The goal of tyre balance is to distribute weight equally around the entire circumference of the tyre. Wheels that are out-of-balance can cause uncomfortable vibrations while driving. It also results in premature wear of suspension and steering components, rotating parts, and tyres.
As part of routine vehicle maintenance, drivers should seek to balance the tyres on their vehicle after every 5,000-10,000 km travelled, or after 1-2 years (whichever comes first).
Also, it’s worth balancing the tyres and wheels when:
- Buying new tyres, rims, or wheels;
- Rotating the tyres;
- Repairing the tyres;
- The car hits a large pothole.
Another thing to remember; tyre balance is entirely different to wheel alignment, though the two concepts are sometimes confused. Aligning a set of wheels entails adjusting their angles so that they’re parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.
Knowing the signs of imbalance
Tyre imbalance can develop over time as the tyre tread wears down through regular use and the distribution of weight changes. Subjecting the tyres to excessive stress by driving on poor roads, hard braking and cornering may hasten matters further.
When one or more tyres are out-of-balance on your vehicle, there are several common indicators:
- The car experiences vibration at high speeds;
- There’s uneven wear on the tread;
- There’s an increase in fuel consumption;
- There are issues with the suspension.
If you notice one or more of these symptoms – even if the tyres are relatively new – then it’s possible your car has an imbalanced tyre.
Source: Continental Tyres South Africa