How hard is it to balance tires?!

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9,461
Location
Not Seattle, but close.
Took my Cherokee to get the tires rotated and balanced at Discount Tire 2 weeks ago. Then I took it back because I could feel vibrations from the fron end at 65 mph, and the weights attached to the wheels didn't look as if they're fully hammered on correctly. They rebalanced the front ones, but they still shake, though less then before. They said the weights are fine as they are, yet they did make the ones on front fit flush with the rims. What is the deal with these guys? I'm taking it back again this week, but this is getting old. Before they touched anything, everything was fine.
 
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1,899
Location
Columbia, SC
You may have rotated "bad" tires to the front so you are now feeling the vibrations. I might as well clarify "bad". What kind of tires? Size? Brand? Mileage? If the "old" rear tires were, say out of round, or slipped a belt or whatever, then you wouldn't have noticed. Now that they are on the front, you will notice the issue.
 
Messages
1,799
Location
NJ now SC
quote:
Originally posted by MarkC: Took my Cherokee to get the tires rotated and balanced at Discount Tire 2 weeks ago. Then I took it back because I could feel vibrations from the fron end at 65 mph, and the weights attached to the wheels didn't look as if they're fully hammered on correctly. They rebalanced the front ones, but they still shake, though less then before. They said the weights are fine as they are, yet they did make the ones on front fit flush with the rims. What is the deal with these guys? I'm taking it back again this week, but this is getting old. Before they touched anything, everything was fine.
Don't get me started on balancing problems... [Big Grin]
 
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3,933
Location
Somewhere in the US
I think your problem is irregular wear that is caused by misalignment. Irregular wear is aggravated by low inflation pressure and insuffient roatational practices (bot of which I think we can rule out becuase of how new the tires are) So get your alignment checked. Remember, the tolerances for the alignment settings are pretty wide, so the alignment shop needs to get the settings as close to nominal as possible. "In Spec" is not good enough!
 

MarkC

Thread starter
Messages
9,461
Location
Not Seattle, but close.
That doesn't make much sense to me. The tires which are on the front now are the ones which were on the rear. They've never been on the front end until now, these are new tires on the first rotation. The tires I replaced had perfectly normal wear patterns, no issues.
 
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3,161
Location
North Arkansas
I know you've spent your money and expect to get value for it, but I'd be more concerned with ride and tire life. Ask shop to try once again and ask them if they will refund or pay to have someone else do it if another attempt isn't satisfactory. Bob
 

MarkC

Thread starter
Messages
9,461
Location
Not Seattle, but close.
I'm thinking I'll just go to another Discount Tire shop. There are several around, and they should all honor the lifetime rotation and balancing that I already paid for.
 
Messages
15,274
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
i know from experience some wheels are hard to balance. at my shop we always seem to have problems with certain toyota tundras not wanting to balance correctly. we get a lot of bent rims. customers dont believe it until i show them it spinning on a balancer and you can see how uneven it is. we had one volvo we kept balancing the fronts on because of a vibration until we looked closer and figured out the CV joints were bad, he had just had a shop do the boots.
 
Messages
1,899
Location
Columbia, SC
quote:
Originally posted by MarkC: That doesn't make much sense to me. The tires which are on the front now are the ones which were on the rear. They've never been on the front end until now, these are new tires on the first rotation. The tires I replaced had perfectly normal wear patterns, no issues.
You put 4 new tires on your vehicle and drove it for, what, 8000 miles and then had them rotated. IF the rear tires (or just one of them) had a defect (out of round, slipped a belt, whatever), when you rotated them to the front, the issue presented itself. An easy fix is to rotate like this: Current set up. A=RF B=LF C=RR D=LR Swap A and C. If your issue remains, then put them back. Swap B and D. If your issue remains, then it's not the tires and put them back. If either of the swaps eliminate the problem, then you have found your "bad" tire. Mark them with chalk so you don't get confused.
 
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1,304
Location
Kankakee, IL
Balancing tires 101...... Steel Wheels Very easy actually. Just have to take A LITTLE Time to do it right. Basically have to mount the tire & rim assembly to the machine using a proper cone and or pin plate setup. Then measure the rim width and Rim size and offset to the machine. Then spin the tire. Machine tells where and how much weight to apply to the wheel. Check spin. Now we get into the problems. Tires are not round, wear pattern damage, slipped belts, bent wheels etc.. This is where a road force varience machine helps. As the road force macine will allow the tire and wheels to be measured for true. Not just visually either but under a controlled load. It measure the Loaded run out. Some machines have the capability of trying to compensate for this but not advisable. Better is to replace defective parts. Rims or tires as necessary. Once you have a wheel setup it then measure radial and lateral loaded runout and depending on tire type it passes or fails. If it passes on to regular balance. If it fails then the fun begins. Simple enough, it will mark the high spot on the tire. Then it asks to measure rim runout. So then you it compares the rim and tire run out to see iff they can compesate for each other if one is bad. Say you have .035" total runout and the rim is .003" well then you have a bad tire and turning it will not return it to the nominal .025" generally looked for. But if you had .028" Total and .008" rim you may be able to turn the tire on the rim to compensate unless already at best possible location or close. So say you can turn the tire you'd break it down and then remeasure. If it passes then "YEAH" if not you need to replace the bad component. Yes I have seen bad tires all the time even NEW ones. Personally am not officially on the Continental/General Tires hater list. YUCK!!!
 
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1,799
Location
NJ now SC
How hard is it to balance tires? 3 shops I went put wrong weights for the rim edge that a few came off giving me all kinds of problems.
 
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2,364
Location
sebring, florida
its not hard to balance tyres, my uncle has a balancing machine in his garage that i use by myself. any monkey with a reading ability of a 9 year old can read the instructions and follow them accordingly. one thing i will admit is that most people who balance tyres dont differentiate between steel and aluminum. there is a difference and alot of balancing equipment has a button to press for aluminum rims, including my uncles. when you take the time to peoperly balance a tyre and apply the correct clamp on or stick on wheel weights, it really makes a big difference.
 
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8,711
Location
Nothern USA
quote:
Originally posted by Master ACiD: its not hard to balance tyres, my uncle has a balancing machine in his garage that i use by myself. any monkey with a reading ability of a 9 year old can read the instructions and follow them accordingly. Snip...
For how much else could that be said?
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
Mark, I've had very good results from the Discout Tire shop in Bremerton. When your vehicle is jacked up and the tires still on, give them a spin by hand. Look for any un-trueness (I don't think that's a word). Look for the tires having no side-to-side movement and very good concentricity...you don't want to see any wobble. Some wheels must be balanced using a lug-centric adapter on the balancer. Some tires have beads that are hard to fit correctly on the rims. The tires must be round and the wheels centered on the balancer for them to run smoothly. The balance can be correct but the tires not round. Check everything. Ken
 
Messages
1,304
Location
Kankakee, IL
As far as the weights not fitting there are more than just steel or aluminum weights. We has color coded ones at sears that included Black - Stick-on weights Red - Steel Wheel Yellow - Alot of FORD GM, Chrysler fairly standard alumininum rims Orange - Larger rim edge width common in Japanese cars Purple - Chysler wheel weights Green - Thin rim edges on some *** and european cars Silver - Truck weights (Not to the semi world yet but heavier stuff like F350s and some thin edgeded aluminum. So wrong weights SUCK but some shops do not have a proper selection of weights. Heck where I work now does not but covers 99+% of what we do which is FORD! Just a thought on visual checks which are fairly important if ou find larger problems but a Road Force balancer will check the loaded runout not unloaded which can be more or less than visual. Import as this is how the ires run down the road.
 
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