Wheel Balancing – The Basics…

When tyres are replaced, one of the processes that they should be put through is balancing. To balance tyres, you need a wheel-balancing machine. After a new tyre is put on the wheel, it is moved from the regular tyre machine to the balancer. This assesses the wheel and tyre for any imbalances that could cause wheel vibration once the wheel is put refitted to the vehicle the car.

Static Balancer – The static balancer is the oldest type of wheel-balancing machine. Most shops rely on more modern equipment to balance wheels, but a few shops with mechanics that learned their craft years ago still use them. A wheel is placed on a cone that tips in the direction where the wheel is too heavy. An air bubble in a sight, similar to the bubble in a carpenter’s level, deflects away from the heavy spot. The worker then corrects the balance with wheel weights until the cone is straight and the bubble level. This system of balancing is entirely reliant on the skill of the tyre fitter.

Dynamic Balance Machines – Dynamic balancers spin the wheels while checking the balance. The wheel sits on a machine that spins the tyre and wheel quickly to generate rotation similar to what the wheel experiences on the road. Dynamic balancers use a computer to determine how off-balance the wheel is. The exact measurements of the wheel are taken and input into the machine (either automatically manually). Then, the spinning begins and readings are taken that tell the repair person where to apply wheel weights to fix any imbalances read by the sensors during wheel spin. Once the tyre professional sees how the tyre is out of balance, he needs to correct it. Normally, this is done through the use of wheel weights. These are small weighted clips that snap or stick onto the rim of your wheel. The mechanic adds weights to the off-balance side of the wheel until the balancing machine shows a perfectly balanced tyre. Finally, the wheel is then rechecked to ensure that the weights have been added to the correct location on the wheel. Since these machines use a computer to assess the wheel they offer greater accuracy and eliminate the tyre fitter from deciding the acceptability of the balance of the wheel. In modern machines it is possible to account for the wheel, tyre and wheel to tyre conditions to achieve a perfect balance although for normal road use such levels of accuracy are not normally required.

On-Car Dynamic – Another type of dynamic balancer operates on the wheels while they are still on the car. The machine attaches to the wheel and spins it while taking readings regarding the balance. These machines often spin at higher speeds than off-car balancers. This more closely replicates actual road conditions and sometimes detects balance issues that other types of machines miss.

We have a complete range of wheel balancing equipment which can be browsed on our webpage.

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