Question : I HAVE come across your replies regarding
wheel balancing and I am surprised that you
always advised front wheel car owners not to
do wheel balancing by lifting up each/particular
wheel, rotating the wheels at high speed and
inserting the weights to balance them.
I noticed that the wheel alignment and balancing outlets are equipped with equipment
designed to carry out this procedure.
I am sure you have seen such equipment
where the worker sits on and spins the wheel.
I am told that most of the equipment is imported and is quite expensive.
Why is it that such equipment is manufactured in the first place if the off-wheel balancing machines could balance the wheels and
My personal experience with the various cars
I have owned, mostly Malaysian made ones, was
that unless the wheels had been balanced using
the on-wheel balancing method, the wheels will
vibrate at certain speeds.
When I changed tyres, the outlets would do
off-wheel balancing first, followed by wheel
alignment and on-wheel balancing.
When I go for regular alignment and balancing (without tyre change), the outlets will carry
out the alignment first, followed by on-wheel
balancing. If any vibration is detected, they do
not do the off-wheel balancing.
I have also patronised outlets which do not
have on-wheel balancing machines and they do
only off-wheel balancing.
From my experience, no matter how much
off-wheel balancing is done, the vibrations
are still felt. It's as if the on-wheel method is a
Since I am not that technically inclined, I
would like to know what are the differential
side gears that were not designed to spin at
high speeds that you mentioned in your reply
It is actually for rear drive cars that tyre shops
have the on-car wheel balancing machines that
spin the front wheel assembly while still mounted
on the suspension.
Many of these machines came out during the
days when the MacPherson suspension first came
into use and wheel balance became very critical as
even the slightest imbalance would cause steering
On-board balancing took into account even imbalance in the brake discs and the hubs and virtually eliminated this shake problem.
With front wheel drive, the issue is that unless
both wheels are lifted off the ground and allowed
to rotate using engine power, there can be severe
differential side gear and bearing wear due to the
high spinning speeds. There is nothing wrong in
using the unit if one knows how to use it correctly.