BMW, Mini Cooper, and Volvo Wheel Balance
Tires are an investment. They're not the cheapest product and nor should they be. So to get the most out of this investment it's important to maintain your tire balance on the vehicle. Keeping your tire balance at the proper levels not only gives you a smoother drive, but also prevents unnecessary or faster tire wear. We want to breakdown the importance of balance and your tire's tread life.
First, the weight of your car impacts the lasting quality of your tire's tread. Lighter cars provide a unique need for tire balancing. Remember the olden days of heavy machinery? Back then, the cars weighed so much and put so much pressure on the tires that it dampened vibrations and actually helped with balance, making tread maintenance less frequent and less necessary to keep up with. Now, cars are far lighter and the balance is easier to throw off, causing faster wearing down of your tire threads. Softer suspensions have a similar effect.
Another factor? Tire technology. We're in a style and performance automotive market. As a result, today's tires are responsive with lower profiles. They actually track road feedback and provide the information to the driver. It's very impressive however, the slightest imbalance is easily felt. This imbalance is far less than the average of just ten years ago. So it's critical to keep up with tire balance and save yourself some time and money!
The Balancing Act:
Let's get into this lack of balance issue. Tires mounted onto wheels are two imperfect units fused together to create a 40 lb. assembly (on average). It's nearly impossible for this type of assembly to have perfect weight distribution. Sorry, that's just the nature of today's beast.
This is the more obvious imbalance. You'll notice this one fairly easily. When your tire has a spot in it, either heavy or light, it's impossible for it to roll evenly. What you'll notice when driving your car is both your tire and wheel have an odd up and down motion on the road. Ah, but there's more...
This one you might not notice as much as a static imbalance. A dynamic imbalance has more of a side to side motion. It's created by uneven weight on either side of your assembly's (the fusion of the tire and the wheel) outer centerline. Sadly, a majority of assemblies have both static and dynamic imbalances. Fear not, that's where spin balancing comes into play. Spin balancing provides equal weight distribution with counterweights. In other words, and in the simplest of terms, if your assembly's weight is off on the left, we add an equal amount of weight to the right. Once we're able create equal balance your vehicle will ride smoothly and your treads will wear evenly.
Other Sources of Vibration:
Many times your vehicle's wheel and tire assemblies are perfectly in balance yet you still notice or feel some sort of vibration. Here are other common causes of vehicle vibrations:
- Your wheel is actually bent
- One of your tires is out of round either on the inside or the outside
- You have a wheel to axle mounting issue
- The tires natural sidewall stiffness lacks consistency
- You have wear or failure of your brake components
- Your Engine or Drive train have serious problems or even failure
- The suspension on your vehicle is damaged or worn
- Your Wheel bearings need repair or replacement
Checking whether or not your wheel and tire assemblies are aligned and in balance is the first place to start, but it's just as important to know that there are other causes of vehicle vibrations.
Keeping Your Tires Balanced:
Think about all the different types of terrain your wheels and tires endure. There's the obvious left and right turning that wears down your assembly, but there's uneven roads, uneven surfaces, potholes, bumps, etc. As we mentioned before, it doesn't take much to throw today's vehicles out of alignment and off balance. This is why it's critical to get your tires rotated, rebalanced, and get your alignment set often. The more evenly the wear and tear on your tires, the longer they'll last. The longer they last, the less money you'll spend in the long run. In many cases you won't be able to feel whether or not your alignment is off or if you have an imbalance. Letting these issues persist causes excessive wear and heat on your tires. Beyer Motor Works will get your BMW, Mini Cooper, or Volvo even and balanced right away.