To ensure the smooth running of vehicle and to keep the tread in constant contact with the road, the wheel and tyre have to be correctly balanced. If the vehicle was to be lifted up on a jack and the wheel rotated by hand, an unbalanced wheel would always stop at the same position with the heavier imbalance being obviously at the bottom of the wheel.
Wheels that are not balanced can actually lift the tyre from road contact and can produce vibrations through the steering wheel, which in turn causes steering and brake problems and negatively affects the handling of the vehicle. This vibration causes high-pressure stress and strains in the steering, wheel bearings and suspension, resulting in excessive mechanical wear and high fuel consumption. It also cause premature wearing of suspension and steering components and tyres and ignoring these symptoms can be dangerous and expensive.
Imbalanced wheel is easily balanced by using a computerized electronic wheel balancer to measure the imbalance, and then small metal weights are added to even things up.It is necessary that you balanced your wheels, whenever you replace a tyre or have a puncture repaired. With your tyres and wheels properly balanced, you can enjoy an overall smoother ride, better control, and long lasting tyres.
Uneven Tread Wear
Often car tyres need to be replaced before their specified life has been reached mainly because of rapid or uneven tread wear. Uneven tread wear can occur for a variety of reasons that in turns lead you to tyre rplacement. The most common causes of avoidable tread wear are:
- Under-Inflating – Causes rapid wear along the edges of the tread.
- Over-Inflating – Causes rapid wear along the centre of the tread.
- Faulty brakes or shock absorbers – Can cause flat spots around the tread of the tyre.
- Incorrect wheel alignment (tracking) – Alignment ensures that the all tyres are parallel to each other and flat to the surface, hence giving the tyres their optimal wear profile. If tyre alignment is not done properly, it may cause your tyre to wear unevenly and prematurely.