Finding new tires that are not out of round - mission impossible?

The problem with road force balancing …not 5% of the installers have any idea what they are doing. I have watched this procedure while getting new tires many times. Only ONCE did I see the tech measure the bare rim so adjustment could be made after tire is mounted.

I asked the teen aged tech what the road force numbers after he mounted my CR-V tire job (I paid extra for RF Mounting). He said, “I don‘t know what you are talking about, I just balance tires”).

Most of the time it isn’t a Road Force issue.
It’s a Work Force issue.
Not saying its the case all the time, but my old truck went from:

Perfectly smooth on old worn out tires

To absolute crap vibration on new tires

To much better but not perfect on replacement new tires - after ID'ing the bad ones via a road force balance.

No one ever measured a rim.

Also, unless the rim has been damaged at some point in time, I don't see it being the issue very often - if its an OEM rim at least.
 
The problem with road force balancing …not 5% of the installers have any idea what they are doing. I have watched this procedure while getting new tires many times. Only ONCE did I see the tech measure the bare rim so adjustment could be made after tire is mounted.
The latest Hunter machine automatically measures wheel runout and wheel dimensions with the tire mounted. After running the wheel/tire assembly against the roller, the tech is guided where to mark the stiffest part of the tire and the lowest part of the wheel. Next step is to pop the bead and rotate the tire on the wheel so the 2 marks line up.

 
The latest Hunter machine automatically measures wheel runout and wheel dimensions with the tire mounted. After running the wheel/tire assembly against the roller, the tech is guided where to mark the stiffest part of the tire and the lowest part of the wheel. Next step is to pop the bead and rotate the tire on the wheel so the 2 marks line up.



Neat! At 6:36 it shows P Tire Limits 15 in Yellow and 20 in Red.

So if you pay for a Road force balance you should be able to obtain the numbers...but what numbers are acceptable?(Whole thread is about :D)

I have paid for RF balancing in the past my expectation was that the balance was done at a higher speed and with the load of the car. Seems like its really a Road Force Variation Test, Optimization + Balance so still a normal balance taking place (according to that video). Now I have no idea if any of my RF balances I've paid for "failed" or could be vastly improved and the tech just said meh and kept going.

Hunter RF procedure is 300RPM so a 28" Tire is 25mph. One of the videos linked earlier in the thread spins the tires upto 75mph but it was in a bomb proof room.
 
Acceptable number depends on the vehicle and the driver. Some vehicles are more sensitive than others: my mx-5 is more sensitive than any truck.
Then you have human factor: some people are more sensitive than others, and then you have "memory/phantom" vibration issue that Capriracer mentioned.

Krzyś
 
The latest Hunter machine automatically measures wheel runout and wheel dimensions with the tire mounted. After running the wheel/tire assembly against the roller, the tech is guided where to mark the stiffest part of the tire and the lowest part of the wheel. Next step is to pop the bead and rotate the tire on the wheel so the 2 marks line up.


Ah! Road force “elite” now. That’s great if the tech is hepped to this new stuff. I’m guessing it’s still an untrained guy with a higher fee.
”Bead massage and Verification spin” ..I see the Hunter guy doing all that, not the shop dude.
 
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Acceptable number depends on the vehicle and the driver. Some vehicles are more sensitive than others: my mx-5 is more sensitive than any truck.
Then you have human factor: some people are more sensitive than others, and then you have "memory/phantom" vibration issue that Capriracer mentioned.

Krzyś

That's kinda my point if you go to a random tire shop and pay for road force what table are they going to look at to tell you it's ok? I know the machine spits a range but after the job is done the front desk person won't know.
 
That's kinda my point if you go to a random tire shop and pay for road force what table are they going to look at to tell you it's ok? I know the machine spits a range but after the job is done the front desk person won't know.
My discount tire gave me the numbers. I asked if they could print them, but they could not - but they just wrote them on a piece of paper and gave them to me. It was all new to me at the time.

I don't know if all discount tire shops are like this - but the one here is very accommodating most of the time, but the key is to go when there not busy, which is seemingly random. I have rolled in the parking lot and seen it full, and just left and came back next day.
 
Road Force and "out of round" are two different things.

Road Force is a measurement made up by the Hunter Engineering Company. You'll notice all over the Hunter website that it appears as Road Force® in their descriptions. That's because it is a registered trademark. Hunter owns the term. They literally made it up. It's not some SAE or ISO measurement standard. It's a marketing tool to sell wheel balancers that can then be used to upsell services to customers.

"Out of round" is a simple measurement of the circular run-out of a tire. You don't need a $10,000 wheel balancer to measure run-out. Hunter will tell you that measuring Road Force is more than just measuring run-out. With a roller that contacts the tire, it applies a load and spins the wheel assembly. This measures not only run-out, but also any construction related items that could cause an inconsistent measurement around the circumference of the tire that can only be identified with Hunter's proprietary Road Force® dynamic test. This is when the Hunter rep asks a shop if they're going to buy his $10,000 wheel balancer.



Since Road Force® is a made-up term by Hunter, I can 100%, without-a-doubt, assure you that Toyota (or any other manufacturer) is not using it as any type of production or service standard that a tire has to meet or pass to be considered "good". The tires on a new Toyota Corolla haven't met some arbitrary Road Force® number when they were first mounted and when those tires are replaced at the local Toyota dealer, they're not being sent back to Bridgestone or Michelin if they don't result in a specific Road Force®.

That's absolutely not how it works, despite what a

Can you share this enlightening video or is it lost to the annals of your search history and we'll just have to trust you on this one?
All Jaguar dealers in the UK have Hunter RoadForce balancers.

Because cars like the X351 have lots of issues with front end vibration.

Tyres are never perfectly round, neither are wheels.

Road Force Balancing simply allows the garage to match the tyre to the wheel better.

Never had any issue with my X351 after RFB.

But hey, I only did 150k miles in it so what do I know

This is the price you pay for 19”, 20” or 21” OEM wheels with 30 and 35 section tyres.

Oh, the BMW dealer I bought my 745Le from uses Road Force Balancing machines, they also Maintain what’s left of the MetPolice BMWs in East London.
 
Road Force Balancing simply allows the garage to match the tyre to the wheel better.
If its an OEM wheel and a brand new tire - the matching should have already been done at the respective factories.

OEM wheels put the valve stem hole at the low point - or at least I am told there supposed to - or as close to the low point as they can get - they typically center it on some part of the wheels design.

For brand new tires there is a red dot at the tires high point.

The tire shop should align the red dot with the valve stem - and every shop I have used always has. This matches the tires high point with the wheels low point.

The Road force balancer can determine out of round - but if its that far out there isn't much the assembler can do - other than shave the tire.

OEM aluminum wheel factory tolerances are very tight and easy for the manufacturers to meet so for passenger vehicles at US highway speeds I doubt the wheel is seldom the issue, its likely almost always the tire.

Enthusiast vehicles which are well outside my wheelhouse might be excepted? Don't know.
 
If its an OEM wheel and a brand new tire - the matching should have already been done at the respective factories.

OEM wheels put the valve stem hole at the low point - or at least I am told there supposed to - or as close to the low point as they can get - they typically center it on some part of the wheels design.

For brand new tires there is a red dot at the tires high point.

The tire shop should align the red dot with the valve stem - and every shop I have used always has. This matches the tires high point with the wheels low point.

The Road force balancer can determine out of round - but if its that far out there isn't much the assembler can do - other than shave the tire.

OEM aluminum wheel factory tolerances are very tight and easy for the manufacturers to meet so for passenger vehicles at US highway speeds I doubt the wheel is seldom the issue, its likely almost always the tire.

Enthusiast vehicles which are well outside my wheelhouse might be excepted? Don't know.
No wheel or tyre is perfectly round.

None

Would I do RFB on a run of the mill hatchback with 16” wheels?

No.

But just because you don’t have a car with 19”/20”/21” wheels and 30/35 section tyres doesn’t mean RFB doesn’t do anything or doesn’t work.

And not sure why you think Road Force Balancing is a made up term.

It literally what they do.

Apply road force to the tyre and then balance the tyre taking into account high and low spots of the tyre.

Allowing them to match the tyre perfectly and reduce vibration.

They figured out how to do it and Patented the technology.

It’s why they are the leaders in their field

I will continue to have my cars RFB.
 
That's kinda my point if you go to a random tire shop and pay for road force what table are they going to look at to tell you it's ok? I know the machine spits a range but after the job is done the front desk person won't know.
That I think is wrong approach.
Regardless of numbers if you feel vibration then you feel vibration. Unless you have the phantom vibration symptom mentioned earlier.
Then if the numbers are low and you should not feel vibration, then it is you ;-)
The point of RFB is to get measurement before and after, while guiding the tech how to adjust tire on the wheel to reduce the said value.

I look at it more like "delta" than absolute number.

Krzyś
 
No wheel or tyre is perfectly round.

None

Would I do RFB on a run of the mill hatchback with 16” wheels?

No.

But just because you don’t have a car with 19”/20”/21” wheels and 30/35 section tyres doesn’t mean RFB doesn’t do anything or doesn’t work.

And not sure why you think Road Force Balancing is a made up term.

It literally what they do.

Apply road force to the tyre and then balance the tyre taking into account high and low spots of the tyre.

Allowing them to match the tyre perfectly and reduce vibration.

They figured out how to do it and Patented the technology.

It’s why they are the leaders in their field

I will continue to have my cars RFB.
I have no idea why your responding to me - I am 100% for road force balancing, and have indicated so in this very thread.

I think your maybe responding to the wrong post? I in fact do get my run of the mill 16 inch truck tires road force balanced and I don;t think its a made up term.

My response was to your post that said "Road Force Balancing simply allows the garage to match the tyre to the wheel better." I don't believe this to be accurate given the measurements of the roundness of both wheel and tire are made in the factory hence the red dot on the tire and align either to the valve stem - or in some rare cases the wheel might be marked.

Road force balance measures how far out of round it still is after mounting - among other things. If its still too far out of round, no balance will help. I'll quote myself from above:

The Road force balancer can determine out of round - but if its that far out there isn't much the assembler can do - other than shave the tire.
 
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OEM wheels put the valve stem hole at the low point - or at least I am told there supposed to - or as close to the low point as they can get - they typically center it on some part of the wheels design.

Ah ..... Mmmm...... Not exactly.

In fact marking the value hole as the low point seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
For brand new tires there is a red dot at the tires high point.

And the same: The red dot seems to be the exception. Some tire manufacturers don't have a mark at all.

This is not to say that matching the value hole with the red dot isn't a good idea, but it's not always the best way - hence the Hunter RoadForce Machines.

This is also not to say that wheel and tire manufacturers don't conform to whatever the OEM requires, it's just that the requirements vary, and tires and wheels in the aftermarket are a whole different kettle of fish.
 
I have a Hunter Road Force balancer and it tells me more than I want to know. I have my doubts about everything has to be a low RF reading or the tire will shake and is junk. Even many Michelins I've done where out of spec and never had a comeback. I just today balanced a set of Nokian snow tires on new wheels. No visible runout but all 4 tires where 27-36 pounds of road force and next to nothing for weights. They will be just fine, I'm sure. I have seen tires with lots of visible runout and very low RF readings. I think it is over hyped insisting on low numbers. The front tires on my Corvette are in the 40-pound range and run smooth at 120mph when I tried it a couple times safely as possible.
 

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Ah ..... Mmmm...... Not exactly.

In fact marking the value hole as the low point seems to be the exception rather than the rule.


And the same: The red dot seems to be the exception. Some tire manufacturers don't have a mark at all.

This is not to say that matching the value hole with the red dot isn't a good idea, but it's not always the best way - hence the Hunter RoadForce Machines.

This is also not to say that wheel and tire manufacturers don't conform to whatever the OEM requires, it's just that the requirements vary, and tires and wheels in the aftermarket are a whole different kettle of fish.
Maybe the really fancy ones that they use to produce matched sets are different?

The ones at Discount Tire they charge $18 bucks to run give you a number, and maybe some indication of a high point. Maybe the kid could break the bead, spin it some, and improve the situation. But again - for <80mph passenger tires and wheels - if you mount the red dot by the valve stem and its still way out - you likely have a bad tire. Still a very good tool to determine if its your tires or something else?
 
The latest Hunter machine automatically measures wheel runout and wheel dimensions with the tire mounted. After running the wheel/tire assembly against the roller, the tech is guided where to mark the stiffest part of the tire and the lowest part of the wheel. Next step is to pop the bead and rotate the tire on the wheel so the 2 marks line up.


These particular "automated" machines are only as good as their operators. Just check out the User Manual

FWIW, only good shops I've been to that know how to properly RFB typically spend several hours doing so. If you got to a Discount Tire, eg, and they're done in under and hour and claim everything is A-OK, they're blowing smoke up your ass.

The guy I use is an indy and not cheap, but he spends basically a good portion of the day doing the job I ask, and the cost reflects that.
 
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I find it very difficult to pick new tires. None of the "expert" test/comparisons bother to test the most important quality - roundness and ability to balance. All my cars seem to be very sensitive to this.

Every time I bought tires new tires in the last 20 years, I got front-end shaking that's new to the car. In almost every instance, balancing/rebalancing didn't help. I ended up having to pay for road force measurements, only to find out that the tires were in fact badly out of round from the start. Claiming warranty based on out-of-roundness is generally very difficult. Manufacturers seem to have proprietary standards of how much variation is acceptable. They also vary depending on tire size and most manufacturers keep this data secret. Plus, their "acceptable" variations are way too high, so even tires deemed as "acceptable" cause major front-end shaking and they won't replace them.

I've had this problem with many different brands: Continental, BFG, Good Year, Kumho, Falken, General, Federal, Barum, etc. From experience, country of manufacture seems to be more important than brand. Worst tires I ever had were from Discount Tire Direct, Continentals made in Brazil, all 4 totally out of round but only 1 of 4 met Continental's limit for replacement. Continental replaced it. The replacement was made in Czech Republic and was perfect, but it didn't do me any good with the other 3 shaking. Below is the Road Force report on 3 tires: they were 16, 20, 12 lbs out-of round, with Continental saying up to 18 lbs is acceptable! ***! For brand new OEM tires installed on new cars, most auto manufacturers do not accept tires that are more than 2 lbs out of round!!!
View attachment 137685

Due to this persistent problem, I have stopped buying tires online as dealing with warranty claims is nearly impossible. I also always ask to see the tires to find out where they were made and usually get the deer-in-headlights look. But even in brick and mortar stores the balancing/out-of-round is a major problem. Their first instinct is to claim that I have a suspension issue. They reluctantly replace the tires but it usually doesn't help. In fact, oftentimes the replacement tires are even worse than the original set. What I do, out of desperation, is I just swap the wheels around until I end up with the best two on the front end which eliminates the shaking and never rotate the tires.

The only replacement tires I ever bought that were perfect out of the gate were Bridgestones made in Japan and Michelins made in France. Both purchases over 20 years ago.

What is everyone's experience with out-of-round tires? How do you pick tires and which installers seem to be most knowledgeable and helpful about balancing/out-of-round problems?

My list:
BEST: Japan, France, Czech Republic.
Hit or Miss: USA, Germany, Korea.
WORST: China, Brazil, Taiwan.
Interesting! Honestly I didn't know this was an issue until recently.
Got new Goodyear Eagle's for both my wife and daughter's cars. I don't drive either so I thought all was well until I borrowed my daughter's and was like "what the hell?" Asked my daughter about it and she said she just thought it was normal. Had them balanced 3 times with marginal results at best. Meanwhile asked my wife and she gave me the "oh yeah, I was going to ask you about that." Three balances later and same marginal results.
Took them to a mechanic, instead of the store I got them and he told me they might have been the most out of round tires he had ever seen. Been fighting with the store ever since!
 
We actually have a tire store in Louisville that will SHAVE the tires on the wheel to be perfectly round...never had it done but that service is out there..
Which shop is that?
I live in Louisville…
I usually just order Tire Rack now and have installed.
Ken Towery has seemed to go downhill, since the owner passed away. Monroe owns them now.
 
Which shop is that?
I live in Louisville…
I usually just order Tire Rack now and have installed.
Ken Towery has seemed to go downhill, since the owner passed away. Monroe owns them now.
Tonys Brake and Alignment on Poplar Level Road..
 
I have also had terrible problems with out of round tires. My wife and I have two Volvo C30s. Mine is the R design with 18" wheels, hers has 17" wheels. Both cars drove smoothly before trying to replace the tires. To shorten the really long story, each car has had wheels replaced as needed to have four very straight wheels. I first got a set of Falken Pro G5 A/S for each car (Discount Tire). More than one tire on each car was visibly out of round which resulted in road force numbers well over 20lbs - even after breaking the bead, rotating and re balancing. I had come back so many times, that they calibrated the machine before they did my tires and let me watch (necessary to get them to take time to do it properly). After a few more visits, I contacted customer support and they offered me free tire upgrades. I found a Volvo service bulletin that specifies a maximum road force number of 20lbs (using the hunter road force elite machine). Discount tire said 25 or 30 lbs was acceptable depending on who you asked.

I picked Yokohama advan sport A/S+ for the car with 18" wheels and Pirelli P7 AS plus 3 for the other car. The Yokohama tires were better than the Falkens, but one tire still has a road force number over 20 and I get a slight steering wheel shake since it is on the front left.

It took SIX Pirellis to get four that were marginally acceptable!!! Two were good, one was fair, one was marginal (road force of 23lbs) and two were terrible - around 30. This car also has a slight shake in the steering wheel - again the worst tire is on the front left. When I rotate the tires, it may not be noticeable.

I am amazed at the amount of radial runout on theses tires. I thought the Pirellis would be good. I don't know where the Falken tires were made. The Yokohamas were made in the Philippines, and the Pirellis were made in Mexico. I had to look up a code to find the country of origin on the Pirellis.
 
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