Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
As for balancing...
You can't assume the bare rim is in perfect balance either.
Occasionally when replacing a tire I'll put just the rim on the balancer. I never see them right on the beam,
Mount the tire and balance the assembly and youre done.
Similar to someone telling me their car doesnt need an alignment, saying the the car doesnt pull, has no abnormal tire wear, and the steering wheel is straight going down the road. I'd put the car on the rack, and show the customer the printout--and it was out of spec. Then they would drive the car and come back grinning, saying it steers much better.
A smoother ride is a benefit, but not the real reason for balancing. If a tire is out of balance, the heavy spot will take some of the weight off the tread as it rotates upward. In some circumstances of speed and traction, balance is a safety factor.