Balancing Your Car Wheels

A car that has out-of-balance wheels will vibrate extensively at higher speeds, making the symptoms clear.  Nonetheless, many drivers don't realize that having balanced wheels is so important.  All that it takes is for a single ounce of imbalance in the front or rear wheels, and you can feel the vibration in your car's steering wheel or in your car seats, respectively.  This can lead to problems in your vehicle's tires and drive train. 

Most wheels in high quality cars will hold a proper balance for many miles.  But in the event that you discover that your wheels have become imbalanced, you can take it to a mechanic or a technician who will mount your vehicle onto a balancing machine that will spin the wheels on the car.  This will allow the source of the wheel's imbalance to be located. 

At that point, the mechanic or technician can attach a lead weight to the opposite side in order to balance all four wheels.  You'll notice a huge difference when you drive your car with balanced wheels versus when the wheels weren't balanced.  In fact, your car will drive much more smoothly at higher speeds of fifty to seventy miles per hour. 

  • As a general rule of thumb, you'll want to have your wheels balanced between every three to six thousand miles at a certified technician. 

The primary benefit of balancing your wheels isn't just so that you can enjoy a smoother ride.  Your vehicle's performance will be increased greatly to.  Balanced wheels will greatly aid in good tire tread wear, meaning that they will last you a longer time.  In addition, the drive train components of your vehicle will be increased as well.  You'll notice this consistently as you'll feel less vibration in the floorboard and other parts of the car. 

Something else that you should be aware about is that getting your wheels balanced will only fix the balancing problem.  If your car is vibrating for any other reasons, such as bad wear on the tires, an alignment issue or a bent wheel, you'll still likely feel the vibrations even after getting the wheels to your vehicle balanced. 

This is because wheel balancing doesn't fix problems that are physical; rather, they fix problems that exist in the weight differences between the sets of wheels.  You'll want to ask the technician, such as someone from Henry's Tire, if there are any other issues in your car that could possibly be causing the vibrating.