What you need to know about wheel balance and vibration control.
What's the difference between wheel balance and force variation?
An unbalanced wheel causes vibration when spinning because of a heavy spot in the wheel. Force variation causes vibration because of uneven stiffness in the tire sidewall or tread or because the wheel is out of round when rolling. Imbalance and force variation can affect one another. Imbalance is measured by spinning the tire. Force variation is measured by placing it under load to simulate actual road force. This can only be done using a computer-simulated road test. Ask your technician to do this test during tire service.
How often should I have my wheels checked for excessive vibration?
Follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation noted in your owner's manual. But whenever you notice excessive vibration, you should have a qualified technician inspect for any of the possible causes mentioned below. Gradual worsening of wheel vibration can be difficult to notice, so as a general rule, have your tires checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.
For more information, please click on the image below to download an informational brochure (.pdf).