Wheel balancing

I have resumed changing my own tires, and wonder if there’s a bubble balancer that is accurate enough to eliminate highway speed vibrations?

Good luck finding a bubble balancer…Most have gone to the scrapper. Maybe you could find an old Hunter spin balancer…I have, out of desperation, balanced tires on the car using engine power to spin them and applying dead reckoning to achieve satisfactory balance…

Here’s one at J.C.Whitney (I remember that from years ago). I have no idea if it’ll take care of your highway speed vibrations, but at $85 it might be worth a shot:

I would guess that static balance (bubble balance) eliminates 50% to 60% of the issue.

Dynamic balance eliminates about another 25% to 30%.

The remaining is “out of round”. I put those words in quotes, because that isn’t quite accurate, because tire structure plays a role here. You’ll hear folks talk about “tire uniformity” and that’s a little closer.

So - NO - a bubble balancer isn’t enough to ELIMINATE highway speed vibrations.

If you want more info:


I use a bubble balancer and never have a problem. The problem is most people don’t know how to use one correctly.

Place the tire on the balancer. Take a wheel weight of the proper weight and place it on the rim so the bubble is centered. Now take two wheel weights that equals the same weight as the weight that was used to center the bubble. Attach one weight to the outside of the rim and attach the second weight directly across the tread of the tire to the inside of the rim.


I’ve seen your method with a bubble balancer work fine in many cases.
How about the cases where simply splitting the weight 50% isn’t enough to eliminate the vibration?

I agree about 95% of the time, but there are problem tyres/wheels that will need more.

Considering the cost, I don’t bother doing my own and just have it checked occasionally.

One problem now is that tires/wheels are so much wider than they used to be, making it harder for a good static balance to turn out to be a good dynamic balance.