Have you ever wondered if your car workshop balanced the wheels correctly when changing your tyres? Correct wheel balancing is not only important for driving comfort – a poorly performed service may cause uneven and faster tyre wear, poorer grip and difficulty controlling your car. It also makes suspension components wear faster. When balancing, it is easy to make simple mistakes – such as not cleaning the rims after taking off the previous weights, not selecting the right weights for a given rim and their incorrect attachment or incorrect assembly. These mistakes so much worse when the balancing machine is very old or serviced only once a year or even less often.
A wheel – after turbine and engine shaft – is the third fastest rotating element in the car and the only one that comes in contact with the road. At highway speed, tyres spin over 1,000 times per minute. Then there is no place for inaccuracy or poor quality of service – they affect our safety.
Wheel balancing is a daily routine in car workshops – although it seems to be a trivial, simple thing, it involves some risks. Even a small error when choosing and installing a weight can result in the wheel balancing improperly. Workshops with the Certificate of Tyre Services of the Polish Tyre Industry Association know that rush is often the reason for incorrect balancing – the risk of an error when replacing and balancing tyres increases for tyres with large diameters and a lower profile. Additional problems can be related to damage to the tyre pressure monitoring system sensors, especially in less professional, seasonal car workshops.
There is no time to rush – quality and accuracy are important. An indispensable part of wheel balancing – unfortunately often underestimated by workshops of questionable quality – is cleaning the contact surface of the wheel rim with the brake discs before balancing. This is the surface on which the correct mounting of the wheel depends – uncleaned can be the reason for vibration, noise and reduced comfort of driving. Same goes for cleaning the place where a weight was stuck in previous balancing. One cannot say that the balancing procedure was carried out correctly if the mechanic has failed to do so.
– It is hard for customers to find a trusted service, and reliable car workshops find it very difficult to stand out on the market, because they do not save on machinery and equipment service, people training and repair materials – so they are not the cheapest in the area. PTIA together with TÜV SÜD wants to show all drivers where to look for reliable car workshops. We praise those for whom the quality of work and safety are important. Customers of certified tyre services can be sure of their quality and no longer have to wonder if they are leaving their car in good hands – says Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA).
Some mechanics, looking for a quick solution for small unbalance that the balancer reads after performing the check run, add a second weight to the rims. Not only does it not look aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds to costs that you – as a client of a non-professional car workshop – have to cover. Some “specialists” believe that the average Joe will hardly notice the 10 g unbalance difference – so what is all this fuss for? Our safety is the most important, thus you should choose a certified car workshop that has undergone an audit and has been thoroughly checked.
There are nearly 12 000 tyre services in Poland. Unfortunately, the level of service and technical culture is very diverse. There is also no uniform training system. Too many car workshops replace tyres in an unacceptable manner, often using too much force. This causes stretching and tearing of the inner layers of tyres, and even bead tear – that is those elements that transfer power from the tyres to the rim. That is why the Polish Tyre Industry Association, together with TÜV SÜD, an independent certification company, introduces a system for assessing and awarding professional services based on an independent audit of equipment and qualifications of technical staff. It’s worth choosing certified workshops that have undergone an audit and have been thoroughly checked. The Certification of Tyre Services helps car workshops to improve their quality – which is crucial for safety – increases their competitiveness, and gives customers confidence that the service will be performed by well-prepared professionals.
Certified car workshops will take care of your tyres!
- they will not damage the tyre (bead, tread grooves and inner layers) or rims,
- correctly clean the rim, tighten wheel lug nuts without torque wrench with the right force,
- replace the valve stems in the wheel and ensure the correct tyre pressure
- use professional and serviced tools and equipment
- when necessary, will know how to fix a flat tyre in a safe way
Search for certified tyre services! Only they:
- met even up to 140 audit criteria
- have professional and serviced equipment
- have trained staff
- offer high quality tyre services.
PTIA and TÜV SÜD’s is the only determinant of high-quality tyre services.
Certification is preceded by a technical audit during which the following are tested:
- technical equipment
- skills of service technicians
- health and safety conditions for employees
- level of customer service and basic amenities (parking, bathroom, waiting room).
Due to the great diversity of the quality of service in car workshops in Poland, the Certification of Tyre Services distinguishes 3 levels of service:
- GOOD SERVICE – basic services are performed at a high level, has basic and serviced equipment suitable for most vehicles, has basic facilities for customers
- VERY GOOD SERVICE – met the criteria for the GOOD level plus has more advanced equipment, higher accuracy of service, better skilled staff, better conditions in the customer zone
- EXCELLENT – met the criteria for the GOOD and VERY GOOD levels plus: has the most advanced equipment, highly competent staff, offers additional tyre services, has the highest standard of customer service and verification by a mystery client.
This post is also available in: polski (Polish)