After coming back from shopping at Costco, I was stopped at a light and happened to glance over at the truck next to me. The rim I could see had 4 wheel weights on it. And they were all pretty big. Not only that, but they were wheel weights designed for stamped steel rims, and this guy had alloy rims.
I just get a kick out of seeing things like that. It’s kind of sad that somebody probably paid good money for such sloppy work. I was taught to put only 1 wheel weight per side of a rim. Either the mechanic didn’t really understand the concept of balancing a rim, didn’t really understand how to use the balancer, or just didn’t care. Or maybe the rim contacted the curb a few times too many, and the mechanic was too blind to see it.
When properly balanced, there should be two weights.
One on the inside and one on the outside of the wheel.
Ah, grasshopper, but that wasn’t the question!
I’ve never noticed. But I be checkin’ everyone’s rims at stoplights forever now that I’m sensitized to it.
Heavier trucks have expensive, heavier tires and significant punctures are often repaired with a boot which is quite heavy. And in an effort to get the tire balanced so that it won’t set up a harmonic hammering the counterweights are attached 45* to 60* apart. The back side of the wheel may have had similar weights.
If the guy had 4 weights visible then one has to wonder how many were tacked onto the inside of the wheel rim.
I think the highest number of weights I’ve seen has been about 5. The heaviest weight load I’ve ever seen was about 7.5 ounces on one 15" wheel assembly. When I saw the latter I started wondering if whoever did that was using the same POS Snap-On wheel balancer that an employer had purchased once upon a time. Seven and a half ounces is the +/- tolerance on that boat anchor.
About 6 or 7 years ago my daughter went into Wal Mart and bought a set of Goodyear tires for her Mitsubishi. A few days later while visiting she wanted me to go for a ride with her about a problem that surfaced since the new tires. The minute we hit 30 MPH I could feel the rear hopping so I had her turn around and jacked the rear of the car up at the house. The RR wheel would just flop to the same spot in a few seconds every time. Stuck it on my balancer and found it 4.5 ounces out and that’s on a small 195/60/15.
That new tire was already ruined due to a flat spot and WM got a little bit hissy when I went in there to resolve the problem without bitching. There was some old guy who apparently was the one responsible and he started in with the "I’ve been working on cars for over 40 years and there’s no way that tire was…blah, blah, blah.
Three hundred miles from new and a very bad flat spot says otherwise and means either you screwed up or your balancer is way out of calibration. If the latter you should have felt it when spinning the wheel up.
They replaced the tire; grudgingly.
it was a F150 with factory rims, not particularly big. standard size tires
No excuse whatsoever for that balancing job
10 ounces on a corolla with new tires from the Firestone up the street, it was a mix of old an new weights. I was rather amazed when I saw it all 4 tires were the same way, they used the heavier truck weights and stacked them in rows.
It boggles the mind a bit to think that some people will balance tires like that and run the car out the door in that condition.
Anytime I’ve ever balanced a tire that seemed to require some excess weight I’ve always broken the bead down and rotated the tire rather than pile on the weight.
I owned a used XJ-12 Jaguar about 38 years ago. It had fairly new Dunlop tires when I bought it. One of those chrome wheels had weights about 1/3 of the way around. I never looked on the inside of the wheel. It could have had more. I don’t know what the total weight was.
There was a very nice, smooth, straight, stretch of rural blacktop that the federal government built in the '60s to haul a missile to its silo. They hauled it back out several years later. It was a dirt road before then, and therefor carried next to NO traffic. It became a road to nowhere. The Jag never seemed to bounce except the one time I drove it 115 MPH (indicated) on that road. Yes, I was not incredibly intelligent back then. May not be yet. It was still accelerating, but I backed out of it.
On the other extreme, I bought four Continentals for a Mercedes 190E about 15 years ago. I was impressed when the balancer’s numbers said none of them needed any weights. I watched while the guy did the installation. It never bounced at all.
+1 for ok4450. I had a tire removed and repositioned last year when the tire tech started attaching the fourth weight to my wheel. The wheel was perfectly balanced without weights when it was checked on the spin balancer by another technician.
6 oz on my brothers Toyota,the bigger, the more robust, the rotating assembly apparently the less sensitive to imbalance,we never balance the 11R 22.5 truck tires and you can run them up to 65-70 mph with no apparent ill effects,but you cant do this on a car or pickup usually,the light weight componets spin pretty fast and are sensitive to slight imbalances,that being said-a lot of tire installers dont take the time necessary to properly balance tire ,rim assemblys,find a good shop and stick with it.
A few days after I picked up my 2011 Outback, I was cleaning the alloy wheels and noticed that the relatively hidden inner edge of the rims had an incredible number of adhesive balancing weights on them. One of the wheels actually had 10 balancing weights, although I have to confess that I don’t recall the actual weight of each one.
That car–like many Outbacks of that era–had a mild vibration problem at high speed that could be felt in the steering wheel. Rebalancing the tires (under warranty) helped–for a limited amount of time–and if I recall correctly, I had to rebalance the OEM Continental tires at least once a year in order to keep the vibration under control. For whatever reason, those Contis couldn’t seem to “hold” their balance for very long–even with Road Force Balancing.
I was looking for an excuse to ditch the Contis, so when I got a puncture in one of them (when the tread depth was down to about 5/32s), I replaced them with Michelin Defenders.
The Michelins require only one or two balancing weights per tire, they provide high-speed cruising with no vibration whatsoever, and I get superior tire performance in terms of wet traction, steering response, ride, gas mileage, and noise level.
So, based on the excessive number of balancing weights that those Contis required, the need to keep re-balancing them, and their…mediocre…overall performance, I resolved to never again own Continental tires…unless, of course, I have the misfortune to buy a new car that has them as OEM equipment.
The most I’ve seen was 3 in one spot.
I have to add, however. The tire changer in most shops is a promotion for the floor sweeper. Not the most knowledgable guy in the shop in my experience. He follows instructions, doesn’t understand the “why”. So it doesn’t balance, add more weights. – Whaddya mean rotate the tire on the rim? Why?
I used to frequent an independent tire shop because they had a tire shaving machine and an older guy who knew how to run it well. He was the exception of tire guys. I took him my new DOT treaded race tires to have him taper shave the tire to 3/32nd’s on the outside to 4/32nd’s on the inside. That added 3/4 a degree of negative camber to a car restricted to -1 degree camber by the rules. Well worth it for a couple of races.
@VDCdriver the Subaru was a brand new one and not a dealer demonstrator, etc?
Ten weights on one wheel is freakish and it’s almost unfathomable to think that would have been done on the assembly line at the Subaru plant.
I wonder if someone did a PDI, test drive, thought there was a balance issue, and proceeded with the process while not really knowing what they were doing?
What’s supposed to happen is that regular mechanics are supposed to perform the PDIs. In practice, some dealers either allow their washroom guys to have at it or not do them at all.
Yes, it was a brandy-new “3 miles on the odometer” 2011 Outback. Like all of my cars, I special-ordered it.
Although the vibration problem that I had was not that severe, according to what I read on Subaru-oriented boards, what everyone seemed to have in common if they had this problem was…
an unusually large number of balance weights necessary to balance the OEM Contis
…an inability for the tires to “hold their balance” for an extended period of time.
The dealership bought a new Hunter Road Force balancer because so many people were having problems with those Contis, and it seemed like a magic cure–for about 8k miles, at which time the vibration would return.
What totally cured the vibration problem for me and for others who had the problem was simply getting rid of those OEM Contis. Some folks reported that they bought Yokohamas, some bought Bridgestones, some–like me–bought Michelins, but it seems that mounting any replacement tire other than the OEM Continental ProContacts “cured” the problem for the small percentage of owners who had this problem.
Could you blame me for never again wanting that brand of tire?
I’ve balanced Continentals in the past with few problems but like most tires there’s probably an iffy production run or poorly made series of tires that defy fixing.
Many years ago I bought a new BMW motorcycle and the OEM tires were Metzelers; which are about as good as it gets in regards to traction. Unfortunately the tire compound and the tendency of the bike driveshaft to raise the rear and push the tire down due to the ring gear caused those expensive tires to have short lives; sometimes 7-8k miles.
I tried a pair of Continentals on it and the traction was horrible. They were soon replaced as traction can be a bad enough problem on 4 wheels much less 2.
The part that stuns me is 10 weights on a wheel. It just boggles my mind that something like this could go out the door and if it’s chronic why wasn’t someone waving a flag and trying to sort it out instead of turning the customers into laboratory rats.
Personally, I think Continental is a pretty mediocre quality tire brand
that prancing horse may impress some, but not me
They never seem to wear as well, or last as long as comparable Michelins
As for the PDIs, apparently, there are several dealers out there that have the lube guys do it as part of their duties, but the salesmen are getting paid for it
Shady . . . !
The last car dealer I ever worked for carried 4 makes (I was on the import side) and sold a lot of cars which included many, many cars to a nationally known car rental company.
Not one of any of those 4 makes ever made it through a shop door for a PDI. The manufacturer reimburses the car dealer for the PDI so…ditto on the Shady.
The losers in all of this are the customers who may be randomly handed a car that has a glitch or two that should have been caught on the PDI and the mechanics who miss out on the chance to earn a little gravy money as boring as it may be.
It was strongly suspected that the PDIs were being done by the cleanup guys in the wash building a block or so down the street; most of whom would struggle with a tire gauge…
A few years ago, I was looking at used Camry for my mom. We found one at a Toyota dealer that seemed to fit all the criteria, so we headed over there
Anyways, after talking with the salesman for a bit, I learned that the used cars aren’t even inspected by dealer employees . . . !
The dealer contracts out the used car inspections to a nearby small independent shop. he even told me the name of the shop. I actually talked to the guy at this shop, and he confirmed that he did inspect cars for the Toyota dealership
This was not a CPO . . . so it’s possible the CPO cars go through regular channels
But it made me wonder
In any case, we didn’t buy the car in the end