You can’t balance tires without using wheel weights. Hence, most tire technicians use them to balance wheels. Still, car owners believe it’s possible to drive without wheel weights.
Are you unsure if you should have weights on your wheels?
Perhaps you want to know if you can drive your vehicle without wheel weights?
Don’t fret. This guide will answer those questions and more.
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Do all types of wheels need Weights?
All types of wheels need wheel weights, regardless of size or shape. Wheel technicians attach them to the tire and rim to counter the imbalance. By using wheel weights, you will distribute the entire weight of the rim and tire evenly.
A couple of things may go wrong if you don’t balance your wheels properly.
- First, your tires and wheel assemblies will vibrate and wobble.
- Secondly, your engine may struggle to pull your engine, which may increase fuel mileage on your car significantly.
Most people use clamp-on weights. That doesn’t mean every car owner should use them, too.
If you don’t like the standard clamp-on weights, you may choose to go for stick-on weights on your wheels.
They will still serve the purpose of balancing your wheels. All you have to do is clean the wheels thoroughly before putting them on. To ensure that they are not visible, you can slap a bit of duct tape over them.
Do I need weights on all FOUR WHEELS?
Most definitely! You need to put weights on all four wheels. Wheel weights are a crucial part of your vehicle’s overall performance.
Because it’s relatively easy to control your car when you have weights on all your four wheels. Besides, wheel weights help heavy cars to slow down quickly.
Your wheels and tires need a proper balance that weights can provide. And without using weights on all four wheels, your vehicle will have trouble navigating slippery terrains.
Remember, all tires and rims have a slight imbalance. The imbalance occurs when the rim and tire are not concentric.
Or when the tire’s sidewall has unequal stiffness. Therefore, you should counter the imbalance by putting weights on all four wheels.
It doesn’t matter if your car is an SUV, truck, or regular car. You need to rotate and balance your tires regularly.
Hence, all car manufacturers recommend this to car owners.
3 Signs You Lost a Wheel Weight?
Knowing your wheels have lost wheel weight can be tricky, though. Fortunately, there are signs you can look out for to know if your wheel weights have come off.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
1) Uneven tire wear
The first sign of out-of-balanced wheels is the uneven tread of tires. When you leave this problem unattended for far too long, it will shorten the lifespan of your tires.
2) Poor fuel economy
Another telling sign you should pay attention to is poor fuel economy on your vehicle. This problem will be due to your car consuming more gas than usual. This problem mostly happens when you accelerate your vehicle.
The vibration of the steering wheel and floorboard is another common symptom of unbalanced wheels.
Can Wheels Without Weights Be Balanced?
It is nearly impossible to balance wheels without wheel weights. That said, to balance the wheels, the technician must use only high-quality weights. Additionally, the technician should attach weight in a correct manner.
Correct balancing is essential for a smooth ride.
Technicians usually attach wheel weights between your rim spacing (top) and rim flange (bottom). They may choose to use knock-on or adhesive weights.
They will clip a knock-on weight firmly on the rim flange. Knock-on weights consist of a clip and a body.
The clip offers the force that holds the weight to the rim flange. The body provides the mass to counteract the imbalance. Using knock-on weights allows a technician to choose a weight based on the size of the tire. And they come in many sizes and shapes.
Each knock-on weight has mass sizes and styles.
Each clip style was designed for a specific rim flange. For instance, some are for thinner wheels, whereas others are suitable for alloy wheels.
Alternatively, wheel technicians can use adhesive wheel weights to the spacing area of the wheel. The adhesive weights are popular because they are inexpensive, easy to use, and invisible.
They are individual weight segments with an adhesive tape backing.
Adhesive weights also come in many styles, color codes, and sizes. What makes adhesive weights unique is that they look great on modern wheels. They are also easy to attach and remove.
Can wheel weights be put on the inside?
Unfortunately, you can’t put wheel weights inside the tire itself. But there is an option to make wheel weights inconspicuous by putting them on the rim’s back. Or inside the rim. All you have to do is to ask your wheel technicians. Then, they will place wheel weights on the inside flange.
Technicians can use any wheel weight to balance your wheels regardless of the material it is made from.
For instance, they may choose to put zinc weights, which are scratch-resistant. Or durable steel weights.
It is essential for the technician to insert wheel weights correctly. First, the technician should use the correct ounces of each weight in each wheel. They will do this by testing the wheel on the machine.
From there, they will establish the right amount of weights to use.
Once they establish which weights to use, they can proceed and insert the weights on the back of your rim.
To make the wheel weight inconspicuous, the technician will attach the weight to your wheel’s back or inside edges.
It doesn’t matter if they use stick-on or adhesive weights; technicians should start by cleaning the surface where they will attach the weights. This will remove any residue of grease or silicone that may make the weights not stick correctly.
Otherwise, your wheel weights may come off at some point.
Instances when wheel weights come off include when your wheel technician doesn’t stick wheel weights properly. After a few days of driving your car, the wheel weights may eventually fall off.
Sometimes this may happen because the technician decided to stick the wheel weights on a wet rim, making them not adhere properly.
How vital are WHEEL WEIGHTS?
Wheel weights are one of the most vital components of the wheels. Without them, your wheels will be out of balance, and driving your car will put your vehicle and others at risk.
Since balancing wheels is technical, it is advisable to allow only wheel experts to balance your wheels. They will use wheel weights to offset the overall weight distribution of your wheels.
And to help all your four wheels to tackle any imbalance.
One of the drawbacks of not using wheel weights is that you will experience uncomfortable vibrations. Even when your car is going at 50 mph, a wheel weight will balance your rim and tire assembly and improve the ride quality of your vehicle.
To ensure they balance your wheels properly, the wheel technician will do the following:
- They will perform a balance check on your wheels.
- They will determine your rim type.
- They will choose a suitable wheel weight for your wheels.
- They will test the wheel weight to see if it suits your wheels.
- They will install the wheel weights without damaging your rims.
Lastly, wheel weights can have a dramatic effect on your brakes. If you continue to drive a vehicle with unbalanced wheels, you will find it hard to control it on the road, especially when it is raining.
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you balance all your four tires with high-quality wheel weights. If you are replacing old tires, you should replace old wheel weights, too.
A good rule of thumb is to re-balance your tires every 5,000 miles each year. Fortunately, rebalancing your tires is quick and affordable.