Balancing Your Tyres
Wheel balancing, also known as tyre balancing,
is the process of equalising the weight of the combined tyre
and wheel assembly so that it spins smoothly at high speed.
Balancing involves putting the wheel/tyre assembly on a balancing
machine, which centres the wheel and spins it to determine where
extra weight should go. Wheels and tyres are never exactly the
same weight all around, for instance the wheel's valve stem
hole will subtract a small amount of weight from that side of
At high speeds, a tiny imbalance in weight can easily become a large imbalance with centrifugal force, causing the wheel/tyre assembly to rotate with a vibration felt through the steering wheel. This can translate into irregular and damaging tyre wear requiring earlier replacement.
Balancing will not prevent vibrations from a bent wheel, out of round tyre or irregular wear. Balancing weights can't compensate for a problem that is actually physical in nature, they can only compensate for weight differences in a wheel/tyre combination.
Weights are either of the "hammer on" variety for steel wheels or self adhesive weights for alloys. The self adhesive weights help prevent the clearcoat finish of alloy wheels being compromised allowing water ingress and corrosion to form under the finish.