in fact be related to your wheel alignment, which can deteriorate due to aggressive driving and can affect your car’s performance and the lifespan of your tyres. This isn’t a problem though; wheel realignment is a simple fix for most reputable garages.
Do you think that your wheels need balancing or realigning? Don’t fret, Munster Tyres can help. With many years of experience and a highly trained team, if you are in need of replacements, repairs, servicing or MOTs, we are sure to be able to provide an effective and efficient solution. For a trustworthy garage in West London, get in touch with our team today.