SHAKE IT UP IN ST. THOMAS!: WHY WHEEL BALANCING
Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, we generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.
When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, St. Thomas drivers want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your technician at Gurr Auto spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most people in St. Thomas are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.
High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. St. Thomas drivers can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your vehicle — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.
The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kmh. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the road, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph/97 kph, it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the vibration. When tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and suspension parts.
Getting a balance job at Gurr Auto in St. Thomas can prevent repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your vehicle as well as its handling performance. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Gurr Auto, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced, too.
Some St. Thomas vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what is recommended for your vehicle. Balancing your tires is part of preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components. So practice good vehicle care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Gurr Auto. Massage chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle St. Thomas drivers’ nerves.
845 Talbot Street
St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 2A8