Discount Tire question regarding Road Force balancing

Messages
4,970
When I had my current set of tires installed, I went to a local DT and had them do it. The following appears on the receipt:

QTY 4 INSTALLATION & LIFE OF TIRE MAINTENANCE

Is re-balancing included as "life of tire maintenance"? And if so, will they do a Hunter Road Force balance for no extra fee?

The tires are Cooper Discoverer AT3s and lately I've noticed a steering wheel shake between 55-70mph, but not on every road surface type. The tires roll smoothly above 75mph and below 50mph, so their initial balancing job on these was fine. I rotate the wheels every 5k and hand torque to factory specs.
 
Messages
2,406
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Yes, I had a prior set of Mastercraft (Cooper) tires from DT that needed a re-balance after a while. Re-done by them and then a happy life afterwards. IDK if they automatically do a road-force balance, but they'll figure it out.

Another time I was sure I needed a re-balance, and it turned out to be a wheel bearing (no other issues/noise/etc.). So it may not be 100% that it's the tires.
 
Messages
632
Location
Prosper, TX
They seem to do the road force if there’s an issue. I have some Falken Wildpeak AT4W on my Silverado. I was having a slight wobble at 60mph+. I took it in Friday and they rebalanced them using the road force machine. As smooth as they were when new after that.
 
Messages
204
my experince with them is they will rebalance tires bought from them everytime you bring it in for rotation. if you have a balance problem they will take care of it. i think they will not do a road force balance unless they ascertain it will help. road force take a lot more time and some skill to do .
 

CKN

Messages
6,576
Location
Utah
I recently bought 4 tires and they were so quick I knew thy didn't road force balance them. I will be asking for this for the two front tires on my Silverado next time.
 
Messages
36,516
Location
ME
Go in on a Tuesday not before a snowstorm, tip the guy $10, and mention the vibration. They'll work with you.
 
Messages
17,602
Location
...
Road force balance? Can you elaborate on this wonderful thing? Seems like since a tire is round, it is either balanced when it spins-- or it is not. Road force? Sounds like just an advertising or marketing gimmick.


look it up. Shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.
 
Messages
1,537
Location
iowa
I have a road force balancer, and when it comes right down to it, it is still just a balancer like all the rest. Yes, it can check out issues better, but in the end it mostly comes down to balancing the wheel properly no matter what machine. I can just watch a tire and wheel spin and easily see run-out in either one. .030 is easy to see, and can be an issue, or sometimes not.
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,366
Location
Idaho
"road force balancing" is about match mounting (to minimize road force variation) as the first step, followed by conventional balancing. It is not a gimmick. A lot of tire techs skip the match mounting because it takes up too much time.
 
Messages
3,959
Location
Somewhere in the US
RoadForce is about "Out of Round" (sort of. The technical term is "Uniformity".)

No! Tires and wheels are NOT perfectly round!

No! You can't fix "Out of Round" by balancing - and that's why these machines exist. They measure it and express it in terms of Force (pounds or Newtons.) It's extremely useful when trying to diagnose a vibration that isn't fixed by balancing.
 
Messages
458
Location
Southeastern, PA
Go in on a Tuesday not before a snowstorm, tip the guy $10, and mention the vibration. They'll work with you.
So now people have to "tip" someone in order to get them to work with you on a service you already paid for? If DT doesn't want to do proper balances they shouldn't offer the service. All the customer should have to say when they check in is "Please rotate and balance the tires. I am noticing a vibration at XXmph." With that info, DT should take a closer look and work to resolve the issue. If that requires a road force balance, then that should be what DT does without having to grease the palms of the guy at the counter.
 
Messages
1,429
Location
Missouri
I did, it is tire balancing. No better or worse than a proper spin balance. hocum.
As a tech I fixed lots of vibrations with road force balancing that had been to tire shops for standard balance. They would usually blame it on driveline so I'd end up with it.

When it comes to tire tech CapriRacer really knows his stuff. Search his previous posts and read up. I've learned a lot of things from his posts on tires.
 
Messages
490
Location
Gainesville, FL
Both the DT stores near me have only Hunter road force balancers. That being said, unless you go in specifically complaining about a balance issue they won’t spend the time to match mount the tires and will treat it like a spin balance.

If you had the tire installed there, it’s included, no questions.
 
Messages
744
Location
USA
As a tech I fixed lots of vibrations with road force balancing that had been to tire shops for standard balance. They would usually blame it on driveline so I'd end up with it.

When it comes to tire tech CapriRacer really knows his stuff. Search his previous posts and read up. I've learned a lot of things from his posts on tires.
Used to use a local tire shop, to keep it local. HORRIBLE vibration after new tires installed. Brought it back 3 times. They mentioned suspension and steering blah blah. Took it to a national retailer, paid for a balance, PERFECT. Went back to the local store and talked to a manager and told them I'd never be back. The national retailer mentioned something about using the correct nut thingy to screw a tire onto the balancer and that often a tech will use one that doesn't necessarily fit the rim correctly but they are trained to do everything EXACTLY as specified by their trainings. But who knows.

Long story short, some places know how to balance, some don't.
 
Messages
36,516
Location
ME
So now people have to "tip" someone in order to get them to work with you on a service you already paid for?
Everybody in the US wants a "discount" tire shop until they have NVH issues. You can keep going in waving your receipt, and test driving the results, and getting them to rework it, but this will use up more of your time and patience than it will theirs.

Balancing properly is a craft, where the more effort one puts in, the better the results are coming out. If you try being nice to people they'll-- shocked pikachu-- really help you out.
 
Top