Wheel balancing woes - AlanGowdy
My experience over many years and with various outlets and makes of tyre, is that when buying new tyres the fitting supplier is rarely able to balance them properly. There is always an annoying vibration through the steering at some speed or other. If you ask for them to be re-balanced it just shifts the problem to another road-speed. Is this typical?
When you buy a brand new car the wheels are always in proper dynamic balance, whether at 20 or 120 mph - so why does sticking the correct weights in the correct position on the wheel appear to be rocket science to so many after-market tyre suppliers?
Wheel balancing woes - steveb
An important point here is when after the new tyre is fitted not to accelerate/brake too quickly for a few miles afterwards. This is to allow the gunk they use to seal the rubber to the rim to dry/set appropriately. Otherwise, the tyre can rotate around the rim - and then be out of balance again.

Many tyre fitters will re-balance a new tyre FOC a couple of days/week or so later if this has occured.

Wheel balancing woes - AlanGowdy
Interesting point. I do try to 'run-in' new tyres for about 100 miles, so I suspect this doesn't really apply. I do a lot of motorway driving and even a slight vibration can soon become very tiresome. If anyone can recommend a good tyre company in the Sussex area who can reliably balance the tyres they fit I'd be grateful.
Wheel balancing woes - steveb
Another alternative is to get the wheels balanced whilst on the car - I had this done with both fronts a couple of years ago - and although initially suspicious - the equipment looked very Heath Robinson - they were the best balanced I've ever had - absolutely no vibration. Like you this really drives me mad !

Wheel balancing woes - AlanGowdy
Aha - in that case it's probably wear in the car's suspension components that contributes to the problem. Balancing on the car no doubt takes this into account. Cheers, Steve.
Wheel balancing woes - Jamesharry
I had a very annoying situation lately and my local tyre place carried out a "Precision balance" and it seems to have done the trick.

This isn't to be mistaken with normal balancing - I have had that done and it didn't work - they do extra things like add counter balance weights (I think!). They do spend alot longer on the job than normal, and the weights were appied with an arm which measures the exact place to stick on. But must ask for PRECISION. There is a difference. Not all places do it.

Also - try swopping the front wheels to the back and vice-versa. This was carried out at the same time as the above - so it could have been either thing now I think about it! - but one of them did it! One of my tyres was slightly "out of round" which would cause a problem through the steering. Currently trying to replace all 4 tyres with the manufacturer.

Last possibility is the tyre doesn't suit the car. My car has come out of the factory with different-to-what-they-would-normally-fit tyres and not sure if that is the problem either!

So - give all three a try. Now I've read this back to myself, I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about or what has helped, but you might gleen something from this!

In the meantime I'm going to have another look at my tyres.....
Wheel balancing woes - Ian (Cape Town)
When you buy a brand new car the wheels are always
in proper dynamic balance ...

In a way, this is hitting the nail right on the head.
Remember, like any manufactured article, you get good and bad ones...
A friend 'in the trade' tells me that the auto manufacturers get the BEST tyres from the manufacturers, all the 'not good enoughs' get flogged on to the tyre fitters!
Wheel balancing woes - mark999
My Merc V-Class had terrible steering vibration from new. No
amount of wheelbalancing on or off car would fix it.
It turned out that the 2 front wheels were out of shape.
Wheel balancing woes - AlanGowdy
Thanks all. I avoid Continentals too. On two separate cars that I've owned, these tyres have gone 'oval' or should I say elliptical? It's only a slight distortion but enough to generate a soft drumming sound. At first I thought a wheel bearing was on the way out.
Wheel balancing woes - Railroad
There are two ways that a wheel can be out of balance. Side to side (lateral), or up and down (dynamic).

An off the car balancer will correct lateral disrtortion by in effect splitting the wheel down the middle. A weight is applied to both sides of the wheel to correct if necessary.

An on the car machine or finish balancer corrects dynamic distortion. With a pickup placed under the suspension close to the wheel the wheel is spun in the normal direction of rotation, and if there is a heavy spot it will act on the pickup and a strobe lamp will flash. Under the strobe lamp the spinning wheel will appear stationary. A gauge shows how heavy a weight is needed. The position of the valve under the strobe lamp is noted. The wheel stopped and rotated by hand until the valve is in the same position it appeared under the strobe lamp.

A weight is placed at 12oclock and then spun again. If the weight appears before 12oclock the weight is either too far that way or too heavy. If after 12oclock it is too far that way or too light. The procedure is repeated until either the strobe lamp doesn't flash or the gauge reads zero or near to it. Weights are applied to the front of the wheel only.

This method will also balance the driveshaft, brake disc and hub.

So have the wheel balanced off the car first, then without disturbing any weights have them finished balanced.


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