Just been through the business of trying to get my wheels balanced properly, after having to replace one of the front Michelins (Primacy HP XL 225-45-17) at £110, a few weeks ago, on my V6 CDTI.
First had steering vibrations at 65+, then had both fronts rebalanced at the local stealers whilst being serviced – results were worse! Sounds familiar??
Next did some research on the internet, started by looking for a local Hunter equipped tyre shop. Nearest was 30+ miles away (apart from the local Jaguar-Bentley dealer which I didn’t bother with!). Then found that accurate balancing depends on the way in which wheels are mounted on the balancer. Just using the centre hole to locate the wheel is not good enough, and often gives different results every time you balance the wheel. The recommended way is to locate the wheel with a stud / flange plate, so that the wheel is mounted accurately and vertically through the stud-holes, just as it would be on the car. This obviously takes longer, and means you have to find a place which is equipped with stud plates suitable for a variety of cars (they’re not all the same), and staffed by people that know what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it.
Finally found a place this week which recommends and uses stud plates, and also does a lot of high performance work (Ferraris / Porsche / Astons). They did all 4 in about 45 minutes, on a Hoffman balancer, for £30. Results were impressive, smooth at all speeds. Well worth the 25 mile trip each way.
The subject of flange plates has been mentioned before on the forum, but it’s worth airing again, particularly as so many people seem to have trouble with their wheels from time to time.
The trouble is also that the punter doesn’t always get to see the job being done, but for starters its worth asking if they’re using a stud / flange plate or not.
Read more about it on this web-site: (which I found on the earlier post)
Was also told that often Peugeot and Citroen dealers are a good bet, as some of their cars have solid wheels (no centre hole), and they often keep the stud plates.
Moral for me is that the cheapest tyre deal doesn’t always work out best in the long run, when you add the extra hassle and cost of fixing problems caused.