What is tyre balance?

Posted by: Cal on 4/09/2014

Category: General

Tyre balance is important to ensure your wheels are functioning as they can help keep your car running smoothly for longer. Imbalanced tyres can cause vibrations which can cause wear problems - or just be uncomfortable for passengers!

So, what causes car tyres to become imbalanced? There are two types of balance and the reasons for each differ.

What is static balance?

This term refers to when there is a heavy or light spot in the tyre. This can cause it to wear unevenly as your tyre and wheel will be subject to a more up-and-down motion, known as "hopping".

This motion can be disturbing to those in the car, and the extra wear, which often occurs in a diagonal pattern, can be dangerous for your tyres.

Taking your tyres in to have regular tyre maintenance and a wheel balance can help to remedy this issue and ensure your car's weight is distributed evenly on all four tyres. Your local technician will have the equipment to test for this issue.

What is dynamic balance? 

On the other hand, dynamic imbalance refers to when there is an unequal weight on either side of the tyre's lateral centre line. 

This can cause a "wheel shimmy" or side-to-side wobble. This can also put uneven pressure on the treads, which can be dangerous for drivers. 

Why is it important to have your wheel balance checked?

When you get a new set of tyres mounted onto your car's axle, it is important to regularly ensure they are balanced  - around once a year if possible.

You should also have your tyres balanced if you notice any signs of vibration when you are driving over 65 km  - don't delay as this can result in further problems. Vibrations often occur when the unbalanced tyres are at the front of your car. You may also want to get them balanced if you replace your tyres or patch them. 

Unbalanced tyres can wear more quickly so they may not last as long. Not only that but they can impact your car's performance, as it can affect your car's suspension. 

The cost of a wheel balance will pay for itself as your set of quality tyres will last longer and you can enjoy better performance and optimal comfort as a result.