Tire Balancing 101

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Thread: Tire Balancing 101

  1. #1
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    Tire Balancing 101

    Soooo... I don't know how easy it is to balance tires, but by the way they do it around here one would think it was child's play. I just replace the stock Dunlops for new GY CT's and wow what a difference! At city street speeds (<70km/h) they are a dream! But... Took them out for a spin on the highway and the longer I drove, the more irritated I became. Speeds varied from 90 to 120 km/h and the only thing that was funny about the vibration was my 2yr boy liked the way it warbled his voice. LOL Anyway I'm planning on going back to the dealer and getting them to recheck the balancing, but I have been through this before and they usually don't find a problem. Anyone with advice or a good plan of attack to get the van back to at least the way it was? TIA

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  3. #2
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Sometimes.....different tires react differently on different road surfaces. There are sections of a freeway near me that are bumpy and every time [spymom] rides over them she thinks there is something wrong with the car/tires.

    Having said that, yeah...sometimes they do need to redo the balance. And make sure they do it for ALL 4 tires. The lazy places only do the front 2. And I just learned that SEARS will only do them if someone complains, it is no longer something that is done routinely....even though you are willing to pay $$ for the service. They "spin" (pun intended) it as they have found that it is usually not necessary when tires are simply rotated and in fact it often makes things worse. HUH YMMV.

    Make sure they are using a computer spin-balancer. Even better, are the high-end machines that do it under a load.

    And sometimes the weights may have fallen off after they did the balance....

    And double-check the tire pressure yourself. I've found hat most shops for whatever reason are lazy, careless, or BOTH and do not put the proper pressure in either by spec or your request. Many techs just do not take pride in their work any more.... ~sigh~

    YMMV.
    Good Luck!! 8)
    2004 XLE Ltd FWD Phantom Grey Pearl/Stone // 140K miles
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  4. #3
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Quote Originally Posted by GMPEC
    ... Anyway I'm planning on going back to the dealer and getting them to recheck the balancing, but I have been through this before and they usually don't find a problem. Anyone with advice or a good plan of attack to get the van back to at least the way it was? TIA
    I definitely agree with your decision to go back to the dealer and get them to recheck the balancing. There are at least two reasons to do that:

    1. tires may really need to be balanced again - after you driven your van tires may have [set / settled/fit or some similar term] because tires were mounted and balanced 'somehow' ...

    2. vibration may be an indication that a tire has a hidden defect, i.e. a cord damage, which is obviously hidden and may not be detectable during visual inspection or mounting, but the defect leads to vibration under the full load. If this is the case, re-balancing may not eliminated vibration and you will have to determine which tire causes vibration -- by replacing one at a time. Your tire dealer will have no choice if you tell him that this specific tire/rim causes problem and not your minivan!

    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Thanks for the replies! I am VERY fussy when it comes to my ride, some may even say obsessive, but I had a balancing issue a long time ago with GY Wranglers. Balanced the tires 3 times (same shop) and another (independently). Since they found no problem with the balance, they washed their hands. Later, when I was so sick of not knowing what was wrong, I put the whole truck up on jack stands (4x4) and idled in 4L. I found that there was one tire that was, for lack of a better word, square! So yes I will be pushing the issue. I can't stand bad work. I went with the CT's based on various reviews and the claims of a smooth/quiet ride. Now, if they don't get the result I want, can I tell them to take the tires back? How far do I take it. (I'm not looking for a fight, but not interested in getting the rubber pulled over my eyes).

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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Try taking them back and tell the dealership that the tires vibrate between 55mph and 65mph.
    If you tell them that they vibrate at higher speeds, they may not rebalance them saying that the balancing is applicable only upto 65mph.

    Most probably, a rebalance will solve the problem. I don't think you'll have to fight or anything.

    I think Old Crows had experience with ComfortTreds and balancing but I maybe wrong.
    I haven't seen Old Crows around here. Not sure what he's upto lately.

    Why did you buy tires at a dealership? They are usually more expensive but I can't speak for all dealers.
    I prefer independent tire shops because that's all they focus on.
    Discount Tire/America's Tire Co. has been really good so far. Very good service and pretty much no questions asked on anything.
    They match Costco prices too.
    2006 LE 8 Salsa Red
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    According to his Member Profile, [Old Crows] last "logged-in" on 01May.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006SiennaLE
    Why did you buy tires at a dealership? They are usually more expensive but I can't speak for all dealers.
    I prefer independent tire shops because that's all they focus on.
    Discount Tire/America's Tire Co. has been really good so far. Very good service and pretty much no questions asked on anything.
    They match Costco prices too.
    To clarify, I didn't go through Toyota, I went through Fountain Tire. Sorry for the confusion. There are limited options 'up here' and they had the lowest price with $25/tire discount. Nearest Costco is an 18 hr drive south so that was OOTQ.

    I went back this morning and had them re balance the tires. I was told that one of the weights was missing (was it there in the first place?) and was told that if I still have a problem (meaning that the balancing was perfect?) they may have to look at replacing tires. I have to go out later and see what the road tells me.

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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Yay!! hopefully fixed!!

    Wow.....I cannot even begin to imagine being 18 HOURS from a Costco. I used to live in San Diego and that was Price Club / Costco heaven. I had probably 6-7 locations within an easy 15-20min drive from my house and more just a bit further away. Of course, what always bothered me about that was they often had slightly different merchandise and sometimes different prices too.

    Now, I only have 4 Costcos & 2 Sam's Clubs within 1/2hr. :o :o
    2004 XLE Ltd FWD Phantom Grey Pearl/Stone // 140K miles
    . Pod-Style Running Boards
    . OEM Hood Deflector (wimpy-version)
    . 'kmead/SeanY' Rear-Wiper Salute
    . 'mungpat' DIY Cabin Air Filter $$$-Saver
    . Michelin HydroEdge (ex-Yokohama TRZ) ... looking for replacements
    . Costco/Kirkland #9 battery
    . Longer front wipers
    . Britax Frontier 90

    20131028

  10. #9
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Quote Originally Posted by GMPEC
    ...
    I went back this morning and had them re balance the tires. I was told that one of the weights was missing (was it there in the first place?) and was told that if I still have a problem (meaning that the balancing was perfect?) they may have to look at replacing tires. ...
    I am glad you brought it back (and eventually they fixed it) so quickly. Imagine what would happen a few months later -- tire is 'square' (as you've said), not repairable, you are to blame!


    Quote Originally Posted by topspy
    ...
    Wow.....I cannot even begin to imagine being 18 HOURS from a Costco.
    Key word is Yukon !
    I am afraid they can be 18 HOURS from a Toyota because there is only one dealer for whole Yukon.
    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Well, I will be going back in the morning, again. Whatever they did didn't help and may even be worse. So I wonder about that 'missing' weight. As I thought, this will not be an easy fix here. I checked the pressures and they were all over the place from a low of 25 to a high of 38. I leveled them out at 38, but that didn't help at all. It continues . . .

  12. #11
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    Hmmm....sorry it's still "bad".

    Maybe check the suspension components?
    2004 XLE Ltd FWD Phantom Grey Pearl/Stone // 140K miles
    . Pod-Style Running Boards
    . OEM Hood Deflector (wimpy-version)
    . 'kmead/SeanY' Rear-Wiper Salute
    . 'mungpat' DIY Cabin Air Filter $$$-Saver
    . Michelin HydroEdge (ex-Yokohama TRZ) ... looking for replacements
    . Costco/Kirkland #9 battery
    . Longer front wipers
    . Britax Frontier 90

    20131028

  13. #12
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101


    ...we remember (tire shop remembers!), the old set of tires did not cause any vibration.
    '06 Sienna CE 7 pass FWD
    '07 Camry LE I4 5AT

  14. #13
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    [kolkh] brought up an excellent point about it not having been a problem before!

    I'd be betting that you have at least one tire with a bad belt or something else wrong (manufacturing defect or damage) with the internal construction. Do you notice any "bulging" anywhere, no matter how slight? Of course, it is normal for tires to bulge a little bit on the bottom sidewall near where the tire is touching the ground due to the weight of the car. And for some tires there will be some "normal" indentations and bumps along the sidewall especially closer to the rim/bead area, but if anything doesn't seem quite right you should bring it to the attention of the shop.

    You should probably have the shop tech go on a ride with you, so he doesn't think you are just making it up. It's not "his" fault "personally", but you just want it resolved.
    2004 XLE Ltd FWD Phantom Grey Pearl/Stone // 140K miles
    . Pod-Style Running Boards
    . OEM Hood Deflector (wimpy-version)
    . 'kmead/SeanY' Rear-Wiper Salute
    . 'mungpat' DIY Cabin Air Filter $$$-Saver
    . Michelin HydroEdge (ex-Yokohama TRZ) ... looking for replacements
    . Costco/Kirkland #9 battery
    . Longer front wipers
    . Britax Frontier 90

    20131028

  15. #14
    tcp
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    Fountain tire

    I hate to say this, but I've had nothing but problems with fountain tire. Endless balance problems and bad tire quality with bulging issues, etc.

    You need to find a place that has a load balancing system. They actually put a load on the wheel during the balancing procedure and fine tune the wheel that way.

    I've been very lucky with my local KAL Tire (canada only). Very professional and great service.

  16. #15
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    Re: Tire Balancing 101

    I took it back yesterday morning and left it there til noon. I was told first thing in the morning that they were having trouble with their balancer for the last week (?) and he joked that they may have to fire it. When I went back I was told that one of the tires (in the rear) was a bit wobbly so they changed it out for a new one. I was only able to take the van out late last night to see what it felt like. It was better, but still there was this annoying vibration beginning around 100 km/h. Not as bad as before, but not as smooth as the original tires. I'm thinking about yet another visit to check for roundness. I jacked up the van in my garage and spun the tires. I found that there was a bit of a flat spot on the rears, but not the fronts. I was not sure that was because it had been sitting for a few hours or not and so I'll have to reserve judgment on that. The problem that I have is that they have obviously lied to me more than once and it's getting increasingly harder to trust them that they can fix this issue. Is it worth going to another shop and checking the balance? Or is that just chasing my tail? If the tires are out of round, am I suck with them or give them back and go somewhere else? This shop is not the only one who sell/install GY tires around here, I could go to Canadian Tire. Or change brands.

    -UPDATE-
    Went back this morning and observed the balancing this time. They replace another tire in the rear and rechecked the others. Not one of them passed and had to be rebalanced. One was rebalanced, taken off the balancer, then put back on and it failed again. What's up with that? I won't get a chance to feel the ride until later this eve, but I'm trying to be optimistic.

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