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What is tire balancing and why is it important to you?

What's balancing got to do with a little tĂȘte a tĂȘte that I had with my best friend's wife recently?

Balancing can correct vibration

 I was recently talking to Jacqueline who's the wife of a close friend  and I have to admit she used to intimidate me a little. She's a successful real estate developer and an eloquent and intelligent speaker — I always feel out of my depth around her.

Jacqueline has spent a lot of money on a Hummer and it's time for a change of tires. Jacqueline enquired about tire balancing.

I explained to Jacqueline that the purpose of tire balancing is to eliminate vibration caused by mismatch between the tire and wheel. It can be caused by as little as 1/4 ounce difference.

A small force, repeated rapidly and frequently, can cause serious damage to almost anything. A car's wheel, traveling at 60 mph, is making approximately four revolutions every second. Every one of those revolutions is producing a tiny shake, which is passed on to every part of the vehicle connected to it.

More than 14,000 little shakes an hour from just one wheel!

Start adding the tiny shakes from the other wheels on the car. Multiply by hundreds of miles driven in a day. Then start factoring-in the holes, bumps, rocks and debris a car may face on the road. You can see the numbers grow.

People tend to notice unbalanced tires when they are on the front wheels because the vibrations transfer through the steering wheel to the driver's hands. These same vibrations are not felt when they are on the rear wheels, but are still contributing to mechanical wear-and-tear. This is why it has become a standard practice to balance every new tire.

It made sense to Jacqueline but what surprised her was that many vehicle owners get their wheels balanced at every rotation, not just every new set of tires.

Under average driving conditions, the experience of many thousands of motorists has shown that it is advisable to check tire balance every time they are rotated (between 4 and 6,000 miles). Also, perform a balance after all repairs.

The conclusion

By this time, I was speaking as though Jacqueline and I had been friends since school and she understood that tire balancing is an important ingredient for keeping her vehicle in good mechanical condition.

If tire balancing is only considered when there is a vibration, it may have already caused considerable stress to your vehicle. So, I gave Jacqueline the following advice to keep her Hummer in top order:

  1. Always balance new tires.
  2. Check tire balance whenever tire rotation is performed- ideally at intervals of 4,000 to 6,000 miles.
  3. Have any tire that has been repaired balanced.

If you'd like to see more articles from the female perspective follow this link...


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