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Am I crazy or are the tire people lazy?

I purchased a set of 4 snow tires Sunday. Monday as I drove in to work, the car shook hard enough that I spilled coffee on myself. Figured the tires weren’t balanced correctly, so I took it back. They rebalanced the tires, and said that in the cold weather sometimes the weights fall off. This morning, the car still shakes. Not as badly as it did yesterday, but enough that I’m wondering if the tire people were just lazy and didn’t check all 4 wheels, there’s something else wrong, or if I’m just crazy.

I don’t work in what most folks would call “cold weather,” but I have never heard of winter weather causing lead weights to fall off at a more increased rate.

If the only change you made on Sunday was to add winter tires- then I would say that you are on the right track.
It is completely possible that they are trying to do the minimum amount of work.

-Are these new tires? Or left over winter tires from last year? If from last year, one or more may have had a belt snap, or if not aired properly, developed a flat spot.
-If you have winter rims as well, a rim could be bent.

I would take it back, and watch them rebalance all 4 tires.

Bull. Pure, unmitigated bull.
They’re just too lazy and irresponsible to do the job right. Be sure to write their home office (they’re a chain?) and spread the word to everyone you know not to go there.

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See my post on “minor rant” just bellow.

Make sure they have not cross threaded the lugs and have torqued them properly.

Yea, tires were shaking from cold weather; very creative. I bet if this was in the summer, they would blame it on the rims sweating.

They no longer use lead weights to balance tires.

Instead they use adhesive steel weights.

What might be happening is one or more of the struts was damaged when the vehicle was raised to replace the tires.

Hyper-extending a strut when lifting a vehicle will sometimes damage the valving inside the strut. This can then cause the strut to longer dampen and you end up with tire bounce.


I’ve lived in the north east most of my life. I’ve never had a wheel weight fall off and never knew of anyone it happened to

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"They no longer use lead weights to balance tires. Instead they use adhesive steel weights."
Clip on weights are still common for steel wheels. Of course, steel wheels are far less common than they used to be.

Clip on weights are common on alloy wheels too, but I prefer tape weights on alloys.

They’re not lazy, they’re just tired. :wink:

My best friend used to work at a tire shop, and he had a long list of these types of corny jokes.

I have seen weights fall off and per the video from Tester it is also true that a shock or strut can be damaged by simply lifting the vehicle into the air.

If it’s that bad it’s at least possible a bounce test on each corner of the car might show the latter.

They are new winter tires. I didn’t buy new rims, but had the new tires put on existing rims.

Oh man. It is not shaking that much.

Well, they weren’t too tired to take my money so…

Yeah I’m thinking I’ll take the car somewhere else

Adhesive weights are used on alloy wheels and, in cold weather, the adhesive doesn’t always stay as sticky. I haven’t had many weights fall off but I have had to “restick” a few that were starting to come loose.

Bummer. You need a new tire supplier/installer.

I find wheel balance weights all the time laying in the gutter on the side of the road during my frequent neighborhood walk-a-bouts. I have accumulated a coffee can full of 'em in fact. So they must fall off, and not infrequently. Otherwise they wouldn’t be so easy to find. The ones I find laying in the road are almost always the type that have a little appendage that is tapped over the edge of the rim. The same kind I used to balance wheels with a bubble balance machine when I worked a summer job at a gas station as a teenager. Those were lead I think. Not sure if the kind I find now are lead or steel, but they a hold to the wheel the same way. Doesn’t appear to involve any adhesive. I do find what I believe are the adhesive kind, but much less frequently. Not sure if the cause is the adhesive kind don’t fall off as much, or there’s not as many of them in service.

I’d guess… and it’s only a guess… that’s because tape weights are generally placed on the inside of the rim where centrifugal force helps them stay in place. :grin:

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Ok, that makes sense. But then I don’t understand how they properly balance the tires should the dynamic balance machine say a weight is needed on the outside of the rim. Or do they use the grab-hold type for that?

hmmm … also thinking the centrifugal force idea would only work on one side of the car, the other side wheels would tend to throw off weights on the inside of the tire wouldn’t it?

Good point. Allow me to modify my guess by suggesting that the use of tape weights significantly reduces the proportion of installed weights that comes off.

Re: the second paragraph, I’m left confused by its meaning. Centrifugal force works the same no matter which way the wheel in spinning. Or which side of the equator you’re on. Or was this a tung-in-cheek comment? :relaxed:

You will need three coffee cans. The tire industry began phasing out the use of lead wheel weights more than 10 years ago. We still have lead weights in our inventory but have been using alternate materials since 2005. Installing lead wheel weights has been prohibited in the state of California since Jan. 1 2010.

Modern wheel weight are usually marked ZN (zinc) or FE (iron/steel).