If you are just getting into the enthusiast realm of automobiles, you will find a lot of new terms. And one of the things that most beginners find hard to understand is the process of balancing the wheels. For that reason, many ask what is tire balancer and how to use it.
Considering the fact that you are reading this article, we guess it will be safe to state that you have no idea regarding the process. But worry not because you are in the right hands. We are going to make you familiar with the topic, the process and provide you the knowledge about how to use one of the machines.
So, without wasting any more of your precious time, let us get into describing the stuff, shall we?
What Is a Tire Balancer?
Otherwise known as a wheel balancer, the machine is used to equalize the overall weight of the entire tire. It will ensure that the combined tire has the proper amount of weight on each of the sides. As a result, the spinning will be smooth at high speeds. And if the spinning motion is smooth, the performance will be optimal too.
In the core essence, the tires and the wheels do not usually have the right balance after the manufacturing process. For the wheel, there is a valve stem hole, which will usually subtract a small chunk of weight. And that small chunk of weight is more than enough to make the whole system imbalanced.
The case is the same for the tires. They will have some weight imbalances on the joining points. On that note, a slight deviation at any certain point of the tire can cause some imbalance in the weight. And weight imbalance and high speed do not go that well.
That tiny level of imbalance can slowly turn into a massive imbalance in the centrifugal force at higher speeds. And once there is a huge imbalance on the centrifugal force, the assembly will spin in an off motion, which is known as the “galumphing” motion.
When the motion is a bit off, the level of vibration will be very irregular. And because of the irregular vibration, the overall rate of wear on the tire will be reasonably high as well. For that reason, the tire might not be able to offer the promised years of service.
Types of Tire Balancers
During the manufacturing process, the manufacturer will simply choose one of the two balancing methods. Some of the manufactures will make their tires go through both of the processes. And if it fails in any of the factors, the tire will simply get rejected.
Nevertheless, let us get right back into the topic. There are two types of tire balancers. One is the static balancer, which is also known as the “bubble balancer”. This machine is relatively less expensive than most of the other automotive equipment that is available. However, the machine will require a high level of skill.
The operator has to carefully split the weights and balance them. And the hard process is balancing the weight on both the inside and the outside of the tire. Both the inside and the outside balancing is done to avoid what we call the dynamic imbalance.
On the other hand, the second type of tire balancer is called the dynamic balancer. This also has another name, which is the “spin balancer”. Unlike the static one, this method can be carried out wheel the tire is off and on the vehicle. This flexibility will offer you the flexibility to carry out the entire process in your own way.
Additionally, the machine highly relies on computerized data. The computer will scrutinize the entire wheel after it is clamped onto the machine. It will then calculate the locations where the balance is a bit off by spinning the wheel around. Then it will apply the required amount of weight to balance the whole tire.
Important Things about Tire Balancing
Now that you have a proper idea about a tire balancer, you might be interested to know about the important details about the whole system, right? Well, we are going to fill you in that regard as well. So, without further ado, these are the important things that you should know about the whole process:
a) Balancing is Necessary
One thing we would like to get clear is that balancing is a necessary thing for a tire. The tires will not come out balanced out of the manufacturing process. Once in a blue moon, the tire might naturally come out properly balanced. But that chance is lower than you finding a needle on a haystack.
b) Balancing will Only Fix the Balance
One thing that many thinks is that the balancing will eliminate the overall amount of vibration. However, this is not entirely true. Even though this process is capable of ensuring that the vibration level is low, it will not entirely remove the vibration that the tires produce.
Most importantly, it will not reduce the vibration that will occur on a worn-out or irregular-shaped tire.
c) Balancing Will Change Over Time
Tires are well known to wear out over time. And for the wearing, the balance might be off over time. This is what most people call the dynamical imbalancing nature of the tire. For that reason, people recommend rebalancing the tire once in a while. It helps to extend the lifespan of the tire.
How to Use a Tire Balancer?
Let us now move along to the second important topic we have in hand, which is the operational process of a tire balancer. And these are the steps you should follow to operate the machine:
Step 1: Turn the Balancer on
If the machine is on before starting the process, you need to turn it off and then turn it back on again. This will reset the parameters.
Step 2: Clean the Tire
After turning the balancer on, you should clean the tire. And then move along to cleaning the rim flange and the wheel of the machine.
Step 3: Mount the Tire
Once the tire and the rest of ht components are clean, mount the tire onto the balancer. Then you need to input the wheel dimensions and the width of each of the dimensions. Make sure that the parameters are correct, or else the machine will not be able to operate properly.
Step 4: Operate the Machine
After inputting the parameters, you need to lower the hood to let the wheel spin. This process will also let the machine check the dimensions. Then, raise the hood and wait till the tire stops rotating. You will notice the center bar blinking. That is when you need to attach the inboard weight. Press next and let the wheel rotate.
Lastly, check the corrective weights and check the overall balance. If all seems okay to you, take the wheel off and attach it to your vehicle.
We hope that we could provide enough information to let you know what is tire balancer and how to use it. And now that you know all about it, hopefully, you would be able to make proper use out of it.