Top 3 Tips For Safe Wheel Balancing

At the repair shop, we occasionally need to balance the tire wheel when a tire and wheel has gone outside the acceptable level of variation predetermined by the manufacturer. In other words, the amount of weight the car is putting on the tire is unevenly distributed and, most typically, is causing uneven tread and uncomfortable vibrations. This is the very definition of wheel balancing.

Improper wheel balance can most often be experienced when driving at higher speeds. At high speeds, vibrations generated by the front wheels are felt on the steering wheel. On the other hand, the consequence of the imbalance of the rear axle wheels may be the vibration of the bodywork.

The common result of imbalance, regardless of where it occurs, is uneven tread wear. This usually manifests itself in more abrasive areas in the part of the tire where the weight variation is unevenly distributed with respect to the center of gravity. This means that the tread will be more worn where there are distinct disproportions. This wear pattern can be seen, for example, in a thickening of a small section of the bead core that forms the inner braid of the tire.

In addition, when driving with unbalanced wheels, an uneven noise can be heard in the driver's ears. The reason for this noise effect is the difference in pressure between the tire and the ground.

In this article, we’re going to be discussing our 3 safety tips for wheel balancing at your shop.

Balanced Tires

Properly selected rims and tires are one of the most important safety systems in any car. Traction properties depend on their proper fit and balance. This has a direct impact on driving confidence and driving comfort.

Wheel balancing is based on the even distribution of the weight of the rim and tire in such a way that the wheel weight of the wheel on the vehicle axle, after assembly, is distributed around the center of rotation.

Even small disproportions in road force in individual parts of the circumference of the wheel become significant when we take into account the enormous rotation speeds and the centrifugal forces acting on them.

Ever since the debut of modern wheel balancers in auto shops the world over, both static and dynamic tire and wheel imbalance have become easier and easier to correct. Indeed, today’s spin balancers can diagnose the problem (usually related to abnormal tire wear) and balance your tires with minimal room for human error.

That said, however, the spin balancer or tire and wheel balancer is a major piece of machinery. As such, there are several precautionary measures that you should employ at your business to keep your technicians and all your employees safe during the process of safe tire and wheel balancing.

Top 3 Tips For Wheel Balancing

Here are three must-implement strategies for using a wheel balancer properly at your business!

Safety First: Before Wheel Balancing

Before balancing or mounting, your technicians need to ensure that the machines are safe to use. Inspect the mounting machines and balancing machines regularly. Always perform required maintenance as soon as it is necessary. This method will save you money in the future. Your technician should make sure notice is paid to the area around them before beginning services.

Before machine operation, your employees also need to be fitted out with the correct protective equipment. Think quality safety glasses, steel-toed shoes, and appropriate clothing.

Also, examine the wheel closely. Look at the tread and the side of the wheel for cracks, dust, or anything else which can deform the rim.

Body Position

During balancing and mounting, technicians should be in full control of their bodies and should employ full-body awareness at all times. When mounting, for example, always keep the fingers clear of the bead seat area. Consider investing in an inflation guard, an option on Hennessy rim clamp machines. This guard acts as a fence that the technician can stand behind.

Operator Expertise

Your operators should fully know how to use all the machines in your shop. They definitely shouldn’t be forcing anything when mounting. You should be able to seat a bead. If you can’t, something’s gone wrong. Deflate the tire and relubricate both beads.

Also, you should never loosen the beads until after the tire has been deflated. Loosening the beads too early can cause undue wear and tear on the balancing machine.

In addition, (you’d think this would go without saying) be sure you’re using the right wheel weights, whether clip-on weights or otherwise, when balancing the tire. If you don't, the front and rear wheels can tread unevenly, and even if they're mounted properly, they can force more expedient tire wear.

Finally, never take the hood off a wheel balancer. The hood is there to keep the tire and hub in place if they come loose. In general, the hood keeps things like lug nuts from flying hither and thither. Keep it on.

Safely Balanced Wheels

We put safety precautions in place to keep our technicians and other employees safe amidst the powerful equipment we have in our shops. It is important to never drop our diligence in employing safety measures and for our employees to never drop diligence in following them.

There are plenty more tips related to tire balance and wheel assembly, so if you have any more thoughts and questions about wheel balancing or quality information related to the tire mount, the wheel balance machine, or vehicles in general, we at JMC Automotive Equipment are the go-to pros for anything and everything auto service.

From the comfort of your computer, you can check out our blog or read our data related to testimonials. Need to invest in some new, safe equipment or lubrication media? Look no further!