Wheel Balancing Weights - Is this normal?


I just had 4 new Pirelli Cinturato P7’s installed on my 2012 Subaru Legacy. So far they’ve been excellent. However, today while I was checking the air pressures, I noticed that 2 of 4 rims didn’t have wheel weights on them. Is this possible? I don’t notice any vibration at higher speeds, or steering wheel shake.

I was always under the assumption that ALL tire/rims needed some type of weight or they would be unbalanced? Does anyone else have rims without weights?

I thought maybe they fell off, but I would think I’d have vibration or some sort of problem that would require me going back to the tire shop.

I’d really appreciate all of your feedback! Thanks!

They are probably on the inside of the rim.

I am sure that knfenimore is correct.
If the OP carefully peers through the openings in the alloy wheels, he will almost surely find that there are some self-adhesive balancing weights placed somewhere on the inner side of the rim.

Yes, it is possible that the tire/rim didn’t need balancing. In a situation like that, if the customer doesn’t see any weights he’ll complain that he was charged for balancing when it appears it wasn’t done. However, most of the work of balancing is checking the balance on the machine. To avoid this complaint some techs will put a minimal amount of weights on anyway, but not enough to affect the balance. I can’t blame them.

I can. If the balance is excellent without weights, they should not put weights on. Excellence sometimes means adding nothing.

And yes, I absolutely agree, it is possible that no weights were needed. It does happen. Especially if the tech “indexes” the tire.

Whoops, something came up. Gotta run.

That has become more common with the improvements in the technology of tire and wheel manufacturing. It was a rare occurence back in the good ole days as best that I recall. I do recall some brands of tires were marked with a yellow dot at the heaviest position on the circumference which was usually at the tread splice. Extremely out of balance tires got a boot bonded to the innerliner to avoid being rejected by the tire stores.

So, as long as I am not getting any sort of vibration, should I just not worry about it? The wheel weight(s) are definitely installed on the inner rim (I can see 2 of them), but as much as I’ve searched (and felt) through the alloy spokes on the rim, I cannot find the other 2 weights. Could they have been put somewhere else that I can’t see?

If I had thrown weights (which I know happens), what type of problems would I have? Just vibrations at about 60MPH? Any noise?

Last, would you recommend me bringing this up the next time I get my tires rotated (free rotations where I had the tires installed), or just leave it alone if I am not having any issues. Bottom line, I don’t want to do anything to compromise my new tires. I also did a 4 wheel alignment.

Thanks much!

So, as long as I am not getting any sort of vibration, should I just not worry about it?


...would you recommend me bringing this up the next time I get my tires rotated...[?]

No, they can only screw it up.

I remember my aunt, the first female car guy, talking about buying a new set of Dunlops for her '67 Impala SS-427. I imagine it could use them up pretty rapidly. She said they were the only tires she’d ever seen that didn’t need any balance weights, so I guess that sometimes happened in the '60s
As I’ve mentioned before, I bought a set of Continentals for a Mercedes a few years ago that also required no weights. I watched the guy balance them on an electronic balancer. Zeros all the way.

Yes, today it IS possible to find perfectly balanced tires and wheels. Modern manufacturing and quality control methods make this possible…

I didn’t think mine had any either but they are the stick on kind on the inside of the wheel so you can’t see them. They do that a lot on the mag wheels.

Even if the rim is perfectly balanced you’d think weights would still be required to compensate for the wheel/tire asymmetry caused by the valve stem. I think I heard recently that when mounting a tire a certain mark of the tire is supposed to line up with something on the rim. Maybe if that’s done then indeed if you have a perfectly balanced rim, no need for weights.

In any event, if the wheel was out of balance you’d notice a vibration, worse at freeway speeds. Since you don’t notice anything, suggest to smile at your good fortune and enjoy the drive :wink:

Quality passenger car tires usually need less than 1.0 ounce of weight to balance and often only on one plane (inside or outside). With good quality tires I see about 1 in 10 that are in balance with no weight needed, all four in perfect balance as mentioned sounds like a winning Keno ticket.

If your wheels use clip on weights and two wheels have no weight on the outside, weight was probably unnecessary. The same goes for stick on weights on the inside of the wheel except they may just be hard to spot.

@GeorgeSanJose, here’s an explanation about the red and yellow dots on tires.


I can’t imagine having 4 tires in one shot that did not require any weight. It would have me wondering if the car was about to blaze up…

MG,what happened to that car?,my brother is in the process of restoring one,(He has 2 shells)its a convoluted story about those cars.
Yes,if the tire is smooth,drive it!It happens occasionally,we never balance the tires on our 5 ton trucks and they are smooth usually to 65-70 mph,sometimes you can get a rock wedged in the dual tires and throw things out of balance,sometimes enough mud and dirt can accumulate,as an aside,I believe a lot of tire troubles are caused by an out of round condition,I watched a 4x4 go by one day that the back axle was literally jumping off the ground,one Jack leg put a set of tires on my Brothers Tundra (once)He had 6 ounces of weight on one side on one wheel,needless to say it was undrivable.

@kmccune I wish I knew where it went. She was the first of my mother’s siblings to die, a widow for several years. That was about 32 years ago. She was a retired school teacher, but spent summers working along side her husband in a full service gas station. It was fun to hear her stories about MALE service writers who tried to sell her things her car didn’t need.

Most of the newer balance machines are indicating BOTH inside and outside locations of needed weights .
PLUS…some shops use adhesive weights when needed and those are mounted to the inner rim surface as well.

This really is a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Most of the newer balance machines are indicating BOTH inside and outside locations of needed weights .

I wouldn’t say newer. They’ve been around for at least 20 years.

( 20 yrs ? ) …that IS newer when you’ve been in the biz since '74 and some of those shops wait and wait to up-grade machinery. ( I started on a gas station bubble balancer ! )