One of the first indications of your wheels being misaligned is an increase in vibration as you drive along the highway. While slight misalignment is not the most serious issue, if left unattended, it can lead to other, more costly problems. Generally you’ll also notice uneven wear and tear on your truck’s tires. It’s advised to book your truck for service as soon as possible. But how do you go about selecting the right truck wheel balancing shop?
To better understand what to look for in a truck wheel balancing service, it’s helpful to first understand what exactly balancing is and what is involved in an alignment repair.
What is tire balancing?
Balancing your truck’s tires involves evenly distributing the weight of the vehicle across the diameter of the tires. This allows your truck’s wheels to spin and ride smoothly. A tire shop does this in a few steps.
A tire balancing machine is used to balance the attached tire and wheel. The gadget spins the wheel and detects the vibrations caused by it spinning. This gives the tire technician a reading that indicates if the weight is spread evenly, and if not, how much weight to add and where. The tire technician may usually add or change existing weights to equal out the tire imbalance, but in rare circumstances, the tire must be removed and remounted. When the tire and wheel both have heavy areas in the same location, the tire must be remounted in a new position to assist equalize the weight distribution.
What causes tires to lose alignment?
Typical driving over bumpy roads may cause the tire to become unbalanced. In other circumstances, tires do not wear evenly, which may be the result of other component issues (such as your truck’s suspension). In rare situations, loss of tire balance can be the result of minor flaws from production which cause the tires to wear unevenly in different areas. A little weight difference may significantly impact how a truck feels as it travels down the road.
What are the signs that it's time for a balance?
Usually, it’s pretty obvious when it's time for a tire balance. You’ll feel a wobble or vibration in your steering wheel. The vibration intensity increases as the tire rotation speed increases. If you feel a vibration in the steering wheel, it's most likely due to a problem with the front tires' balance, but if you feel a vibration in your seat, it's most likely due to a problem with the rear tires' balance.
What to look for in a truck wheel balancing shop
- Mechanics that are certified and experienced
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is ideal for your selected truck wheel balancing facility. The American Society of Automotive Engineers is the primary regulating organization for mechanics in the United States, and most shops will employ ASE-certified technicians.
If your truck is a particular brand, you may seek a technician specializing in that brand.
- Workspaces that are clean and organized
A mechanic's shop's state and condition reflect their services. If the shop seems to be dirty or unorganized, you are unlikely to get the greatest possible benefit. Maintaining a diesel repair shop is difficult, so a few oil spills and stains shouldn't deter you, especially if there are a lot of big jobs taking place while you’re there. However, everything should be well-organized, neat, and clean as possible. This shows that the technician takes their job and safety seriously.
- Customer reviews
When it comes to mechanics, word of mouth still holds a lot of value. With today’s technology though, word of mouth has taken a more digital form. Customer comments and reviews, both positive and negative, may provide insight into a repair shop's quality. Most individuals who submit reviews have either had a very excellent or inferior experience - most people who are merely pleased will not rate their mechanic online. Still, it's a good indicator if your chosen mechanic has favorable reviews and consumers have been happy with project turnaround times, costs, and customer service. It’s also important to look at more negative reviews. Does the shop respond in a way that indicates they care about the feedback and want to make things better with the customer?
- Use of OEM parts
OEM components are produced by the vehicle's manufacturer. Most repair shops won't utilize OEM components for simple repairs like brake pads or air filters, but you should insist on OEM parts for any critical maintenance.
Using OEM components ensures the best possible outcomes as well as the validity of the manufacturer's guarantee. Even if it costs a little more, ensure your selected shop utilizes OEM components when you request them.
With these simple guidelines, you'll be able to locate a truck wheel balancing shop or mechanic in your area — and confidently employ their services. So go ahead and start looking for the ideal technician for your specific requirements.