Learn About Wheel Balancers


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What is a Wheel Balancer?

The modern-day wheel balancer has evolved from a bubble balancer using spirit levels to balance the wheel to become a crucial electronic and mechanical tool used in the automotive industry to ensure that the weight of a vehicle’s wheel is evenly distributed.

Well-balanced wheels are essential for smooth and safe driving, as imbalanced wheels can lead to vibrations, uneven tyre wear, poor steering, and even potential damage to the vehicle’s suspension system.

How Does Wheel Balancing Work?

Wheel balancers use various methods to identify and correct imbalances in wheel assemblies. Most modern balancers utilise sensors and computerised algorithms to detect weight discrepancies and recommend precise counterweights to achieve optimal balance.

Some also employ lasers to pinpoint exactly where the wheel weight should be added to correct the balance of the wheel.

Types of Wheel Balancers

There are two main types of wheel-balancers used by garages for balancing car, van and truck tyres, static wheel balancers and dynamic wheel balancers.

Static Wheel Balancers

These are simple manual devices, also referred to as “bubble balancers” for balancing the wheels of a vehicle. After using your tyre changing machine to change the tyre, the wheel with the tyre fitted is placed onto a spindle that is balanced on a suitable vertical support. The spindle is then manually rotated and allowed to come to a standstill, at which point a spirit level is checked to see which is the lighter side (as the heavier side will be closer to the ground), suggesting that the wheel can be balanced by adding weight to the lighter upper side of the wheel.  This process is repeated until the wheel is balanced.

This method was how wheel balancing has been done for many years, and it’s effective, but takes a lot of trial and error, so it’s slower than more modern automatic or semi-automated methods of wheel balancing.

Dynamic Wheel Balancers

This is a more automated device for balancing the wheels of a vehicle, and certainly the most popular type used by garages, tyre fitting companies, mobile tyre fitters and MOT Bays.

The wheel and tyre assembly is placed on the wheel balancing machine and it is rotated automatically with several sensors detecting the motion of the wheel. As it spins, the sensors of the machine capture the weight imperfections and indicate where the weights need to be applied, and will tell the user what the weight imbalance is, and therefore what wheel weight to add.

This is a much more accurate way to balance a wheel and much faster to use for any busy tyre shop, garage or MOT Bay.

Dynamic wheel balancers come in 2 different types also, these are:

  • Semi-automatic wheel balancers need to have information about the wheel width, offset and wheel rim diameter entered by hand using the keypad on the top of the machine, but the spinning of the wheel is automatic, and the identification of the imbalance is usually shown on an LED or LCD screen
  • Fully-automatic wheel balancers automatically capture the wheel data from measuring tools within the wheel balancer and often the hood of the machine also. These larger, powerful units offer incredible precision, resulting in efficient and high-quality work, and often come with additional high-end features such as laser pointers to show exactly where the additional weight is needed to be added to correct the balance.

Most professional garages and tyre fitting services use dynamic wheel balancers, and these would usually be the fully-automatic type for larger workshops, that tend to fit and balance more tyres during the course of the day, as these can speed up the process quite considerably.

Choosing the Right Wheel Balancer for Your Garage

An investment in any new piece of garage equipment is a significant investment and even though wheel balancers are at the lower end of the scale in terms of cost, you still need to ensure you are getting the best, most suitable machine for your needs.

Routine Wheel Balancer Maintenance to Ensure Accuracy

Every 6 months you should perform the minimum of

  • a visual inspection of the equipment
  • calibration of your wheel balancer

Keep your balancer clean and well-maintained, paying particular attention to moving parts, sensors, and calibration standards.  Regular inspections and preventive maintenance can help prevent costly breakdowns and ensure consistent results.

If you are unsure of the maintenance schedule or calibration procedures for your particular machine, either contact your garage equipment supplier, the manufacturer, or Concept Garage Equipment on 0113 469 0572 and we will advise or schedule a visit accordingly.

Why Choose Concept Garage Equipment?

At Concept Garage Equipment, we’re more than just suppliers – we’re your partners in success. With years of industry experience and a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, we offer a comprehensive range of high-quality wheel balancers designed to meet the diverse needs of modern workshops.

Still have questions? Check out the full blog here or our FAQ section for answers to common enquiries about wheel balancers and all other types of garage equipment and MOT bay equipment.

Concept Garage Equipment is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today on 0113 469 0572 or use our online contact form to learn more about our products and services and take your garage, workshop or MOT bay to the next level!