But how long does wheel balancing take? This is a common question among new drivers and new vehicle owners. This article is dedicated to answering this question as well as shedding light on what tire balancing entails.
Generally, wheel balancing can take 40 minutes to 2 hours depending on several factors. These factors may include the condition of the tires, your driving habits and the weather conditions your vehicle travels in. Balancing new tires, for example, may take a shorter time than balancing wheels that have hit a pothole. Other checks and the waiting period may also add up to the time spent at an auto repair shop.
Proper car maintenance ensures safe and comfortable driving. This is also vital in maintaining the durability of your vehicle as well as reduced replacement costs.
Vehicles that are driven for longer periods will often require expensive repairs and parts that could be averted through simple maintenance procedures. One of these procedures is wheel balancing.
Wheel balancing, also known as tire balancing is carried out to ensure that your vehicle tires spin smoothly when traveling at high speeds. This ensures comfort and stability as you drive.
Indicators that your wheels are out of balance
There are several symptoms that will prompt you that your wheels are out of balance. These include:
Excessive vibrations in the steering wheel. This is the easiest way to diagnose wheels that are out of balance. Driving at high speeds in a vehicle that’s out of balance will create these vibrations in the steering wheel. This is also highly associated with front wheels being out of balance.
Uneven, cupped or scalloped wear patterns. Tires that are balanced will wear out evenly. Cupped wear patterns on tires is a great indicator you should visit the auto shop.
Vibrations in the seats and floorboard of your car. This indicates the severity of this problem. Driving a car with vibrations in the seats and on the floorboard may be considered unsafe. This is especially critical when driving at high speeds.
What does wheel balancing entail?
Wheel balancing equalizes the weight of a wheel ensuring that it spins evenly and smoothly. In most cases, tires are unevenly weighed thus a slight imbalance. This also includes new tires.
Below is what’s done during car wheel balancing. Wheels to be balanced are removed from your car by a wheel balancing technician. New tires are mounted on rims and inflated to an optimal pressure.
The wheels are then mounted on a wheel balancing machine and fastened safely to the machine. One wheel is mounted on the machine at a time. The machine spins the wheel at high speeds matching ideal driving speeds. Vibration measurements are taken and recorded by the machine. This data informs the technician on the weigh to be added to the wheel and the specific place to attach it.
Weights in the wheel may then be adjusted or the tire moved to try and line up the imbalanced wheel. New weights, specifically lead may also be attached to the rim thus balancing it.
This procedure is followed until all tires are balanced.
Wheel balancing is, therefore, an important vehicle maintenance procedure. Not only will it guarantee smooth rides, but it will also prevent uneven tire wear and tear. It will also negate damage to various vehicle steering components. Be sure to keep your wheels balanced for an enjoyable ride.