To keep the tread in constant contact with the road, the wheel and tyre have to be correctly balanced. If the vehicle was to be raised on a jack and the wheel spun by hand, an unbalanced wheel would always stop at the same point – with the heavier imbalance being of course at the bottom of the wheel.
On the road, wheel balancing can actually lift the tyre from contact with the road creating vibration through the steering wheel, causing steering and braking problems. This vibration causes high-pressure stress in the steering, hub assemblies and suspension, resulting in excessive mechanical wear and high fuel consumption as well as tyre wear. Damage to the suspension, wheel bearings and steering components is unavoidable if the imbalance is left unattended.
Incorrect wheel balance is easily corrected by using a computerised electronic wheel balancer to measure the imbalance, and then adding small metal weights to even things up. It is essential that you have your wheels balanced whenever you replace a tyre or have a puncture repaired (alloy wheels require specially coated weights to avoid corrosion caused by chemical reaction between differing metals).
Uneven Tread Wear
Often car tyres need to be replaced before their specified life has been reached mainly because of rapid or uneven tread wear. The most common causes of avoidable tread wear are:
- Under-Inflating – Causing rapid wear along the edges of the tread.
- Over-Inflating – Causing rapid wear along the centre of the tread.
- Faulty brakes or shock absorbers – Can cause flat spots around the tread of the tyre.
- Incorrect wheel alignment (tracking) – can cause rapid wear along the inside or outside edges of the FRONT tyres. If you strike a kerb or hit a pot hole – the delicate settings of the steering geometry may become misaligned resulting in uneven wear. Wear and tear in the steering components can also affect wheel alignment so it’s worth having your front wheels realigned every 6000 miles.
Typical signs of incorrect wheel tracking:
- Uneven or feathered tyre wear
- Steering wheel vibration
- Drag or pulling
- Audible distress while turning corners
Incorrect wheel alignment, can also apply undue pressure to tyres which can cause them to lean into one another. When that happens your vehicle faces resistance on the road surface making the car work much harder to drive along in a straight line therefore burning up more fuel than normal which is bad for your wallet and the environment.
The expert technicians at City Tyres UK use Supertracker Wheel Alignment equipment, which offers a fast and accurate system for your front wheels, and is considered the most trusted equipment in the UK. The experts at City Tyres UK have used this equipment for a number of years due to its safety credentials reliability and efficiency. This enables the branch staff to quickly check the front wheel alignment. Supertacker’s laser wheel aligners are available in City Tyres UK branches throughout the Midlands.
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