Would a tire tech balance tires with old weights still attached

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Perhaps it is time again to remind folks what "matching the dots" means. It is matching RUN OUT (technically Uniformity!) - high point of the tire to the low point of the wheel. No, it is NOT for balance! It makes the assembly "Rounder". (Is that a word??)

The assembly still needs to be balanced because runout has very little to do with balance.

To my knowledge ALL vehicle manufacturers require their tire and wheel suppliers to mark their wheels and tires appropriately. To my knowledge the only vehicle manufacturer that uses the valve hole for the low point of the wheel is Chrysler. There is no commonality as to how the high point of the tire is marked - and in the replacement market, many tire manufacturers do NOT mark their tires for either uniformity nor balance.

That means that in the replacement market, there is very little point in matching the dots on the tire to the valve hole of the wheel. OTOH, there isn't any harm.

HOWEVER, there are balance machines that can find and measure both the wheel runout and tire uniformity and instruct the operator about how to best match these. Hunter Engineer calls them RoadForce machines.
 
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I had a Honda motorcycle dealer rebalance a new pair of tires, without removing the old weights first. I noticed the combination of new and old weights as I was loading them into the back of my pickup. I simply carried them back in, and told the service manager that they needed to try again.
That is the right way. Old tire and old weights come off. New tire comes on and new weights added while balancing.
 

hrv

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I always ask the tech to run them on the balancer first before taking off and stick on weights...just in case the tires balance is OK.
 
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Perhaps it is time again to remind folks what "matching the dots" means. It is matching RUN OUT (technically Uniformity!) - high point of the tire to the low point of the wheel. No, it is NOT for balance! It makes the assembly "Rounder". (Is that a word??)

The assembly still needs to be balanced because runout has very little to do with balance.

To my knowledge ALL vehicle manufacturers require their tire and wheel suppliers to mark their wheels and tires appropriately. To my knowledge the only vehicle manufacturer that uses the valve hole for the low point of the wheel is Chrysler. There is no commonality as to how the high point of the tire is marked - and in the replacement market, many tire manufacturers do NOT mark their tires for either uniformity nor balance.

That means that in the replacement market, there is very little point in matching the dots on the tire to the valve hole of the wheel. OTOH, there isn't any harm.

HOWEVER, there are balance machines that can find and measure both the wheel runout and tire uniformity and instruct the operator about how to best match these. Hunter Engineer calls them RoadForce machines.
The DOT at tire valve is also a great reference point IF you have an issue like I did where they slipped on the rim/bead due to too much bead lubricant.

Some techs are lazy, some might have just missed it. I have no issue with try it first and if balanced all is well. If ANY needs to be added or removed at that point, remove all and start fresh.
 

hrv

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Whenever I get my tires balanced I always ask to spin them up as is.....If they are fine...then no need to remove stick on weights to put new on...if they dont balance up...remove all weight and install new...
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

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I wonder if we got a tire tech on here can explain something. I was told the locking lug nuts should be installed opposite of the tire valve stem by a Honda Tech more than once. Ok, have no reason not to take his word. Yet if I ask Techs at tire place to do this they roll their eyes and moan. Also In my exerience most tire shop mechanics will go out of the way to talk or shame customers to pass on tire balance when you go in for rotation.
 
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I wonder if we got a tire tech on here can explain something. I was told the locking lug nuts should be installed opposite of the tire valve stem by a Honda Tech more than once. Ok, have no reason not to take his word. Yet if I ask Techs at tire place to do this, they roll their eyes and moan. Also, In my experience most tire shop mechanics will go out of the way to talk or shame customers to pass on tire balance when you go in for rotation.

I'll bet the Honda Techs think that the extra weight of the locking lugnut is offset by the extra weight of the value. Since the tire and wheel assembly is balanced with the valve as part of that and the lugnuts are not, how do they explain how that works. No wonder regular tire techs roll their eyes!

And I'll bet the tire tech doesn't get paid extra to balance during a tire rotation - which is why they discourage it. The good news here is that most of the time, it isn't needed.
 
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@SammyChevelleTypeS3,
When you have a spare couple minutes, bust out the small kitchen scale if you have one or go to the post office. Weigh one of the locking lug nuts and one of your regular lug nuts, then you can decide from there.

@CapriRacer - if the locking one weighs 2 grams more how much would it affect the balance since it also much closer to center of rotation?

If there is a big difference and you notice it, then it might be time to get rid of the locking lug OR add more and use them in all positions.
 
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I want as less weight as possible to balance the wheels.

I had some wheels stored in my shelter for close to two years and when I got them out to have new tires mounted some of the weights came right off. Not sure if that would have happened if they were in use, but I figure the less stick on weight the less that can come off.

Had that happen when it was freezing cold, weights just don't want to stick. salt doesn't help either and is harder to clean off than I expected.

washer fluid works well but you need to get the surface dry, again hard when it's cold.
 
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@SammyChevelleTypeS3,
When you have a spare couple minutes, bust out the small kitchen scale if you have one or go to the post office. Weigh one of the locking lug nuts and one of your regular lug nuts, then you can decide from there.

@CapriRacer - if the locking one weighs 2 grams more how much would it affect the balance since it also much closer to center of rotation?

If there is a big difference and you notice it, then it might be time to get rid of the locking lug OR add more and use them in all positions.

the smallest wheel weights come in 5 grams usually and they sit on the rim edge. even 20 grams difference wouldn't be noticeable on a lugnut.
 
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Had that happen when it was freezing cold, weights just don't want to stick. salt doesn't help either and is harder to clean off than I expected.

washer fluid works well but you need to get the surface dry, again hard when it's cold.
Grime on aluminum wheels comes off pretty easily... gasoline will do it, washer fluid might. We had "Varsol" at the tire shop, that definitely did it. I'd follow up gas with washer fluid in case the gas had oils remaining behind. A scuff with scotchbrite or similar is good too.
 
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I've been putting on tape weights a lot over the last 20 years, and almost all newer cars require them. The best way to prep the wheel clean is simply using 90%+ rubbing alcohol and a blue paper shop towel. Works better than the nasty brake cleaner I used for years. My weighs never fall off. A lot of OE wheel weights are stuck on too good, and you have to almost chisel them to get them off, let alone all the residue left behind from the tape.
 
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@CapriRacer - if the locking one weighs 2 grams more how much would it affect the balance since it also much closer to center of rotation?

First it helps to know the mechanics.

The engineering dimensions for imbalance is mass times distance of rotation - English units = inch-ounces. So a 1 ounce of imbalance on a 15" wheel = 7.5 in-oz.

A 2 ounce MORE on a lugnut is 2 oz times the lugnut circle diameter divided by 2. Let's use a typeical car - say my Mercury Milan - which has a bolt circle of .... looking it up ...... 108 mm = 4.25"

So a 2 oz at 2.125" = 4 1/2 in-oz

It is also helpful to know that anything within 1/4 oz at the rim flange is basically undetectable = 1.9 in-oz.

Now a check lugnut weights: I took one out of storage in the garage and it weighs 60 grams = 2.1 grams. So that makes it unreasonable that a locking lugnut would be 2 oz more. More like 1 oz.

That would make the imbalance 2 1/4 in-oz, which is really close to what is perceivable.
 
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Grime on aluminum wheels comes off pretty easily... gasoline will do it, washer fluid might. We had "Varsol" at the tire shop, that definitely did it. I'd follow up gas with washer fluid in case the gas had oils remaining behind. A scuff with scotchbrite or similar is good too.

Didn't use gas, but had brake cleaner. but you have to use washer fluid afterwards regardless.
 
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I wonder if we got a tire tech on here can explain something. I was told the locking lug nuts should be installed opposite of the tire valve stem by a Honda Tech more than once. Ok, have no reason not to take his word. Yet if I ask Techs at tire place to do this they roll their eyes and moan. Also In my exerience most tire shop mechanics will go out of the way to talk or shame customers to pass on tire balance when you go in for rotation.
Only because it looks better. Have always done this myself, both at Honda/Acura and BMW. Also always install the center cap so it lines up with the valve stem and wheel lock. Main reason though is so that we can tell if we were the last ones to work on it or not. Has covered my ass many times for "ever since" ******** comebacks.

Customer "the wheel nuts are overtightened, you were the last one to work on it"
One look at where the wheel lock is.... nope, that was done by someone else. Nice try asshat. Take it back to the "mechanic" you had work on it that won't stand behind their work.
 
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SammyChevelleTypeS3

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Only because it looks better. Have always done this myself, both at Honda/Acura and BMW. Also always install the center cap so it lines up with the valve stem and wheel lock. Main reason though is so that we can tell if we were the last ones to work on it or not. Has covered my ass many times for "ever since" ******** comebacks.

Customer "the wheel nuts are overtightened, you were the last one to work on it"
One look at where the wheel lock is.... nope, that was done by someone else. Nice try asshat. Take it back to the "mechanic" you had work on it that won't stand behind their work.
Thanks for sharing that. Man! I love that. Gotta cover you rear. I did similar stuff to cover myself when I worked in some machinery mechanical crews on chemical plants. Worked on their compressors and turbines, high pressure equipment etc.... One Superintendant was going to try burn me (write up) for installing a wrong pipe gasket. I replaced it with the same exact type I had removed. I always threw my used parts in a certain bin behind one of our shops until our turn arounds ended just in case we needed to look at an used parts etc.... When I got accused of being untruthful, boom, I was able to hand them the well worn and used gasket with the rust rings on it that matched the flange it came out of. The guy could not believe it. LOL I was ****ed lucky too that I was able to dig it out of the full metal dumpster. STUFF happens. Gotta cover yourself, no one else will.
 
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Time for something really dopy.

When buying new tires.....how 'bout spinning the empty wheel, recording the location of any imbalance, then spinning the tire in the same manner?

Match the complimentary imperfections....just like in a marriage! (ha-ha)

Seriously, if minimizing weight used is a goal, why not?
Yes, I know it's an additional step and would come with a price...but not that high a price.
 
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Time for something really dopy.

When buying new tires.....how 'bout spinning the empty wheel, recording the location of any imbalance, then spinning the tire in the same manner?

Match the complimentary imperfections....just like in a marriage! (ha-ha)

Seriously, if minimizing weight used is a goal, why not?
Yes, I know it's an additional step and would come with a price...but not that high a price.
Uh, how are you going to spin just a tire?
 
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