Auto Basics: Troubleshooting and Mechanical Tips

Tire Beads And Balancing: What You Need To Know

by Anthony Ortiz

The tires that are installed on your vehicle can have a direct impact on the quality of your ride. Tires are responsible for absorbing some of the vibration and movement generated by contact with roadways. A tire that isn't balanced properly could increase the amount of vibration that you feel through your steering wheel when driving each day.

With balance being an important part of tire performance, you should utilize all the resources available to you to balance your tires properly. Tire beads are one resource you can turn to for improved balance over time.

What Are Tire Beads?

Tire beads are made from a high-density ceramic material. They are small enough to fit inside of each tire to help aid in achieving proper balance.

An experienced tire technician can install tire beads without removing the rubber portion of the tire from the rim. This allows you to improve the balance of your vehicle without investing a lot of time and money in costly repairs. You won't have to sacrifice access to your vehicle for a long period of time.

How Do Tire Beads Work?

To understand the benefit you receive from installing tire beads in your tires, you need to have an understanding of how these ceramic beads work. Once your vehicle begins to move, the centrifugal force of the forward motion distributes the beads throughout the tire.

Tire beads don't necessarily eliminate imbalance issues, they just make it more difficult for the existing imbalance to be felt by moving the center mass of your tire closer to the rim. This shift in center mass increases the rotational mass of the tire, which reduces the effect an imbalance has on your driving experience.

Do Tire Beads Have Limitations?

As much as tire beads can help reduce vibration, these products do have some limitations. The effects of tire beads can be felt primarily on wheels with a higher vertical profile. These tires are usually found on trucks, SUVs and heavy machinery.

Passenger vehicles are typically equipped with low-profile tires. The center mass of a low-profile tire is already close to the rim. Imbalance issues with low-profile tires can be more efficiently eliminated with tire weights as opposed to tire beads.

Talk to your local tire shop to determine which type of corrective product will best meet your vehicle's needs when it comes to correcting imbalance issues that can lead to vibrations over time. For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Checkered Flag Tire Balance Beads.