Frequently Asked Questions??
How do Centramatics work?
By using centrifugal force, the free moving weights (durametal and synthetic fluid) sealed in the Balancer automatically distributes to exactly where needed, placing the assembly in equilibrium or perfect balance. When a sprung assembly is out of balance, deflection is caused via the springs or tire sidewalls. These free moving weights sense this deflection and move opposite the heavy points to balance the entire assembly, wheels, tires, drums, hubs and even mud, snow or ice stuck to the wheels.
Should the tires/wheels be pre-balanced?
In most cases, pre-balancing is not required. However, if a vibration still exists after installation, a computer balance of the problem position can indicate a mis-mounted or defective tire, bent wheel or other "out of round" condition, which balancing alone cannot correct. Wheel bearings should also be checked and defective parts replaced.
What about mismounted tires or improperly seated beads?
This problem can be found by inspecting the area where the wheel and tire meet. A guide rib or circumference ring is molded into the sidewall of the tire. Measure and distance from the wheel to the guide rib (approx. 1/4 inch depending on tire brand) at the top, bottom and both sides. A variance in this distance indicates a mis-mounted tire, which will roll out of round and leads to erratic tire wear and vibration, regardless of how well it is balanced. Re-seating the bead properly corrects the problem.
What is inside the rings?
Our balancing media consists of two parts. First, Durametal, a high density hardened alloy similar to steel shot but 10 times harder. The primary balancing media because a solid cannot change shape or form under centrifugal force. It remains exactly where needed under high speed. Second, Dampening Fluid-proprietary synthetic oil designed to operate in the most extreme environments. The rings are about 1/3 full of this fluid. Its function is to lubricate, dampen vibration and help balance. However, a liquid alone would merely flatten out under centrifugal force at high speed and be forced back around the ring to an undesirable position. That's why we use the benefits of both a solid and liquid.
Should the rear duals and trailers be balanced?
Absolutely! The largest investment in tire dollars are on the rear. Typically, even when loaded, duals carry less weight per tire and are prone to pounding, which causes excessive heat build-up and erratic tire wear. CENTRAMATICS help cool the duals and one pair of balancers handles four tires, wheels, hubs and drums. Rear drums are a major cause of imbalance on dual assemblies.
Can Centramatics help tires that are already cupped?
Depending on the severity, tires that are severely cupped will receive marginal results and tires that are slightly cupped will true out. The balancers cannot grow rubber back where it is gone nor will it make the deeper tread wear faster. One or the other would have to occur to be able to correct sever tire cupping.
How are they installed?
Simple remove the wheel, use the bolt holes as guides and reinstall the wheel. Steer axles balancers mount between the hub and the wheel, while balancers for the duals mount between the dual wheels.
At what speed do Centramatics start working?
Most models start working at 20-22 mph depending on wheel diameter. This occurs long before vibration due to imbalance, which is at speeds in excess of 35 mph.
How long do they last?
We have balancers with 1,439,716 miles on them and still in good working condition. That's why we have a Five-Year Unlimited Mile Warranty and offer unequaled service.
What about alignments?
Alignments control the direction and travel of the tires. Vehicles must be aligned by a creditable alignment facility to exact specifications. If proper alignment is not maintained, irregular tire wear developes resulting in vibration and poor handling. Worn, loose or missing suspension components must be replaced. Centramatics balance the assembly, but cannot correct alignment issues.