Wheel Balancing 101

March 7th, 2016

Living in NYC is a balancing act for us and your tires & wheels!

Well, here's one more thing to balance...your drive. A smooth, flawless ride is important for your vehicle especially your tires, front end and brakes.

Today, we're talking about getting our wheels and tires to rotate at varying speeds without vibrations. Here's a secret...even brand new tires are not perfectly round. More secrets, sssh....the weight of your tires are not perfectly distributed. In some spots they are lighter and in others they are heavier. And any of the above can lead to vibrations and less than a smooth ride.

Tires that are not balanced can really be a huge issue because vibrations are the least of your issues. The real cost is very rapid tire wear of your brand new tires and your suspension will suffer greatly costing some bucks you don't need to spend.

At 106 St Tire new tires are mounted on wheels then they're spun-balanced by computer to detect vibrations. Many vibrations can be eliminated by rotating the tire on the wheel so the heavy or "high" spot is in a different position that better matches up with the wheel. Small weights are attached to the wheels with sturdy adhesives or clips to off set the heavy spots and provide a better and smoother ride.

With our "severe" NYC driving conditions and hitting, potholes, construction plates, under construction areas like when they blacktop a street, these weights can fall off. If that happens to a front wheel and you don't notice it, you may feel vibrations through the steering wheel.  That, typically, will become more pronounced as vehicle speed increases.

Too many of our customers neglect maintaining the tire balancing part and don't have their tires rotated only periodically. It's a good idea to have your tire balancing checked at least every one to two years, or more often in areas where roads are not well-maintained, and, of course, that applies to we NYers.

And hitting a pot holes is nothing to ignore because they can cause vibrations because of a bent wheel, a damaged tire (which can no longer be fixed by balancing), prematurely worn suspension parts and/or worn wheel bearings. As you can see doing the balancing act is critical to your car so don't incur more expense down the road by ignoring another simple maintenance issue.

Tires, realistically, should be balanced every year if you are driving in NYC because, as we know, Queens roads really leave something to be desired in the way of smooth, clean, easy roads to drive. It's always better to err on the side of caution.

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