0113 469 0572

We understand the importance of precision and reliability when it comes to maintaining vehicles, it shows your customers that you care about the work that you do and that you treat their pride and joy with respect. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing the best garage equipment, tools and expertise to help you achieve optimal performance and safety in your garage, including some of the most used tyre changers and wheel balancers used in garages across the UK.

What is a Wheel Balancer?

Before World War II, there wasn’t much in the way of wheel balancing, but as cars and trucks evolved, along with the roads, and vehicle speeds increased, the comfort, wear and safety features of well-balanced wheels started to move the wheel balancing industry along.

The modern-day wheel balancer has evolved from a bubble balancer using spirit levels to balance the wheel to become a crucial electronic and mechanical tool used in the automotive industry to ensure that the weight of a vehicle’s wheel is evenly distributed.

Well-balanced wheels are essential for smooth and safe driving, as imbalanced wheels can lead to vibrations, uneven tyre wear, poor steering, and even potential damage to the vehicle’s suspension system.

Importance of Wheel Balancing

Proper wheel balancing not only enhances vehicle performance but also plays a significant role in ensuring driver and passenger safety. By eliminating vibrations caused by imbalanced wheels, wheel balancers contribute to a smoother and more comfortable ride while reducing the risk of accidents.

How Does Wheel Balancing Work?

Wheel balancers use various methods to identify and correct imbalances in wheel assemblies. Most modern balancers utilise sensors and computerised algorithms to detect weight discrepancies and recommend precise counterweights to achieve optimal balance.

Some also employ lasers to pinpoint exactly where the wheel weight should be added to correct the balance of the wheel.

Types of Wheel Balancers

There are two main types of wheel-balancers used by garages for balancing car, van and truck tyres, static wheel balancers and dynamic wheel balancers.

Static Wheel Balancers

These are simple manual devices, also referred to as “bubble balancers” for balancing the wheels of a vehicle. After using your tyre changing machine to change the tyre, the wheel with the tyre fitted is placed onto a spindle that is balanced on a suitable vertical support. The spindle is then manually rotated and allowed to come to a standstill, at which point a spirit level is checked to see which is the lighter side (as the heavier side will be closer to the ground), suggesting that the wheel can be balanced by adding weight to the lighter upper side of the wheel.  This process is repeated until the wheel is balanced.

This method was how wheel balancing has been done for many years, and it’s effective, but takes a lot of trial and error, so it’s slower than more modern automatic or semi-automated methods of wheel balancing.

Dynamic Wheel Balancers

This is a more automated device for balancing the wheels of a vehicle, and certainly the most popular type used by garages, tyre fitting companies, mobile tyre fitters and MOT Bays.

The wheel and tyre assembly is placed on the wheel balancing machine and it is rotated automatically with several sensors detecting the motion of the wheel. As it spins, the sensors of the machine capture the weight imperfections and indicate where the weights need to be applied, and will tell the user what the weight imbalance is, and therefore what wheel weight to add.

This is a much more accurate way to balance a wheel and much faster to use for any busy tyre shop, garage or MOT Bay.

Dynamic wheel balancers come in 2 different types also, these are:

  • Semi-automatic wheel balancers need to have information about the wheel width, offset and wheel rim diameter entered by hand using the keypad on the top of the machine, but the spinning of the wheel is automatic, and the identification of the imbalance is usually shown on an LED or LCD screen
  • Fully-automatic wheel balancers automatically capture the wheel data from measuring tools within the wheel balancer and often the hood of the machine also. These larger, powerful units offer incredible precision, resulting in efficient and high-quality work, and often come with additional high-end features such as laser pointers to show exactly where the additional weight is needed to be added to correct the balance.

Most professional garages and tyre fitting services use dynamic wheel balancers, and these would usually be the fully-automatic type for larger workshops, that tend to fit and balance more tyres during the course of the day, as these can speed up the process quite considerably.

Manual vs. Automatic Wheel Balancers

Manual wheel balancers require more operator involvement, take more time to perform and complete the wheel balancing operation, but are often more budget-friendly.

Dynamic automatic balancers, on the other hand, offer greater accuracy and efficiency, making them faster to use, and ideal for high-volume operations.

Portable vs. Stationary Wheel Balancers

Portable wheel balancers such as the manual “bubble balancer” mentioned above are compact and versatile, can be moved around a workshop or taken offsite easily, making them suitable for mobile mechanics or smaller garages with limited space, as well as home mechanics and part-time car enthusiasts.

Stationary wheel balancers, meanwhile, are designed for permanent installation in larger workshops, are much heavier so would will be positioned as part of the installation, and usually bolted to the floor to prevent movement during operation.

That said, some smaller stationary tyre fitting equipment can be mounted and powered in a mobile tyre fitting van when supplied with a suitable inverter, relay and sockets.

What Key Features to Look For in a Wheel Balancer

With so much choice, and every make and model having various features and benefits, it’s good to look for the basics in terms of your requirements vs what the machines you are shopping for can offer, here are some thoughts on what to prioritise when looking to purchase a tyre changer.

Accuracy and Precision

The ability to accurately detect and correct imbalances is paramount. Look for balancers with high-resolution sensors and advanced calibration capabilities to ensure consistent results.

Compatibility with Different Wheel Sizes

Ensure that the balancer you choose can accommodate a wide range of wheel sizes, from small thin motorcycle wheels, compact car rims to larger truck, van or HGV wheels, to meet the needs of your main customer base. Some wheel balancers offer a wide range of wheel sizes and can span many classes of vehicle, some models offered with suitable wheel balancer adapters.

Ease of Operation and User Interface

Intuitive controls and clear display screens can streamline the balancing process, minimising operator involvement, errors and reducing downtime in your workshop.

Additional Wheel Balancer Features

You do get what you pay for with wheel balancers, and some come with added features that just make them easier to use, speed up the balancing process and can help make the operation a lot more accurate, for example

  • LCD screen: more useful than a simple LED display and able to show more information
  • Colour TFT display: a further upgrade from the LCD screen makes the readout more functional
  • Computerised data measurement and processing: making wheel balancing fast and accurate
  • Laser pointer accuracy: to make the placement of the weights more accurate, and speed the process
  • One weight balancing: further improving the speed and cost by allowing just one weight to be added to correct imbalance

Benefits of Quality Wheel Balancers

Buying a quality wheel balancer can pay for itself and can make your garage profits for years to come, but the other benefits of owning a good quality wheel balancer are extensive.

Improved Vehicle Performance and Safety

Properly balanced wheels contribute to smoother handling, reduced tyre wear, and enhanced braking performance, promoting overall vehicle safety and longevity.

Extended Tyre Life

By evenly distributing weight across the tyre, wheel balancers help prevent premature wear and tear, maximising the lifespan of your customers’ tyres and reducing their long-term maintenance costs.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

Deliver a superior driving experience to your customers by ensuring that their vehicles are properly balanced and performing at their best. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for future service and recommend your garage or tyre fitting business to others.

Choosing the Right Wheel Balancer for Your Garage

An investment in any new piece of garage equipment is a significant investment and even though wheel balancers are at the lower end of the scale in terms of cost, you still need to ensure you are getting the best, most suitable machine for your needs.

Assessing Your Garage’s Needs and Budget

Consider factors such as your expected workload, number and types of tyres you will need to balance, your available floor space, and budget constraints when selecting a wheel balancer that aligns with your business goals and requirements.

Consider Your Future Growth and Expansion

Invest in a balancer that can grow with your business, accommodating increased demand or expanding service offerings without the need for frequent upgrades or replacements.

Check Available Space and Power Requirements

Ensure that your chosen balancer can be easily integrated into your existing workshop layout and has adequate power source (1 phase or 3 phase) to operate efficiently.

Reliability and Accuracy

Ensure you opt for a good make of wheel balancer with a proven reputation, accurate results, and a solid support and maintenance structure in place, for example can you answer these questions:

  • Has this make and model of wheel balancer been around for a few years at least, does it have good reviews?
  • Does your supplier hold a supply of parts in stock for common faults that may occur?
  • Does the maker, or suppler have trained support staff who can help you over the phone?
  • How quickly can an engineer be deployed to repair in the event of a breakdown?

Wheel Balancer Installation and Maintenance Tips

Much like buying a new car, you need to maintain the service schedule and keep your wheel balancer well serviced and calibrated, but do ensure that a support network and backup plan are in place in case the worst happens.

Proper Setup and Calibration Procedures

You must follow manufacturer guidelines carefully to ensure accurate setup and calibration to ensure reliable performance from your wheel balancer from day 1, this should be done by a qualified garage equipment installer for best results.

Regular calibration checks and adjustments are essential for maintaining optimal accuracy over time.

Routine Wheel Balancer Maintenance to Ensure Accuracy

Every 6 months you should perform the minimum of

  • a visual inspection of the equipment
  • calibration of your wheel balancer

Keep your balancer clean and well-maintained, paying particular attention to moving parts, sensors, and calibration standards.  Regular inspections and preventive maintenance can help prevent costly breakdowns and ensure consistent results.

If you are unsure of the maintenance schedule or calibration procedures for your particular machine, either contact your garage equipment supplier, the manufacturer, or Concept Garage Equipment on 0113 469 0572 and we will advise or schedule a visit accordingly.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Familiarise yourself with common troubleshooting techniques and error codes to quickly diagnose and resolve any issues that may arise during the balancing process.

Prompt attention to problems can minimise downtime and keep your workshop running smoothly.  Your product manual may contain the most common error codes, otherwise contact your equipment supplier for a reference guide.

Why Choose Concept Garage Equipment?

At Concept Garage Equipment, we’re more than just suppliers – we’re your partners in success. With years of industry experience and a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, we offer a comprehensive range of high-quality wheel balancers designed to meet the diverse needs of modern workshops.

From compact portable models to advanced digital systems, we have the expertise and resources to help you find the perfect solution for your garage. Whether you are a small mobile tyre fitter, a garage only changing a handful of car, motorcycle or van wheels a day, or you have a fleet of service garages across the country, our dedicated customer support team and garage equipment engineers are always here to provide expert advice, equipment supply and installations, as well as training, and after-sales service to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.

Customer Success Stories

Our team of engineers are working across the UK all week every week, and we have hundreds of success stories from home installations, garage installs, through to full MOT Bay installations taking an empty shell of a warehouse into a fully operational money-making garage.

Don’t just take our word for it – hear what our satisfied customers have to say about their experience with Concept Garage Equipment. From independent mechanics to established automotive businesses, our wheel balancers have helped countless professionals improve efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction in their workshops.

FAQs About Wheel Balancers

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ section for answers to common enquiries about wheel balancers and all other types of garage equipment and MOT bay equipment.

Concept Garage Equipment is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today on 0113 469 0572 or use our online contact form to learn more about our products and services and take your garage, workshop or MOT bay to the next level!