Wheel balancing is very important in many cars. You need the four tires of your car to work properly in order to avoid accidents.
There are ideally two kinds of wheel balancing: high-speed balancing and regular balancing. Both of them are useful for every vehicle.
What is High-Speed Balancing?
Wheel balancing, also known as tire balancing, is the process by which the weight of the combined tire and wheel assembly are equalized so that spinning is done smoothly at high speed.
Wheel balancing is all about making the tires stay on a balancer to be centered and spun. This helps it determine what side or angle the weights go.
What this means is that the tires of a vehicle never have the same weight. Some tires will possess a greater mass than others so wheel balancing is needed for the weight to be shared evenly.
When a car is at high speed, a little imbalance in the weight of the car can quickly turn into a large imbalance, thereby causing the tire assembly to spin.
This spinning motion is termed “galumphing”. It causes wear and tear on tires and a very unpleasant vibration in the car.
Now, there are two types of wheel balancing. There is the normal wheel balancing and the high-speed balancing.
High-speed balancing is where a balancer looks like a kiddy ride and the balancer balances the front tires which are attached to the car.
A simple definition of high-speed balancing is that it is carried out to measure and correct the dynamic balance of a wheel or tire that vibrates on the highway at very high speeds.
Pros of High-Speed Balancing
There are advantages of high speed balancing:
1. Saves Gasoline
When the wheels of your vehicle are balanced properly, your vehicle will move smoothly. Unbalanced wheels cause wear and tear.
The threads of the tires will begin to come out and the movement of your vehicle will not be perfect thereby making you spend more on fuel
But when high-speed balancing is done, the movement will be smooth and you will consume less fuel.
2. Eliminates Scalloped, Erratic Wear Pattern in Tires
High-speed balancing enables the tires of a car to remain perfect for a long time. If your wheels are not balanced, with time, they will begin to wear and tear.
You do not want that for yourself. Therefore, before putting your tires and driving on any concrete floor, ensure to balance your wheels to avoid wear patterns in tires.
3. Stops Vibrations in Steering Wheel, Seat, or Floorboards at Certain Speed
Unbalanced wheels make the vehicle vibrate, as well as the steering wheel. But if you do high-speed balancing on your car’s wheels, the vibration of the car and steering wheel stops.
Cons of High-Speed Balancing
There are also some disadvantages of improper high-speed balancing. They are listed subsequently.
1. Difficult Handling of The Car
When the high-speed balancing is done on your car is not proper, the grip and handle of the car become really difficult. Your journey will not be enjoyable.
2. Damage To Certain Parts of The Car
Improper wheel balancing can lead to damage to some parts of your car. You have to do the wheel balancing properly to avoid paying double the price.
3. Uneven Steering
As you know, high-speed balancing has to be done very carefully in order to have good steering. Improper high-speed balancing will lead to uneven steering. In this situation, your vehicle will be moving in another direction whereas you are steering it to the opposite.
Is High-Speed Balancing Necessary?
Yes, high-speed balancing is highly important. Many drivers love to drive at high speeds and if there is an unbalanced rear wheel in the car, it will cause vibration and the car will resonate at high speed.
If you notice that your car tires are shaky, vibrate or produce a wobbly sound when you are on top speed on the highway, it is a sign that you need to that those wheels for high-speed balancing.
Who Does High-Speed Balancing of Tires?
There are auto professionals at car service centers or mechanic workshops that are trained to carry out high-speed balancing of tires.
You can balance your vehicle’s tires yourself but you should allow the professionals to do the job. In order for you not to make errors that will prove costly later on.
High speed wheel balancing costs around thirty dollars to a hundred dollars ($30 – $100) for all four wheels of a car. Often you may be charged around ten dollars to fifteen dollars ($10 – $15) depending on the type of your car and the model.
What is Regular Balancing?
Regular balancing of wheels or road force balancing measures the uniformity in the tire and wheel assembly. It also spots bulges and hard spots that are often missed by other balancing machines.
Pros of Regular Balancing
There are several advantages of performing regular balancing of your car’s wheels. They are as follows:
- Increases Longevity of Your Tires: Proper regular balancing of your car’s wheels will lead to increased durability. If this is not carried out properly, your tires will wear and tear and their lifespan will reduce.
- Improved Road Safety: Unbalanced wheels will make your tires spin abnormally and that is a hazard on roads. When proper regular balancing is done, your tires will spin properly and the road safety is improved.
- Improved Fuel Economy: Unbalanced wheels make the car consume more fuel because more pressure is needed to make the car move. As soon as regular balancing is done, the fuel economy increases because the vehicle’s efficiency increases.
Cons of Regular Balancing
There are a few disadvantages of regular balancing. They are just the same as the disadvantages for high-speed balancing.
- Random Vibrations of The Car Wheels: As long as the regular balancing done is improper, you will have a hard time driving the car. The wheels will vibrate from time to time and the steering as well.
- Stiff Handling of the Car: Just like the high-speed balancing, the steering is not aligned so when you turn the steering in one direction, the wheels will go in the opposite direction.
- Damage to Parts of the Car: Regular maintenance of your car includes regular balancing. When this is done from time to time, you will have fewer changes and repairs to do.
Is Regular Balancing Necessary?
Regular balancing is necessary to put the tires of your car in uniformity.
Similarities and Differences Between High-Speed Balancing and Regular Balancing
A major similarity between high-speed balancing and regular balancing is that both processes make the wheels perfect. The wheels are put in perfect condition.
The difference between high-speed balancing and regular balancing is that high-speed balancing ensures the weight of the wheels is evenly distributed while regular balancing ensures that the wheels are in uniform motion.
High Speed Balancing vs Regular Balancing: Which is Better?
Based on the explanation of both processes, I will say that high-speed balancing is needed just as regular balancing. But if you need to choose one, go for high-speed balancing.
When Should I Use High-Speed Balancing?
You should use high-speed balancing when your car vibrates or makes noise from the tires on the highway. It means that the wheels are not balanced.
When Should I Use Regular Balancing?
You should use regular balancing if your drive and you see that the wheels of your car move in the opposite direction from how you maneuver the steering.
How Do You Know When You Need High-Speed Balancing?
Wheel balancing was actually prominent in the late 1970s but it became less prominent when computer balancers came out. Computer balancers are faster and less difficult to use so they became the most popular option.
As long as the computer balancers are maintained properly, and the calibration is working perfectly, you can be sure that it will do a quality and excellent on your car.
You need high-speed wheel balancing when you discover that your car tires make noise on the highway. Anytime you feel vibrations from your car when you are speeding, it means you need high-speed balancing.
High speed balancing vs regular balancing… there is no need to debate about which is better. Both of them are very useful and important for every vehicle. If you notice that your car’s tires move abnormally on the road, it is high time you get them balanced.