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What is wheel balancing and why do I need it?

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Updated 8 Oct 2019Clancy Harrip
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Wheel balancing, sometimes known as tyre balancing, is a process undertaken to balance the weight of a tyre and wheel assembly so that it travels evenly.

Often confused with wheel alignment, wheel balancing ensures a smooth ride by properly adjusting tyre/wheel weight distribution.

The tyre and wheel combination can have slightly more or less weight in one area, and even the slightest difference in weight distribution can result in vibration and shaking when driving, so it’s important to periodically have your wheels balanced.

The most common signs of out-of-balance wheels are:

  • Vibration in the steering wheel (at high or low speeds);
  • Uneven and faster tread wear;
  • Poor fuel economy;
  • An uneven driving experience.

Technicians use a calibrated spin balancer to test the tyre and wheel assembly’s static and dynamic balance.

The process highlights heavy and light spots and helps determine where small weights can be added to evenly distribute weight and ensure the wheel rotates smoothly.

When considering a wheel balance, it’s important to remember that:

  • Balance is necessary - an imbalance in tyre weight is inevitable, so it is something that should be reviewed regularly.
  • Balance will change over time - as tyre tread wears, the balance of your wheels will slowly change.
  • Rebalancing your tyres will extend the life of the tyre.

It’s recommended that wheel balancing is completed by a professional every 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres, or every six months.

Are you overdue for a wheel balance?

No worries, AutoGuru can help you find a local, high quality mechanic to get your car the wheel balance it needs!

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Written ByClancy Harrip

Clancy has been working in, and writing about, the automotive industry for half her adult life.

She loves her work and all things automotive and looks forward to the day she is considered a guru on the subject, an auto guru perhaps.