Most tires are not perfectly balanced when they come from the manufacturer.
Therefore, some weights may need to be applied.
Here, we will take a look at whether a wheel can be balanced without weights. Also, we will take a look at alternatives to conventional wheel weights.
Can Wheels Be Balanced Without Weights?
In many cases, your wheel will require some type of weight to be perfectly balanced. That is because there will be some sort of imperfection or imbalance when the tire comes from the manufacturer. The weights will be able to correct lateral and vertical tire imbalances.
Table of Contents
If My Tires Has No Weights – Does It Mean They’re Not Balanced?
Wheels with no weights added are typically not balanced. If you install the tires on your vehicle, then you may not have performed a tire balance assessment and applied any weights. Therefore, you will want to have a tire center apply the proper weights on the wheel.
When just about all tires come from the manufacturer, they are not in perfect balance. This is why some weights will be applied to the rim of the wheel.
The weights are designed to help mitigate the lateral and vertical imbalance and improve the drive quality.
There could be a rare case that your tires and wheels have no weights and be in perfect balance.
However, this is usually not the case.
It is almost impossible to have a tire come from the manufacturer and be in perfect balance.
Usually, when you get new tires for your vehicle, they will be balanced to ensure that you enjoy the proper ride quality. At that time, the tire technician will put the tire on the wheel and check the balance.
That is when the weights are usually applied to the rim.
Are There Any Alternatives To Wheel Weights?
If you don’t want to use weights for your wheels, then you may want to consider the limited available alternatives.
However, in most cases, conventional weights are the ideal choice for properly balancing your wheels.
- Non-lead wheel weights
More and more states are banning conventional lead wheel weights for tires. The next best alternative is what is known as non-lead wheel weights. One of the most popular non-lead alternatives is zinc wheel weights.
Other types of non-lead wheel weights include steel and composite material wheel weights.
- Sticky weights
Another type of wheel weight alternative to consider is what is known as sticky weights.
Unlike conventional wheel weights, these sticky weights are attached to the wheel itself and help to handle the vertical imbalance on the wheel.
These sticky weights can be clustered on sections of the rim to help perfect the wheel balance.
- Clip-on weights
Finally, there are clip-on weights that are attached to the inside flange of the wheel.
These clip-on weights are popular because they can hide the weight from being seen from the outside of the wheel.
It should also be noted that the United States has banned the use of lead weights on new vehicles since 2009.
Are Weights Still Being Used To Balance Tires?
More and more states are banning the use of lead weights for tire balancing.
Because of these, many people are looking at non-lead weight alternatives.
If you need to have your tire balanced, you should be able to find a tire tech who can provide the right non-lead weight for your tires.
The type of weight that will be used for your tire will depend on several factors.
For example, if you have large 35-inch tires, then the tire tech may opt to use a stack of sticky weights that will be able to balance the wheels and have the adhesive power to handle rugged driving conditions.
Some strong adhesive!
Additionally, if you have an older vehicle, you can find a tire tech who can switch out any lead weights that you may have on your wheel and attach a non-lead weight alternative.
Overall, there are several options out there if you need to balance your tires and wheels. Be sure to check out which type of weight options are available for your type of vehicle.
Can Wheels Without Weights Be Balanced?
While it is possible to have a perfectly balanced wheel without weights, it is not likely. That is because there are several factors in play when it comes to wheel and tire balance.
First, you would need to have a tire that is perfectly balanced on all sides.
Also, you have to consider the construction of the wheel when it comes to the tire and wheel balance.
Also, you will have to consider how the tire and the wheel will perform over time. Road conditions and tire wear can cause a vehicle’s tires and wheels to become unbalanced.
It is recommended that a vehicle receive tire balancing service every 5,000 miles. At that time, weights can be applied and removed to keep the vehicle’s tires and wheels in perfect balance.
When it comes down to it, there is no real downside to using any of the modern weight options when it comes to balancing your tires and wheels. All modern weight options are easy to apply, and they are environmentally friendly.
Also, tire balancing services are relatively affordable for most vehicles.
Do New Wheels Have Weights?
When you purchase new wheels or tires, they will not have weights on them.
This is because it is almost impossible to have a perfectly balanced wheel without knowing what tire is going to be applied. Also, you have to factor in what vehicle is going to use the wheel.
Another reason why new wheels will not have weights on them is the continuing regulation regarding wheel weights.
Some states do not allow lead weights while other states permit it. Therefore, wheel manufacturers can ship their products anywhere without having to customize the permissible type of weight.
When you purchase a new wheel, the tire tech will attach the tire and will be able to apply the needed weight. The tire tech will use advanced equipment to calculate the amount of weight that needs to be applied to the wheel as well as where the weight needs to be applied.
Once the weights have been applied, the tire and the wheel will have the proper balance and deliver an optimal ride experience.
Do Mechanics Normally Balance Wheels When Checking The Car?
You can expect a technician to balance the tires and wheel during a tire rotation. But you might be wondering if a mechanic typically balances wheels when rotating them. Like, when you take the car in for shifting to winter tires, the wheels are often rotated.
That is because a tire rotation involves removing the tires from the vehicle’s wheels and moving them to another position on the wheel.
This will cause the tire to become imbalanced due to its new location.
As an example, a tire that was situated on the left side of the vehicle may need to have its clamps moved if it is going to be moved to the right side of the vehicle and vice versa. This is why it is important to have your tire rotation service every 5,000 miles. This will not only help extend the tread life of your tires, but it can also ensure proper balancing.
Of course, you can also bring your vehicle in for tire balancing service without the tire rotation service.
However, it will make sense to simply have your tire rotation service regularly.
This will allow you to get both services – tire rotation and tire balancing – completed during one service center visit.
Understanding Wheel Balance
If you want to ensure a smooth ride on your vehicle, then make sure you have proper wheel balance. The best way to balance your tires and wheels is to take your vehicle to a well-reviewed tire center.
Experienced tire technicians will be able to balance your tires and ensure better ride quality on your vehicle.