Tire Mount and Balance


What you need to know about wheel balance and vibration control!

If gone unchecked, excessive wheel vibration can result in:

  • Excessive tire wear
  • Damage to suspension and steering parts
  • Unsafe steering and handling

Q: What Causes excessive wheel vibration?

A: At 60 MPH an average size tire rotates 850 times per minute. At this speed slight variations in balance, sidewall stiffness or roundness can cause the wheel to literally slam into the pavement 14 times per second.

Static VS. Dynamic Balancing:

Static balancing uses a single weight plane and only addresses “up and down” imbalance. This is simply not adequate for today’s vibration sensitive vehicles. Dynamic balancing uses two weight planes.

This eliminates “up and down” and “side to side” imbalance. Even a perfectly balanced tire can still vibrate due to force variation. Force variation is most frequently due to wheel runout, uneven tread, or sidewall stiffness in the tire.

Runout is when a tire or rim is out of round when rolling; frequent causes are bent rim or uneven tire wear. Uneven tread or sidewall stiffness can be found in new or worn tires.

Tires by design are never uniformly flexible throughout nor are they perfectly round. And no two tires are exactly alike in these characteristics.

With our Road Force Tire Balancer from Hunter Engineering company, we can balance virtually any tire on the road today. Which means we can eliminate any shaking, shimmying, or vibration in your car through this dynamic balance.

How Excessive Road Force Variation is Corrected:

  • Aligning the high point or stiff spot in the tire with the lowest point in the rim can make the wheel “round when rolling.” This procedure is called “Forcematching” and solves most vibration problems.
  • Tires or rims with extreme run out or road force variation often cannot be matched and must be replaced to solve vibration problems.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Wheel Balance and Force Variation?

A: An unbalanced wheel causes vibration when spinning because of a heavy spot on the wheel. Force Variation causes vibration because of uneven stiffness in the tire sidewall or tread, or because the wheel is out of round when rolling. Imbalance and Force Variation can affect one another. An imbalance is measured by spinning the tire. Force variation is measured by placing it under load to simulate actual road force. This can only be done using a computer simulated road test.

Q: How often should I have my wheels checked for excessive vibration?

A: Whenever you notice excessive vibration you should have a technician inspect for the cause of this. We recommend that you have your tires checked every 10,000 miles, or at least once a year!

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