Feeling off balance? Spare a thought for your wheels


Words: Tiger Wheel & Tyre

2014 is well past halfway and most people are beginning to feel off balance and in need of a break before the year-end madness. "If that's how you feel, spare a thought for your wheels and tyres. They are just as likely to be out of balance after a long year's grind," says Joe du Plooy, Marketing Executive at Tiger Wheel & Tyre.

Courtesy of: Tiger Wheel & Tyre

Wheel Balancing

According to Tiger Wheel & Tyre, wheel balancing is the act of bringing a wheel and tyre into balance, and is something that should be done every time you change or rotate your tyres, fix a puncture, hit a pothole or obstacle and every 7,000 km to 10,000 km.

Wheels might not even be perfectly balanced when new, and become even less so after driving on rough, uneven road surfaces. The same is true of tyres and when you put the two together, the slightest weight variables in both can really add up when the wheel is spinning at speed.

"After fitting a tyre to a wheel, our technicians place the entire wheel assembly on a balancing machine to measure where the imbalances are. Counter weights are then placed on the wheel to offset the imbalances," explained du Plooy.

Tiger Wheel & Tyre offers this information and advice on wheel balancing:

* Imbalance is most often felt as a vibration through the steering wheel, though it can also cause hopping and wobbling of the vehicle at high speeds.
* Unbalanced wheels cause tyres to wear out unevenly and quicker than usual; they also cause wearing of the suspension components and wheel bearings.
* Wheel balancing is also referred to as "tyre balancing."

Wheel Alignment

Simply put, wheel alignment is the process of pointing your car's wheels in the right direction. Tiger Wheel & Tyre technicians use high tech equipment to check and measure a vehicle's wheel alignment and make the necessary adjustments to the suspension angles to ensure the wheels are perfectly aligned. Tiger Wheel & Tyre has this advice regarding wheel alignment:

* Misalignment can be felt as a pulling of the vehicle to one side. You can test this by driving on a flat road and momentarily taking your hands off the steering wheel. If it pulls to one side, then the alignment is probably out.
* Misaligned wheels cause uneven tyre wear and increased fuel consumption, and if severe enough, can compromise your ability to steer accurately and be exceedingly dangerous.
* Have your wheel alignment checked every six months or 10,000 km and every time you make contact with a pothole or pavement.
* If you're one of the millions of South Africans feeling off balance at this time of year, take a breather in the comfortable hospitality lounge at your nearest Tiger Wheel & Tyre and let their skilled technicians make sure that same can't be said of your wheels and tyres.

More information
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