Stick on weights . . . love 'em or hate 'em . . .?

I’m about 80% against, 20% in favor of stick on weights

80% against . . . they’re a pain to put on, meaning you have to spend a fair amount of time cleaning the rim, so that they’ll stick. And you have to do so in a way that does not damage the rim. Not that easy, actually. And in my experience, no matter how careful you are, the weights will all fall off long before it’s time for the next set of tires

20% in favor . . . it could be argued the rims look better, because the stick ons are less obvious

What really infuriates me is the way things are headed with alloy rims. It seems that more and more rims have no more lip, so you’re forced to use those stick ons

I actually like Benz’s idea of wheel weights . . . where the clip and weight are separate. I believe BMW also uses this system. Again, this only works on rims that actually have a lip

I have them on both my Camrys. They have alloy wheels. I had the wheels balanced at NTB and the tires were more out of balance than when they started. They told me they will wear in. Took it to what used to be Discount Tire. They redid it and fixed it.

It’s not about love them or hate them. It’s just about doing it. If the wheel requires them, then we use them, for an additional fee. If the customer wants them, we use them, for an additional fee.

I miss the old lead clip-on weights since they’ve been outlawed. The steel ones just don’t work as well as far as conforming to the shape of the rim.

"I miss the old lead clip-on weights since they’ve been outlawed. "

+1. WTH was that all about, anyways? It’s not like you eat the wheel weight! If Pb is “good eonugh” for bullets, battery terminals, et. al…I fail to see what unique considerations make it unsuitable for a wheel weight. Besides, blood Pb concentrations have been dropping drastically for the last 35 years. If ever there were a need for anal-retentiveness W/R/T Pb…that need has long since passed.

P.S. Since “densest is best” for a ballast-weight system…I suppose I should switch to Depleted Uranium wheel weights :wink:

@asemaster I hear what you’re saying

But for the most part, I hate them, as stated

That’s why I used the title that I did

If I didn’t have a strong opinion one way or the other, the title would have been “What do you guys think about stick on weights?”

@meanjoe75fan From what I hear, the lead weights have been outlawed, because many wheel weights do fall off, even the clip ons, and some of that lead finds its way into our oceans and rivers, where it causes problems for wildlife

I didn’t know they were outlawed. Add that to the long list. Stick ons came from the factory and the local place used the others when they balanced my tires. I thought I was being short changed but guess not.

I go the other way, 70% like and 30% dislike stick on weights. At high speed the stick-ons will not fly off. Parked with hot brake rotors, they can and do drop off from the heat. I always use furnace duct tape, the metal stuff, not the fabric tape, over the weights to protect and hold them in place. I like the way they look.

As for clip-on weights, I get very upset if there is not at least ONE weight on the outside of my wheels after a balance. That tells me they were only statically. not dynamically balanced. Weights inside and outside balance the inner and outer of the wheel as well as radially giving a far better, longer lasting balance. Tire guys roll their eyes when I refuse to take the car until they re-balance it dynamically.

Since stick-ons are near the middle of the rim in a single line, it usually means they were statically balanced but the errors are reduced. The likelihood of a decent balance are pretty good.

I’m not a fan of stick-on weights although I understand the need or desire for them in certain situations.

It could just be me, but I actually prefer steel wheels instead of alloys even if the alloys look much better. It seems to me that steel wheels seem to be easier to balance and stay in balance better than their alloy counterparts.

I didn't know they were outlawed.
Well, "Certain states" don't allow them.

Imagine the 6 or 7 states that are “usual suspects” (i.e. banning things far beyond any and all scientific bases for doing so, “most likely to be all up in your business for no good reason”…and you’ll probably be bating .800 or better on which states!)

I’m on my fifth vehicle with stick on wheel weights and haven’t lost one yet. I neither love nor hate them. So far. I just haven’t had to think about them.

Stick on weights all the way. Clean the wheel with glass cleaner and apply the weights. I have yet to have one come off.

@SteveC76 I do it exactly the way you described, and they fall off

it might take a few years, but they do not stay on the life of the tire

If the rim has a lip, it’s getting clip ons, unless the operator/owner specifically requests stick ons

@db4690 Where are you getting your weights? A good quality tape weight from your local tire service supply should stay on as well as the factory tape weights when applied to a clean surface. The ones you get over the counter at Autozone, well, good luck. True, it’s more work and the weights cost more, but that’s why we charge more.

Remember retail work, where the goal is to have more work to charge for? Haha.

I guess my experience is different than yours. My biggest complaint about tape weight is having to scrape them off when replacing tires. And I don’t too often see them missing.

You’re going to love this. I now have to have three different styles of clip-on weights in stock to accommodate steel and alloy wheels. I’ve seriously thought about using tape weight exclusively to reduce the space and money all that weight takes up.

@asemaster I’m getting my weights from the tire supply shop

And they’re not old, with dried up adhesive

I see the stick ons missing all the time. It’s so obvious, it’s funny. the adhesive is still there, stuck to the rim. But the weight is gone.

Yeah, I know all about the different clip ons . . . mc, mcn, iaw, fn, etc. I may have gotten a few of the letters wrong, but you know the deal. It sure was nice when there were only 2 kinds of clip ons . . one for stamped steel rims, and one for alloy rims

In my personal experience, stick ons are more likely to fall off than clip ons

Maybe they’ll have stick on ties one day, to compete with those “old school” clip ons

To think that somebody actually doesn’t know how to tie a tie nowadays . . .

I’m sure there’s some crackpot like Scotty Kilmer on youtube, showing you how to tie a tie


I’ve been using stickons for years without incident. I wouldn’t assume that the presence of adhesive residue means the wheel lost a weight. Every time you get new tires the old ones come off and new ones go on in different spots. I’ve never seen a tire buster clean the old adhesive residue off, so I can only assume residue is from old weights removed when new tires were balanced. I know I have a few of those spots on my own rims.

Steel wheel = crimp on OK. Clear coated alloy = stick on exclusively for me. Had too many that started peeling right where the weight had pierced through…


Here’s the scenario . . .

Everything’s fine on the freeway, for a few years. No steering wheel shaking

Then from one day to the next, the steering wheel starts shaking, but you’ve not hit any dips, curbs, potholes, etc. from one day to the next

You put the car on the balancer and notice the residue, but no wheel weights

My conclusion . . . the darn things fell off, because stick ons are inferior to clip ons

Sorry if my conclusions aren’t yours, but I’m entitled to my own

In my opinion, if stick ons were as good as clip ons, they would stay on for the “life of the tire” provided you didn’t encounter too many potholes or what have you

I’ve got no dog in the fight but I’ve seen a number of alloy wheels with an adhesive blotch where a weight used to be.

Db, your experiences with them have apparently been different from mine. No problem. I support your right to draw different conclusions based on different experiences, but your conclusion that my wheel weights fell off is just plain flat-out wrong… since I was actually there, I actually know my wheels, and I can tell you for an absolute fact that I’ve never lost any weights.

Mine DO stay on for the life of the tire. I’m sorry if yours don’t.