You might have heard about wheel balancing and tyre rotation, but are unsure about what they really are. A wheel balance and tyre rotation are two distinct processes, but the terms are often confused for each other. When fully functioning tyres are essential for your vehicle, it’s important that you understand the importance of balance and rotation, so you can keep your tyres in prime condition.
What is wheel balancing & rotation?
A wheel balance (also known as a tyre balance) is a process where the weight of wheels are balanced, for even driving of the vehicle. An imbalance of the wheels can lead to a vibrating steering wheel, which can in turn have a negative effect on the suspension ball joints. When driving at higher speeds, you increase the risk to the tyres and suspension.
A tyre rotation, on the other hand, switches the position of the tyres to ensure a longer tread life and uniform tread wear. This could mean switching tyres to the left or right, or front or back; since front tyres are generally subjected to more pressure and are more prone to tread wear, moving them to the back helps to reduce this impact. The weight of the car’s load is also usually distributed towards the front, which can contribute to inconsistent wear.
How does it work?
Rebalancing and rotations are carried out by car mechanics. A tyre rotation simply involves the repositioning of the tyres, but the balancing process is a bit more complex:
- Tyres are attached to a tyre balancing machine.
- The machine measures any lighter or heavier areas and pinpoints necessary adjustments. It does this by taking vibration measurements while spinning the wheel.
- This process shows the technician where weight needs to be added, if an imbalance is identified.
The importance of getting your tyres checked
Your car’s tyres are some of its most important safety aspects, and continuous, even contact with the road is key for its suspension, braking and steering components. Similarly, if the weight of wheels is unbalanced, they will behave differently and you’ll feel this in the driving experience.
Balancing your tyres improves the smoothness of the drive, and extends the lifespan of your wheels, so you won’t have to fork out for a new set as often.
How do you know if you need tyre balancing?
If you notice any of the following signs in your car, we recommend having your tyres checked by a professional:
- Vibrations in the steering wheel
- You haven’t had your tyres balanced or rotated in the last year or two
- You buy a new tyre
- You notice uneven wear on the tyres
- A weight that was previously added falls off
Book a service for your wheel balance at Phil Gilbert Kia
Noticing any causes for concerns in your tyres? Book a service at Phil Gilbert Kia Dealerships in Croydon or Lidcombe. We have a range of service options and our knowledgeable team has the experience to ensure your Kia gets back on the road safely and efficiently.