Tyre balance describes the distribution of mass within the entire wheel. During rotation, asymmetries of mass are inevitable due to hop or wobble and these can cause ride disturbances such as vertical and lateral vibrations. In serious conditions, it can also result in steering wheel wobbling or sometimes the entire vehicle. Such disturbance usually increases with speed. This will also result in excited vehicle suspensions at a point where its rotating frequency matches the suspension’s resonant frequency.
To eliminate such inconsistencies, one must keep a check on such factors and perform a wheel balancing procedure immediately in the case of such an event. Auto-shops typically use two methods to address the issue viz. static balancers and dynamic balancers but first it is important to understand static and dynamic balance.
- Static Balance: This is measured by a static balancing machine in which the tyre is placed on its vertical axis on a non-rotating spindle tool. The spot on the tyre with the greatest mass is attracted by the gravity to deflect the tooling downward. This amount of deflection indicates the degree of the unbalance. In tyre retail shops and service centers shops, usually non-rotating bubble balancers are used in which the degree and angle of the unbalance are observed by looking at the center bubble in an oil-filled glass sighting gauge.
- Dynamic Balance: These are the forces generated by asymmetric mass distribution during tyre rotation at high speeds. These balancers are installed in the tyre manufacturing facilities. With this machine, the tyre and wheel are mounted on a balancing machine test wheel and the whole assembly is accelerated up to a speed of 20-24 km/h with recent high sensitivity sensors or higher with a speed of 60-65 km/h with low sensitivity sensors. The unbalancing forces are measured by the sensors as the tyre rotates.
A dynamic balance check can only be conducted at the time of a specific check for imbalances. However, the imbalance can be estimated in real-time due to the modern sensors found in many vehicles.
When there is an imbalance in your tyres, the steering wheel will rock back and forth as you drive, especially when you drive at a certain speed. When you notice this happening, you should contact a mechanic to fix the problem straight away as it can be very dangerous to drive with imbalanced tyres.
Vehicle owners need to understand that they need expert tyre balancing as soon as they purchase new tyres. And they need to ensure that the auto-shop or tyre retailer they are choosing has the right expertise and equipment for the job. At Sundar Tyres, such processes are performed under the supervision of highly trained and experienced professionals to ensure the smooth running of each of the tyres.