Road Force Balancing

Posted January 12, 2023

Modern cars bring along with them high complexity drivetrains and chassis dampening components. Along with these, wheels and tires have evolved to lower profiles than the tall and narrow tires /  wheels of yesteryear. Because the flexibility of most modern tires is far less as a result (due to the shorter distance measured from the edge of the wheel to the physical curvature of the tire tread); balance and road force related vibrations are far likelier to be experienced, due to amplified road feel, which transposes through the steering wheel and platform of your vehicle.

You might think, then, that a regular tire balancer should be able to resolve the out-of-balance experience that you’re enduring. Unfortunately, the physical “balance” of the tire on the wheel isn’t always the answer. This means that physical diagnostics need to be performed in order to determine the root-cause of the vibration.

A Road Force balancer is a state-of-the art tire / wheel diagnostic machine AND elite tire balancer, which goes multiple steps further than your run-of-the mill tire balancer (with respect to the various resolutions it is physically capable of achieving). This new-era tool brings along with it multiple game changing technologies, and has helped further our dealer-level abilities here at Auto-Bon Inc.

The Hunter Road Force Elite RFB is equipped with a pressure roller that subjects each tire to 1,200 pounds of the same physical force that it will endure when the vehicle is driving down the road (at both high and low speeds). Through laser readings, monitored by a intelligent onboard computer, equipped with multiple sensors (which physically sense tread variations), monitors the runout and force of the tire on the wheel, which then translates into potential resolutions when excessive road force is detected.

While the process is significantly complex, the simplistic description of the process is that we are matching the high spot of each tire with excessive road force (when it meets specification for adjustment, which equates to less than 22-28 pounds of force in most cases) is matched against the low spot of the wheel, compensating to resolve road vibration at all speeds.

We have found that many new tires, surprisingly including [but not limited to] premium market (genuine supplier) tire brands, are measuring excessive road force straight from the factory. Being equipped with a road force balancer allows us to identify bent or damaged wheels, defects and irregularities in tires, which outside of exchanging faulty tires with our supplier, also allow us to identify inconsistencies that are acceptable enough to be corrected by utilizing the machine’s intelligent phase matching process or weight compensation process, in order to properly correct the tire and wheel irregularities prior to sending you back down the road. This ensures that unwanted vibrations or pulsations are not experienced when the vehicle is delivered back to / picked up by our guests.

Here is a link with a video showing how the process works and why it is so important on modern vehicles:

Reach out to our service team with any questions you may have about road force balancing, or if you want to schedule an appointment to have this unique and important service completed. We road force balance as standard procedure with tire replacement services at our facility, where we also employ a state-of-the art Hunter Auto 34R center mount (clampless mount) tire machine as part of the mounting / dismounting process.

-Rai Blanchette, Director of Operations

Categories: Alignment, Maintenance, Tires, Uncategorized

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