Wheel balancing is the process of balancing the weight of a tyre and the wheel assembly so that it travels evenly at high speeds without vibration or unnecessary wear and tear. Balancing requires putting a mounted wheel and tyre on a balancer, which centres the wheel and spins it to determine where the weights should go. Every time a wheel is first mounted onto a vehicle with a new tyre, it has to be balanced.
The goal is to make sure the weight is evenly distributed throughout each of the wheels and tires on a vehicle. This process evens out heavy and light spots in a wheel, so that it rotates smoothly. If there is even a slight difference in weight in the wheels, it will cause enough momentum to create a vibration in the car.
You feel vibration in the steering wheel, the car floor or your seat.
You get them rotated, generally every 5,000 miles.
At the very least every two years, once yearly if you drive really rough roads.
You get a flat and repair a tyre.
You buy any new tyre(s).
A weight that used to be on the rim falls off.
You notice uneven tire wear.
Wheel alignment involves checking and correcting the direction and the angle of the wheels to ensure they remain parallel to one another. Minor adjustments are made to the tie rods and control arms to correct any misalignment. This has many benefits but the easiest to remember is that correctly aligned wheels helps you to drive in a straight line since vehicles with misaligned wheels can pull or drift to one side causing unnecessary wear or damage.
Maintaining proper wheel balance is a critical part of maintaining the life of the tyre. Also, proper wheel balancing ensures your vehicle has a smooth and vibration free ride.