We often get asked should I have my tyres balanced or wheels aligned – isn’t fitting new tyres enough?
There have been huge advancements in tyre manufacturing processes and even with the latest rubber compounds, it is possible to get some weight imbalance with new tyres.
Balancing the tyre, with wheel weights, will give a much smoother ride and will prevent any steering wheel shudder at specific speeds.
Tyres are balanced when they are fitted to the rim and then inflated with the correct air pressure and a new valve. The complete wheel and tyre are fixed on a machine designed to spin the tyre and identify any imbalance. Our engineers will then fix the proper weight to the rim, and the tyre is set in motion again to ensure the balance is correct.
As tyres are run, rubber wears off over a period of time, and this can cause the tyre to become imbalanced again. Checking your tyres every 6,000 miles or when being serviced is good practice.
When you fit a new set of tyres, you should ideally have your wheels aligned before driving off as you may significantly decrease the life of your new tyres.
A full set of tyres is an investment and one that you need to keep your car on the road. Your steering and suspension have wear points – ball and socket joints, bushes etc. and over time, these systems are under a great deal of pressure especially with our deteriorating roads. When your car is new, the steering and suspension have been adjusted to factory specs, but with wear and tear, especially poor cornering and handling, this can cause the alignment to change from the original factory settings.
With wheel alignment, we check out three things – the camber, toe and caster. Getting the angles right, ensuring the tyre is not tilted and that the steering wheel is aligned can make a massive difference to how long your tyres last and even, how many miles you get to the gallon.
If you wish to know more, please give us a call, and we can personally talk you through the process. We have recently installed a new machine with cameras for wheel alignment, and this state of the art technology is making a vast difference to our customers’ vehicles with both tyre life and fuel economy.