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RobM

Wheel Balancing

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Every time I change my tyres, I have an absolute nightmare trying to get the wheels balanced properly. Am I alone? Does anybody else find it tough?

 

My rear tyres were changed a couple of weeks ago and I've had them re-balanced three times since. It's gradually getting better with each attempt, but it's still not perfect, despite the garages assuring me their machine says it is. Eventually, an attempt will get it right, but it's frustrating and time consuming. It's making me wonder if my wheels have a slight buckle, or something else is wrong?

 

If anybody has any suggestions, other than keep trying, I'd be grateful. I'm in south Hampshire, if you have any garage recommendations.

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I got new tyres fitted to my E39 from a tyre specialist. First time I hit 68mph and there was a shudder.  Different garage rebalanced them for me and it was cured.

 

A decent tyre fitter should be able to spot a damaged rim. Have you only use one garage for the balancing?

 

It could also be due to other driveline or suspension components being out of balance or worn that gives you the same symptoms.

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I'm on my 6th BMW.  Apart from one occasion when I replaced a set of tyres on some 18" wheels, every other attempt at balancing by a normal wheel balancing machine as resulted in the wheels not balanced correctly.

 

I'm now resigned to the fact that when I need my wheels balanced, it needs to be done on a Hunter Force Variation balancer (Google them).  This results in perfect wheel balancing every time.  Expect to pay £20 - £25 per wheel for this.  

 

I'm no expert on force variation, but when the wheels are balanced, the wheel and tyre is measured for roundness.  The tyre is then removed and replaced on the wheel for optimum 'roundness'.  The wheel is then balanced, and weights then added.  The nearest tyre shop that does this to me, is the Tyre Shop in Chinford which is a 2-3 hour round trip for me.

 

You can do a search to find your nearest tyre shop with one of the force variation machines:

 

http://www.balancemycar.co.uk/location-2/?postal_code=southampton&ml___postal_code=southampton&ml___bbox=-11.403809,49.169734,1.735840,59.435766&radius=50&x=0&y=0

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1 hour ago, 535i Andrew said:

I got new tyres fitted to my E39 from a tyre specialist. First time I hit 68mph and there was a shudder.  Different garage rebalanced them for me and it was cured.

 

A decent tyre fitter should be able to spot a damaged rim. Have you only use one garage for the balancing?

 

It could also be due to other driveline or suspension components being out of balance or worn that gives you the same symptoms.

 

Theres one garage that usually does better than others, but the have tried so far and there's still a wobble at motorway speeds. Once somebody finds the sweet spot the car drives perfectly, so I'm confident it is just balancing.

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1 hour ago, PedroC said:

I'm on my 6th BMW.  Apart from one occasion when I replaced a set of tyres on some 18" wheels, every other attempt at balancing by a normal wheel balancing machine as resulted in the wheels not balanced correctly.

 

I'm now resigned to the fact that when I need my wheels balanced, it needs to be done on a Hunter Force Variation balancer (Google them).  This results in perfect wheel balancing every time.  Expect to pay £20 - £25 per wheel for this.  

 

I'm no expert on force variation, but when the wheels are balanced, the wheel and tyre is measured for roundness.  The tyre is then removed and replaced on the wheel for optimum 'roundness'.  The wheel is then balanced, and weights then added.  The nearest tyre shop that does this to me, is the Tyre Shop in Chinford which is a 2-3 hour round trip for me.

 

You can do a search to find your nearest tyre shop with one of the force variation machines:

 

http://www.balancemycar.co.uk/location-2/?postal_code=southampton&ml___postal_code=southampton&ml___bbox=-11.403809,49.169734,1.735840,59.435766&radius=50&x=0&y=0

 

It's reassuring to know I'm not alone! I'm going to check out the Hunter option you suggest, there's a couple of places not too far away, according to that link. If it works it's worth the trip and I'll just build it into the cost of new tyres in the future. 

 

Did you do the on-car balancing? Or just the fancy wheels-off Hunter one?

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33 minutes ago, RobM said:

Did you do the on-car balancing? Or just the fancy wheels-off Hunter one?

 

To be fair I didn't know it was possible to balance wheels whilst still on the car!

 

I've only ever had wheels balanced off the car, including the force variation type balancing.

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Just now, PedroC said:

 

To be fair I didn't know it was possible to balance wheels whilst still on the car!

 

I've only ever had wheels balanced off the car, including the force variation type balancing.

 

I might have mis-read it, it talked about a simulated road test. I've found the one you're referring to so I'm going to get that booked.

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I have this problem on my m5 wheels every time, when the fitter puts the wheel on the machine and spins it up it will ask for wheel weights, now this is where the fitter always goes wrong imo make sure once they have the wheel weights on to spin the wheel back up and check again if it’s asking for anymore if it does then more need adding until it has zero on each side of the wheel. Works every time for my wheels and this is where it goes wrong as normally it asks for more weight after the first spin up.

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11 hours ago, robsey29 said:

I have this problem on my m5 wheels every time, when the fitter puts the wheel on the machine and spins it up it will ask for wheel weights, now this is where the fitter always goes wrong imo make sure once they have the wheel weights on to spin the wheel back up and check again if it’s asking for anymore if it does then more need adding until it has zero on each side of the wheel. Works every time for my wheels and this is where it goes wrong as normally it asks for more weight after the first spin up.

 

I think that's what happened the first time, from the tyre fitters themselves. The vibration was that bad they either did a lazy job, or a weight fell off straight away.

 

I'm booked in for a Hunter Road Force balancing session on Saturday, so thanks again @PedroC for your advice!

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1 hour ago, RobM said:

I'm booked in for a Hunter Road Force balancing session on Saturday, so thanks again @PedroC for your advice! 

Keep us updated on the results and cost! I've had my wheels rebalanced once to try and fix a wobble at motorway speeds and it got slightly better but still there, although I now get an odd vibration around 40mph as well.

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Of course, will do. If it works I'm going to make this part of my tyre changing process each time. I already take the car for a full alignment check every year as I'm sure the cost is outweighed by longer tyre life and a better drive. I'm more than happy to add this fancy balancing idea to the list of things to do if it helps!

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I found a small (shitty looking) indi tyre shop that managed to balance spot on nearly every time, I've used him for the past 3-4 years and he's very knowledgeable.

 

His garage looks cack from the outside but he has all new gear inside, downside is he's always busy (a real petrol head who's had a few nice M cars and currently has a fancy new skyline so he must be making some decent cash from it)

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4 hours ago, sshooie said:

I found a small (shitty looking) indi tyre shop that managed to balance spot on nearly every time, I've used him for the past 3-4 years and he's very knowledgeable.

 

His garage looks cack from the outside but he has all new gear inside, downside is he's always busy (a real petrol head who's had a few nice M cars and currently has a fancy new skyline so he must be making some decent cash from it)

 

Sounds like you've found a needle in a haystack.  Congrats! B)

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I used Formula one Autocentre they have branches all over the place, when I changed from run flats to standard Michelin primacy tyres, they were very cheap on tyres the balancing was done at same time with no problems at all at any speed, for anyone wanting wheel aligment check which branches use the Hunter System because not alll do at the moment.

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Had nothing but trouble with F1 at more than 1 branch. Car drove perfect until I had 2 tyres replaced and the other 2 balanced, kept going back and eventually gave up and sold the car as that was the final straw.

Edited by GoNz0

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The car went in for a Hunter balance today, with mixed results. It's better, a lot better, but there's still a definite vibration at a specific speed that wasn't there before. The garage double-checked for me after I took it away for a drive, but they're adamant it's fine.

 

So what now? They say check bushes etc, which is plausible but doesn't explain the link to it beginning only after new tyres. 

The tyres could be at fault, but I'd expect the Hunter to find that.

 

What else could it be?

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I'm no expert but seems if it's not the balancing and a wheel hasn't been damaged, then could one of the new tyres have a manufacturing fault? Could be worth taking up with supplier or tyre company. 

Strange that you suffer the same issue each time the tyres are renewed. I understand your frustration... 

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2 hours ago, RobM said:

The car went in for a Hunter balance today, with mixed results. It's better, a lot better, but there's still a definite vibration at a specific speed that wasn't there before. The garage double-checked for me after I took it away for a drive, but they're adamant it's fine.

 

So what now? They say check bushes etc, which is plausible but doesn't explain the link to it beginning only after new tyres. 

The tyres could be at fault, but I'd expect the Hunter to find that.

 

What else could it be?

 

BMW is not the best setup and usually these wheels are quite heavy. I would check the wheel to see if it's sitting square, easily overlooked when using an air tool.

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3 hours ago, RobM said:

The car went in for a Hunter balance today, with mixed results. It's better, a lot better, but there's still a definite vibration at a specific speed that wasn't there before. The garage double-checked for me after I took it away for a drive, but they're adamant it's fine.

 

So what now? They say check bushes etc, which is plausible but doesn't explain the link to it beginning only after new tyres. 

The tyres could be at fault, but I'd expect the Hunter to find that.

 

What else could it be?

 

Rob do you have a lot of wheel weights on your wheels? What size wheels do you have?

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Just now, PedroC said:

 

Rob do you have a lot of wheel weights on your wheels? What size wheels do you have?

 

No not many at all, they've been stripped off and replaced each time I've had them balanced recently.

I've got staggered 18" wheels.

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2 minutes ago, RobM said:

 

No not many at all, they've been stripped off and replaced each time I've had them balanced recently.

I've got staggered 18" wheels.

 

I find after hunter balancing you end up with less weights so you not having many is a good thing. 

 

How bad is the vibration and compared to what is was before Hunter?

 

 

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