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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Does it take a rocket scientist to balance tires?



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      01-20-2012, 08:07 AM   #1
pits200
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Does it take a rocket scientist to balance tires?

About a month ago I had my Michelin P3s put on my car for winter. Now going over 70 it seems like I'm having a small shimmy.

It just seems like everytime I get tires mounted that I need to do it mulitple times before the car runs smoothly.

Am I the only one who has this issue? Pittsburgh doesn't have many places with a roadforce machine so I have no idea why its so complicated. Also, is it true that the weights should only be in one location on the tire and not spread out among multiple areas?

Sorry for the rant, just sick of having to waste time with this.
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      01-20-2012, 08:23 AM   #2
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I had to get mine balance twice as well, so I'm with you on this one. How hard can it be? I think a lot of times the places have so many cars to do they probably get in a hurry and just get it close and hope it will be ok.
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      01-20-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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Check your wheels for bends. Any slightest bend will make it a PITA to balance. One good way is to check the inner barrel lip of the wheel when it's spinning on the balancer if there's any type of radial run out.
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      01-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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I worked in a garage for many years and we used a Hunter machine. If your wheel weights are only on one section of your wheel (either towards the inner edge or outer edge), then the shop only performed a static balance which is NOT good enough to ensure you won't get a shimmy. Without a road-force machine the correct procedure is to perform a dynamic balance, which will result in weights being added to both the inside and outside edges of the wheel. Occasionally to get a good balance the tech may need to deflate the tire and rotate it to change it's orientation on the wheel to obtain the best balance. Unfortunately most garages hire kids at $10 an hour to do this kind of work who aren't completely competent
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      01-20-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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I'M FROM PITTSBURGH!!! HI!!!

I'm from Cranberry and I take my car to Fleming Tire and they did a wonderful job. They are located off of Route 228. My dad also uses them, we take our Subaru, Mustang, Lexus, everything there. We only had 1 issue when the put non-synthetic oil in the Mustang by accident. Brought it right back and they resolved the issue quickly.
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      01-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhmax16 View Post
I worked in a garage for many years and we used a Hunter machine. If your wheel weights are only on one section of your wheel (either towards the inner edge or outer edge), then the shop only performed a static balance which is NOT good enough to ensure you won't get a shimmy. Without a road-force machine the correct procedure is to perform a dynamic balance, which will result in weights being added to both the inside and outside edges of the wheel. Occasionally to get a good balance the tech may need to deflate the tire and rotate it to change it's orientation on the wheel to obtain the best balance. Unfortunately most garages hire kids at $10 an hour to do this kind of work who aren't completely competent
Very informative, thanks!
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      01-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndog14 View Post
I'M FROM PITTSBURGH!!! HI!!!

I'm from Cranberry and I take my car to Fleming Tire and they did a wonderful job. They are located off of Route 228. My dad also uses them, we take our Subaru, Mustang, Lexus, everything there. We only had 1 issue when the put non-synthetic oil in the Mustang by accident. Brought it right back and they resolved the issue quickly.
Unfortunately, I'm located in the South Hills and to go to Cranberry, that'd be a haul. The shop I go to are very good guys but I think when it comes to balancing tires, most shops do it half-a##ed.
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      01-20-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pits200 View Post
Unfortunately, I'm located in the South Hills and to go to Cranberry, that'd be a haul. The shop I go to are very good guys but I think when it comes to balancing tires, most shops do it half-a##ed.
Ok. I just strongly recommend them. If the tires are new and are only for that set of rims I personally would make a trip like that because of the importance of tires to a car. I wish you luck in finding a good shop.
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      01-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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I am in the east end of Pittsburgh and have tried a number of places and had the same issue. A few idiots even mounted weights without cleaning brake dust off. I just go to P&W anymore but provide my own tires. I haven't had an issue since.

If you don't have any luck, you may want to check the regional sub-forums. There's a pretty active Pittsburgh community.
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      01-20-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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same for me... both of my cars at two seperate places had to go back twice... hell both cars still shake alittle but not as bad.

SAD.

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      01-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pits200 View Post
About a month ago I had my Michelin P3s put on my car for winter. Now going over 70 it seems like I'm having a small shimmy.

It just seems like everytime I get tires mounted that I need to do it mulitple times before the car runs smoothly.

Am I the only one who has this issue? Pittsburgh doesn't have many places with a roadforce machine so I have no idea why its so complicated. Also, is it true that the weights should only be in one location on the tire and not spread out among multiple areas?

Sorry for the rant, just sick of having to waste time with this.
When you say "shimmy" means your steering wheel moving? or your passenger seat? I wonder if I need balaincing, my steering wheel its smooth though.. only when I reach about 80mph and release the gas pedal i feel a vibration...
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      01-23-2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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What size of PS3 are you using?
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      01-23-2012, 01:26 PM   #13
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Standard 17s. I think 225/45/17 alpin ps3. The guy at the shop who worked on them told me that for some reason these tires seemed hard to balance when he was doing it.
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      01-23-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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As long as you don't have any bends in the rims of your wheels you should be able to get a good balance, but as I'm sure you've seen online, it's recommended to get them Road Force Balanced.
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      01-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #15
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You'd be surprised how many shops are out there that don't actually know how to use their machines properly. I would recommend you look for a shop who use a Hunter GSP-9700 road force balancing machine. The Hunter GSP-9700 load roller applies a force of up to 1400 pounds against the rotating tire/wheel assembly as it performs the Road Force Measurement. Basically, it simulates the wheel/pressure as if you were actually driving on the road for the most actuate measurement. You can located the nearest Hunter GSP-9700 near you here.

Last edited by ModBargains.com; 01-24-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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      01-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #16
pits200
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Ya, I think I'm going to make a trip to a shop that has a Hunter machine and see how far off my tires actually are.
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      01-23-2012, 05:12 PM   #17
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Does it take a rocket scientist to balance tires?

No but sleeping at a Holiday Inn or becoming a rocket surgeon helps.

Ask around your region forums, maybe someone knows a good shop. I would steer clear of the quick in and out places.
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      01-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #18
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It's Pilot Alpin PA3, not PS3. Those are two very different tires... Not ripping on anyone here, but since these threads are searchable archives it is important that I correct inaccuracies.
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