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Wheels and tyres, as with any rotating object, need to be balanced in order to reduce vibration. A good example of this is when laundry is loaded into a washing machine unevenly, the drum is not correctly balanced, so vibrates. Similarly, wheel balancing ensures that the weight of the wheel and tyre is even around the axle.
You should always have your wheels balanced whenever you have new tyres fitted. Car tyres which are fitted on wheels that have not been properly balanced will wear very quickly and unevenly. This is due to the inconsistent points of friction between the tyre and the road, creating an effect like rubbing sandpaper on the tyre aggressively. Losing grip this way could be very dangerous and the vibration also makes the car’s ride very uncomfortable, possibly to a point of distraction that might lead to an accident.
Wheels are typically removed from a car before their balance is checked. They are placed in a specially-designed machine and spun to measure the vibration. Small offsetting weights are placed at points on the rim of the wheel based on results from the balancing machine. This is repeated until the machine reports that the wheel is balanced.
A British icon since the swinging 1960s, the Mini is a small economy car that was made by the British Motor Corporation from 1959 until 2000 and is now under the umbrella of BMW. The transverse engine front-wheel drive layout influenced a generation of car makers, and allowed 80 percent of the car’s floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage - that’s a lot of space!
In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T, and ahead of the Citroën DS and Volkswagen Beetle. The performance versions, the Mini Cooper and Cooper "S," were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. The British manufacturer now offers a selection of nine cars across a broad spectrum of vehicle choices, from the traditional three door hatchback to the more radical Coupe, Countryman and Paceman. It also developed a range of frugal engines, both petrol and diesel, to reduce running costs.
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