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What is wheel balancing?

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.

Why is wheel balancing important?

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.

How are wheels balanced?

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.

What causes wheel balancing problems?

  • If your car’s tyres have been replaced and not balanced.
  • If the height of your car has been altered without rebalancing the wheels.
  • Items on the road can be hazardous if hit.
  • Aging, worn or damaged parts can impact your car’s suspension and, therefore, its wheels.

What are the signs that a car needs wheel balancing?

  • Your car’s tyres are wearing out quickly or unevenly.
  • Your car feels though it is wobbling once it passes around 40mph.
  • The steering wheel of your car starts shaking.

How long does wheel balancing take?

  • Depending on the type of vehicle, wheel balancing takes between 30-60 minutes.

How much does wheel balancing cost?

  • Depending on the type of vehicle, wheel balancing costs between £5-10 per wheel, although most garages include this in the price of the tyre if you bought it from them.

About Proton

Proton is a Malaysian car manufacturer which set up shop in 1983 on the orders of the then Malaysian Prime Minister, whose aim was for the country to build its own national car. Today Proton exports to more than 50 countries worldwide including the UK, where it has been selling vehicles since 2009.

One of the most popular Proton models currently sold in the UK is the Gen-2, a family saloon which also comes in an ‘Ecologic’ dual-fuel variant. This gives you the option to run the car on LPG, which will save you money on fuel costs. The other main current models on offer are the Savvy, an inexpensive compact city car, and the Satria Neo, a 3 door supermini.

Proton’s partnership with Lotus engineering has led to improved steering and cornering; the Gen-2 in particular gains plaudits from drivers for its comfortable ride. However, in general Proton drivers frequently report noisy engines, as well as bemoaning the interior’s rather cheap look and feel.

Driving in Birmingham

Birmingham is the second largest and most populous UK city after London, a fact which might go some way to explaining why it’s simply stuffed with things to do and see. Six universities keep the place youthful with a vibrant and multi-cultural grassroots art, music and literary scene. Birmingham’s international reputation has been built on its many celebrated cultural institutions. As well as housing the world’s largest pre-Raphaelite collection of artwork, the city is home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Symphony Orchestra, the Repertory Theatre and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts as well a diverse range of other arts, theatre and music venues.

You’ll find high street and designer shops at the Bullring and Mailbox centres, and if vintage chic is more your thing then wander the quirky East Side for some unique finds. Birmingham’s drink and food scene is currently thriving, with exotic flavours catering for all tastes. It also boasts four Michelin-starred restaurants (more than any city in England except London) and street food that’s hard to beat. It may be a tightly populated place but Brummies love their green spaces. As well as the splendid Birmingham Botanical Gardens there are an additional five hundred and seventy-one parks to choose from - more than any other European city.

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