How An Automotive Tire Is Mounted And Balanced

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Are you looking to replace the tires on your vehicle, but think you can do it yourself? It will help to know how a tire is professionally mounted and balanced to know why it's difficult to do this job on your own.

Tire Removal

The first step is going to be to remove the tire from the wheel, which is much harder than it seems. It starts by removing the valve stem so that air can leak out during the removal process. Air will start leaking out, but it is not crucial that all the air is removed from the tire.

A mechanic then puts the tire in a device known as the bead breaker, which is designed to break the seal where the tire meets the rim. It works by putting pressure on the tire to loosen that seal, all while avoiding any accidental damage to the rim. The tire should have the valve stem facing away from the bead breaker since it will avoid causing damage to any air pressure monitor that is inside the tire. A second device will put pressure on the tire to pull the tire to the outside of the wheel so that it can be removed from the wheel

Tire Replacement

A new tire and the old rim will need a liquid called tube glide applied to the rim of the tire. This helps the tire fit over the wheel since the rubber tire won't be sticky. The same device used to remove the tire from the rim can be used to put the new tire back on. It works the opposite way, by applying pressure to force the rubber bead to the inside of the wheel. The valve stem can be inserted, and then the tire can be blown up with air. The tire will make a loud pop as it fills up with air and the bead seals against the rim. 

A tire balancing machine will spin the mounted tire at a high speed and show where the tire needs some additional weight. The mechanic then places small weights around the wheel, which look like small clips that hook onto the rim. The balancing machine will pinpoint the exact spots where weight is needed, and how many ounces of weight need to be applied. When finished, the tire is checked again to ensure that everything is balanced properly.

Visit a local tire service shop to install your new tires.