Wheel & Tire Balance
Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheels are out of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because it's endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come see us:
- Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
- Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.
Correct wheel balance is accomplished by placing the exact amout or additional weight on the opposite side of the "heavy spot". Wheels can be balanced statically or dynamically. Wheels that are statically balanced can still cause vibration because the wheel will want to twist as nature tries to get the center of the mass over the center of the wheel.
But, wheels may be balanced and can still cause vibration. Improper balancing procedures will usually balance the wheel in the "up and down" direction (static balance). However, todays vibration-sensitive vehicles and wide tires require a balance that will correct the tendency of tires to twist side-to-side (dynamic balance). A tire that is side-to-side unbalanced will cause tremendous vibration at interstate speeds. The wider the tire, the worse the problem.
Wheel Balance is NOT the Whole Solution
You can balance an egg-shaped tire but it cannot roll smoothly. Called out-of-round, this condition will cause vibration too. It's very difficult to tell the difference between "out-of-balance" vibration and "out-of-round vibration.
No wheel is perfectly round. No tire is perfectly round. No tire is perfectly springey all the way around. Sometimes, by coincidence, the "high" spot or the "hard" spot of the tire gets placed over the "high" spot of the wheel. If the out-of-rounds add up to be too much, the wheel will vibrate, even after it's been balanced. By performing a Simulated Computer Road Test, we can identify the "high" spot on the wheel and the "high" spot or "hard" spot on the tire. This tells us where to reposition the tire on the wheel so that the "high" spot or "hard" spot on the tire will be over the "low" spot of the wheel, a process called "Match Mounting". This will result in a rounder wheel assembly. But, somtimes, Match Mounting is not enough.
If Match Mounting is insufficient to produce a wheel assembly that is round enough to prevent vibration, we can perform Tire Truing. The Tire Truing machine works like a lathe for tires. It shaves off just enough rubber from the assembly to make the mounted tire perfectly round.
If you have a wheel shake and think your vehicle needs tire balancing, tire Match Mounting, or Tire Truing, bring your vehicle to Clearview Tire & Auto Service for a correct diagnosis and professional guaranteed repairs which includes our Certified Auto Repair Nationwide Warranty. We're in Hopkinsville, not far from Ft. Campbell and we've been here since 1952. Most repairs include one year FREE towing and roadside assistance, good 24/7 coast-to-coast.
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