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      06-13-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
jrothstein
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Got my tires changed, but what is this??

So, I picked up a Frankenstein sized bolt in both my front left tire and rear right-- joy.. Called the BMW dealer and they wanted $800 to replace both Potenza RFT tires.. Called Discount Tire and they happended to have the tires in stock and quoted me $600, so it was a no brainer.

So I rolled my baby into Discount Tire and they changed both tires out in under 15 minutes-- overall a pretty painless experience except for the $600 that was extracted from by wallet for two bloody tires..

However, once I got back home I noticed they replaced my metal "N" stem caps with cheap plastic grey ones (joy), but far more disturbing are these fugly bands of adhesive metal "chicklets" they stuck to the inside of the rim. I compared these to the untouched wheels, and the originals do come with something similar made of grey plastic, they are far more innocuous and better blended with the rim color.

I have attached a picture of what I'm talking about.

All research as to what the hell these things are (original or the ones discount tire slapped on) have proven fruitless. So, can someone please enlighten me to:

1) What the hell these are for?
2) Why the hell discount tire had to rip off the BMW supplied ones and slap their crappy version on instead. These are on the rims, not the tire, so I'm confused as to why.
3) Can I safely rip them off, or at least pare them down so they aren't so noticeable?
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      06-13-2012, 10:44 AM   #2
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Those are balancing weights. Don't take them off!!! whenever you mount a new tire the wheel has to be balanced and weights are applied to do so. these kind look alot better than others, but I agree, the BMW ones match the wheel color better. bottom line is that you're stuck unless you want to pay for another balancing.
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      06-13-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
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This is something I learned about too. Apparently, even though rims are round, they are not perfectly round and not perfectly weight-balanced. As such, they do this thing called balancing, where they try to make everything perfectly weight-balanced by putting those 'chicklets' where weight is needed. Otherwise, if not done, when your rims are spinning at speed, there will probably be some vibrating.

EDIT: this thread kinda reminds me of a similar one from here. "...circle metal thing..." No offence intended.
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      06-13-2012, 12:36 PM   #4
jrothstein
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Not sure I understand then. If they are meant to balance the weight of the rim, why would they need replacement with a tire change? The rim weight distribution would remain constant I'd think.

In any case, it is horrendously ugly and noticeable, at least compared to the OEM weights. Could they at least be placed somewhere less noticeable, like farther back in the rim, or do they have to be placed in that specific location?
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      06-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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hi ! in support of the other replies I will repeat !!! Every time yes every time a tyre is changed the wheel and tyre are rebalanced which necessitates the old weight coming off and news one being added as necessary. It is because that every wheel and tyre combination is different and sometimes the tyre is not perfectly concentric on the wheel so balancing is done to offset the imperfections.
As for looks well it is what it is!! I would say that sometimes tyre fitters do not fit the tyre correctly thus requiring extra weights above the norm.....I would say that your wheel does seem to have a lot of weights in one location....if they took the tyre off and remounted it the weights would again be different.....

You could ask them to rebalance but put the weights on the inner side away from the front, it is possible!!!
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      06-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Is this your first car or something?? Everyone knows you balance a wheel and tyre each time a tyre is replaced. You're going mental over something completely normal!
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      06-13-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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*shrug*, it's my 5th car actually, and I guess I must be the luckiest bastard ever because I've only managed to blow one tire in the last 20 years, which was replaced at a BMW dealership, so I guess they placed the weights in a more obscure location. All my cars have been leased so I've never had to actually change tires due to wear..

Anyways, mental is probably a bit of an exaggeration.. Like most everyone here, I keep my Z super clean and in top shape. Having never seen these weight things before, and moreso how obnoxiously visible these were placed, obviously I was annoyed.. If you spent the extra $$$ for the nice rims, only to see the look totally marred by what looks a huge strip of scrap metal, I'm sure you'd be pissed too..

Sorry if I came off as a newb or something, I knew tires had to be "balanced", i did not know that was achieved via tape on weights on the rim..


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Originally Posted by ManiacGT View Post
Is this your first car or something?? Everyone knows you balance a wheel and tyre each time a tyre is replaced. You're going mental over something completely normal!
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      06-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Hi! The essence of these forums is to spread knowledge and experience, so not knowing something is not a sin! the only difference if people ask something really dumb like " I bought a new car and there is a big lump of metal making lots of different noises under the big metal panel that opens I thinks its called a hood or bonnet, does anyone know what it is?". This is a dumb question lol!!
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      06-14-2012, 09:03 AM   #9
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I'm not saying its a sin, and perhaps mental was a bit strong, apologies, but come on, to be so vocal about wheel weights? This is a forum for car enthusiasts, so I was amazed to read someone being so upset over wheel weights.. something that most, if not all, cars have to stop wheel vibration. Its just a bit 'wrapped in cotton wool' for me...
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      06-14-2012, 10:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiacGT View Post
I'm not saying its a sin, and perhaps mental was a bit strong, apologies, but come on, to be so vocal about wheel weights? This is a forum for car enthusiasts, so I was amazed to read someone being so upset over wheel weights.. something that most, if not all, cars have to stop wheel vibration. Its just a bit 'wrapped in cotton wool' for me...
Where do you Brits get those expressions? "Wrapped in cotton wool"...What on earth does that mean?
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      06-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparnes1
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiacGT View Post
I'm not saying its a sin, and perhaps mental was a bit strong, apologies, but come on, to be so vocal about wheel weights? This is a forum for car enthusiasts, so I was amazed to read someone being so upset over wheel weights.. something that most, if not all, cars have to stop wheel vibration. Its just a bit 'wrapped in cotton wool' for me...
Where do you Brits get those expressions? "Wrapped in cotton wool"...What on earth does that mean?
Wrapped in cotton wool = insulated from reality
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      06-14-2012, 10:36 PM   #12
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Let's see why you haven't seen the weights before. HMM, I have a perfect answer for you. Tire specifications. An OEM tire is a more true, round, and closely balanced tire than a tire supplier will receive. The tire we get have a sticker or paint spot to indicate where the lowest point on the tire is and from the wheel manufacturer, the wheel has a sticker or stamp to indicate the highest point of the wheel. We have a machine that matches those marks to get the best combination. It is then load simulated and the radial force variance checked (vibration). Then it is balanced, if the weight to be applied is too great the assembly gets rejected. So the tires you get on the car when you buy it new are the best tires that car will ever have on it period. The balance machines used at tire shops are not as sophisticated and calibrated twice a day as the ones used at BMW and they don't have the points to match up the parts and 99.9% of the tire shops will not have a lathe and dial indicator to put the wheels in to find the high point. So we at BMW put the smallest weight we can or we reject the tire which a tire shop will not do.
My 2 cents ching ching!
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      06-14-2012, 10:54 PM   #13
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Oh one more thing a tire shop doesn't have the information about the weight correction as the relation to how far the weights are applied from the center of gravity of the wheel. So the closer the weight applied from the center the less effect on balance it has, that is why they have to stack the weights because the have to rebalance the assembly to check and see if they have put the correct amount of weight on. They really don't know how much weight to put on because those machines are calibrated for the wheel flange on the outside. Those wheels you have do not have an outside flange.

Last edited by Desmoduece; 06-14-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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      06-14-2012, 11:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raven333 View Post
You could ask them to rebalance but put the weights on the inner side away from the front, it is possible!!!
Well..my thoughts on this are, it would correct the static imbalance but not the coupled imbalance. To get a true dynamic balance, the weights applied have to be closest to the flange. Static is the imbalance moving up and down and couple is the imbalance from side to side. Dynamic is the correction of both.
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      06-15-2012, 09:58 AM   #15
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Really appreciate the instruction on the use of weights on balancing tyres on wheels, excellent reply and what these forums should be about!!! well done !!
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      06-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #16
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OP-don't feel bad. I just had new 19s put on my 335. They are black. The wheel weights are grey. Damn, they stick out. And one has about 5 weights towards the outside of the wheel, so I do see them. It bugs me. I'll be putting a black magic market to them.
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      06-15-2012, 07:43 PM   #17
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Also, keep in mind that when your car was new, the wheels were perfectly round and naturally balanced. Now that they have some miles on them they're not that perfect even if they still look good. So they need more counterbalancing.

That was one (the only?) benefit of the ole' steel wheels: the weights were usually fastened to the inside lip, or at worse covered by a hub cap. With see-through alloy wheels, it's much more difficult to hide them!
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      06-20-2012, 02:26 AM   #18
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A great road force balancing machine:
http://www.hunter.com/balancer/roadforce/index.cfm


I find it amazing if you can drive 3 years without needing to change tires...

I track now, so I change tires every 2-3 months, but even before I tracked, I changed tires at least annually.

I don't personally understand how one can get more than 10-15k miles on a sports car...

My van got 60k miles on its tires...but that's a van lol


You can always request black color weights.

Also, I have never seen weights on top of weights... they should have just used a heavier weight.. that's unprofessional imo


Also, you cannot place wheel weights in a location where it might look "prettier"

You place then where they need to be to balance the wheel

One of my current Volks has no wheel weights as it was mounted and balanced perfectly, but this is a rare occurrence.

if you want, take the weights off and see how the car handles at about 80mph... you'll forget about how ugly they are and be upset at how horrible the car drives.

You should go back and tell them to do a better job though. stacking weights isn't good imo
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      06-20-2012, 05:38 AM   #19
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+1 on the weights, if they use a large amount of weights they should remove and reinstall the tyre as it clearly is not correct, as I mentioned every time you remove a tyre then rebalance the weights used will always change!!!
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      06-28-2012, 11:42 AM   #20
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Rip em off and see what happens hahaha
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      06-28-2012, 11:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrothstein View Post
Called the BMW dealer and they wanted $800 to replace both Potenza RFT tires.. Called Discount Tire and they happended to have the tires in stock and quoted me $600, so it was a no brainer.
Really? This is a classic case of you get what you pay for. You wanted to save a couple of hundred bucks, and this is what you got. My experience with discount tire is that they could care less about the aesthetics of wheel weights and how they match your wheels. After all, they are "discount tire." I've seen them just tape (or clamp) weights to the outside of chrome rims just about any way they see fit. If you want a shop that tries hard to balance your wheels and actually color match or conceal the weights, next time go someplace that doesn't have "Discount" in their name.
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