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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had some new tires mounted and balanced onto my original 18” factory aluminum rims recently. This was the first time in my life I’d ever had tires mounted on aluminum rims. Before bringing them in I cleaned them up, front and back, and marked how many rectangular weights each rim had attached to the inner surface. Surprisingly, they ranged from 3 up to 12!!

Anyway ... when I got them back, all the inner rectangular factory weights had been removed, and multiple “rim-lip” weights had been attached!!

Now - I’ve been used to seeing these clunky “rim lip” weights attached to the steel wheels on all my other vehicles over the years, but why weren’t the rectangular inner-wheel weights used (to mimic the factory method)??

Also - should I have gotten those weights back? And how are they attached? Do they just stick-on?? Are they the preferred method for aluminum wheels, and if so ... why did I get the standard “lip-rim” weights?

Also - the rectangular factory weights seemed to be a lot smaller than what’s on there now ... implying that either the replacement tires are causing this (apparent) huge discrepancy, the balancing machine may be out of calibration, or the installer made a mistake.

The wheels were brought in loose, and I just mounted them yesterday, so I haven’t Road-tested them yet. That’ll be this week.
 

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Rim weights were used because the shop you used was lazy and/or cheap. There is nothing "technically" wrong with using rim/lip weights over the sitck-on weights, but they just look like crap as well as scratch the rim up where they sit.

Should you have gotten the old weights back? I would never have assumed so. I have never gotten them back, never asked, and never expected them back. They are just lead with now used adhesive on the back.

If you have excessive weights now, then there is a chance the tires are less than optimal. A road test is about the only way to really know. As you stated, the rims could be wonky, the tires wonky, or the balancer was out of spec. Some tires just need more help to balance out.
 

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Most tire shops are clueless. See those yellow and red dots on the new tires? they mark where the tire should be mounted in relationship to the valve stem. Can't remember offhand which color is which but that affects balance also.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@jackass : Yeah, I'm thinking I'm gonna have problems because I'm pretty sure the weights they put on are excessive. But I thought those balancing machines were idiot-proof (assuming they're calibrated properly), and if you're tacking on 3 and 4 of these rim-lip weights, that's probably saying "something wrong here"

@repairman54 : Oh yeah ... glad you reminded me. I knew about that, but forgot to remind them. Looks like they lines the red dot up with the valve stem ... so at least they did that (and maybe that's correct ... I'll have to look that up again!).


Too much to read right now ...
 

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How did they use rim lip weights? The 2nd gen Equinox rims don't really have a lip that can accommodate those types of weights...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How did they use rim lip weights? The 2nd gen Equinox rims don't really have a lip that can accommodate those types of weights...
That's what I was thinking ... but it turns out the inside of the rim looks like a standard metal rim ... with the typical lip to attach the weights! Hate it!

I should've told them not to use the lip-weights! It seems like such a hack to me.

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Also noticed yesterday - after putting the wheels on - that none of the TPMS were working! They were all showing "--" ... even though I had pre-programmed them, and clearly marked their positions on both the inside of the rims, and the sensors themselves with a thick Sharpie (using FL, FR, BL, BR). Doing the programming knocked out the sensors on the 17" wheels, which were still on the car at the time, so I figured ZEROS was correct ... until the new wheels & tires got mounted.

So I just went out there and did the re-program, and now the pressures are showing up ... but the programming sequence went kind of weird on me. I put it in "Learn Mode", started at the Left Front, then went to the Right Front, then the Right Back ... and ... it double-honked on me before I got to the Left Back ... almost like it thought I was already on the last wheel!

So now I guess I'll have to do the let-some-air-out thing to see where it thinks each wheel is. I can't see the Installers putting a Sensor in the wrong position ... it was too easy ... but then again ...

I wish I could just do everything myself! Hate relying on anybody to do anything for me. It just ends up causing me aggravation all the time!
 
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I would complain to the shop that did it, and insist that they re balance with stick on inner weights. What they did ruins the looks and will scratch the rims when removed. Personally, I would make a mental note to find a different shop next time, and give them a bad review.

I am surprised that this is the first time that you ever got tires mounted on alloy rims, with all of that 2s driving.
 

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Seems like we all assumed that the weights were attached to the rims on the outside, but now it seems like they were put on the inside. SO, it may not be that bad, as long as they do not seem to be out of balance when driving.


As far as the TPMS issue, possibly one of the batteries went bad, but seems unlikely.

I'm with you, I wish I could do everything myself. I tend to second guess whenever a shop does work on my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@RIT333 : I was cleaning up the (factory-original Michelin Latitude) 17" wheels I took off to put them in storage and noticed that even they came with rim-lip weights ... although very small ones (1/2" - 5"8" wide).

But the ones that got put on the 18's to balance them with the new tires are a whopping 3" long!!! I just find it hard to believe this disparity in weight size..
 

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Tire balance machine determines inside or outside of rim weight placement. Stick on weight in center of wheel centralizes that reading.
Lazy or incompetent shop IMO. Sometimes that tire bargain isn't worth a few bucks.
Tires and alignments are the few things I have to depend on others to do. I now buy my tires from the dealer who price match's other shops and since a local ''good shop'' charged me for an alignment on my Malibu and didn't even touch it I now use the dealer for that work.
Had a local tire chain shop scratch the hell out of my old '07 Mustang GT wheels. And that car was a no rain or salt garage queen bought new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@repairman54 : If the machine determines inside or outside for weight placement, how can you properly balance an aluminum wheel that can only accept weights on the inside "lip" (without attaching the stick-on "chicklet" weights to the inner wheel surface)? If what you're saying is true, then it seems like you must use the stick-on weights (to balance aluminum wheels), and then only attach the "lip" weights when necessary (like my 17" 'virgin' wheels were done at the factory).

And I get what you're saying about "lazy or incompetent shops", but really ... how do you know what you're getting when:

1.) It's always gonna be the "low-man-on-the-totem-pole" doing the work.
2.) You have no idea how competent (or careful) the worker is
3.) You have no idea if the machine being used has been calibrated, or has otherwise been maintained properly
4.) And who's double-checking Tire Mounting and Balancing work? They're giving this work to the "grunts" because they don't want to be bothered with it. It's "user-test", and the owner will return if he/she thinks there's a problem.

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OMG! I just read the business about the RED and YELLOW dots! Talk about complications ... and yet another variable that could go right over the head of the "grunt" tire changer:

1.) YELLOW DOT: the lightest part of the tire. Line this up with the heaviest part of the WHEEL ... which is where the Valve Stem is

2.) RED DOT: the tire's high point. Line this up with the WHEEL's low point ... indicated by a drilled hole or a sticker of some kind (if your WHEEL has such marks) ... and then ignore the YELLOW Dot.

3.) TIEBREAKER: IF the tire has both Dots, but your wheel has no low point indicator (drilled hole or sticker), then RED takes precedence over YELLOW, and you align the RED DOT with the Valve Stem.

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So ... my installer aligned the RED DOT with the Valve Stem. Was this correct? I don't know. I didn't look for any low point indicator on my rims. I only had ONE Rim where the tire had been removed. All the rest still had the tires on them. Do I have to pull the tires off to inspect the Rims myself ... to be sure ... and then tell the Installer "Here's the low point on each Rim ... make sure you align the RED DOT here ... and NOT with the Valve Stem???"

And who does that??? Nobody!

Interestingly ... I could actually feel a slight bump in the tires at very low speed, coming out of my driveway, and then onto the street ... kind of like if I were to glue a 3" x 1/4" half-domed strip perpendicularly across the tread, and then drove on that. To me, that feels like a defective tire, but the RED DOT thing seems to say ... "NO! That's normal ... every tire will have a high and low spot where the belts are joined".

Almost want to just rip these tires off and start again ... OR ... rip all the weights off the rims, and take the wheels and tires somewhere else to be re-balanced TELLING THEM TO USE THE "CHICKLET" stick-on weights, and then seeing how that compares to what's on there right now...

And then if it's very different, going back to the original Shop and telling them:

1.) I want a refund for the Installation

2.) Fix your **** machine, and/or re-train your Installers
 

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If the factory tires were balanced with the stick-on inside weights that that's what the rim requires.
A lot of OEM and aftermarket wheels don't have an outer lip that's clip on weight compatible, so they use the stick on. If the factory didn't have to use them, they would not as it's a slower production line process than just whacking on a weight.
Low point is marked inside the rim not outside. I guarantee the Porsche dealer and Corvette rims get checked for the markings when tires are mounted.
Just another reason I use my price matching dealer for tires on my non beater vehicles. And my rims come out looking like they went in. Plus, my Chevy dealer is doing 'vette tire work so my odds are better the balancer is up to snuff.
 

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Most places aren't using the chicklet weights anymore for stick on weights. They now use the stick on weight strips and cut the length needed to match the weight needed. They look horrible, but that is what the shops are going to because it is less material for them to stock. This is what my Chevy dealer used when they road force balanced my most recent set of new tires.

Rectangle Bumper Automotive exterior Slope Electric blue
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
And what about the possibility that those “stick-on” “chicklet” weights falling off the wheel at some point?? Especially when they get added on at a later date, maybe the wheel surface doesn’t get cleaned properly prior to applying them? That might be one advantage of the ugly rim-lip weights ... they’re probably not falling off (although it does happen).

My factory 18” wheels had grossly different numbers of “chicklet” weights on them. I mean ... like 12 on this one, and only 2 or 3 on that one. But I never checked for this when I first bought the vehicle brand new, so maybe some of those 2 and 3’s had 6 or more on them originally?? I don’t know. It’s something to look for and note when you buy a brand new vehicle, and it’s probably good to note after every new tire install, too, because the tires might be on there for several years.

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So I’m driving home tonight and I look down at my shirt cuff at my wrist. My elbow is resting on the center console. I see the shirt cuff vibrating very visibly, but when I try to shoot a video of this, it appears the iPhone is filtering out the video vibration???
 

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Sure sounds like vibration. Maybe you should get them re-balanced ??

Keep track of how much weight is on them now, and also after the re-balance, and then quiz them why it has changed !
 

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And what about the possibility that those “stick-on” “chicklet” weights fallomg off the wheel at some point?? Especially when they get added on at a later date, maybe the wheel surface doesn’t get cleaned properly prior to applying them? That might be one advantage of the ugly rim-lip weights ... they’re probably not falling off (although it does happen).

My factory 18” wheels had grossly different numbers of “chicklet” weights on them. I mean ... like 12 on this one, and only 2 or 3 on that one. But I never checked for this when I first bought the vehicle brand new, so maybe some of those 2 and 3’s had 6 or more on them originally?? I don’t know. It’s something to look for and note when you buy a brand new vehicle, and it’s probably good to note after every new tire install, too, because the tires might be on there for several years.

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So I’m driving home tonight and I look down at my shirt cuff at my wrist. My elbow is resting on the center console. I see the shirt cuff vibrating very visibly, but when I try to shoot a video of this, it appears the iPhone is filtering out the video vibration???
When my 2015 was new with the OEM Michelin tires, it also had widely varying amounts of "chiclets" on each wheel. One had 10-12, others only had 3-4, etc. While the possibilty does exist for them to fly off, I would imagine that is rare. I walk local roads frequently around a busy shopping district, and see the rim-lip weights frequently lying in the street. I rarely, if ever, see the stick-on weights just lying in the street. The rim-lip weights I see usually have severely corroded crimps on them, so they probably corroded to the point where they can't stay crimped on any more.

When I replaced the Michelins with my current Coopers, the Chevy dealer took all of the "chiclets" off and used the 3M stick on style weights I showed in post #13. Because they did a road force balance, each wheel has 2-3 black strips of that with varying lengths stuck on at various spots on the wheels. One wheel even has a long weight strip mounted perpendicularly across the inside of the wheel instead of being parallel with the wheel.

I had a bottle of water in the center console cupholder recently and noticed the water vibrating as I was rolling down the road. That was the only real indicator of a vibration, otherwise I never would have felt it. I am not sure it is possible to have a totally serene, vibration-free ride [especially on the horrible roads around here.]

When I get new tires, I typically request stick-on weights when I check in for the appointment. Honestly, once I get the car back and check it over to make sure everything looks OK [condition, tires are mounted correctly, make sure there are different weights on the wheels, etc.] I don't really monitor the weights. If there are no noticeable vibrations or anything I consider it a success.

If I see that there are NO weights at all on a wheel, I will go back and ask why. I have heard that there is a possibility that a tire/wheel assembly can be perfectly balanced and not need weights, but I tend not to believe that can happen with cars such as ours and is more of a thing with race cars and/or exotics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
@arcee : What about the alleged "marks" on wheels indicating a low point (that the RED DOT on the tire sidewall would be lined up with ... if such mark existed)? Do you know if our factory wheels came with such indicators? (it's also possible, some did, and some didn't ... I suppose ..)

Has anybody ever seen such marks on their wheels (or even thought to look for them)?

And what did the mark look like, and were you able to verify the RED DOT was lined up with it after the tires were installed?

3 out of 4 of my newly-mounted & balanced tires have the RED DOT lined up with the valve stem. The 4th one is about 2" off. Maybe this is the cause of the vibration I'm feeling? I don't know ... can't tell unless I get them to line it up, I guess ...

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Thanks for the 3M "stick-on" weights info. If I have to get them re-balanced elsewhere and someone mentions that's what they use, I'll feel better about it.

But ... putting the weight perpendicular across the inside of the Rim???? Really??? Has anybody ever seen that done with the "chicklet" factory weights? If not, then I'd be skeptical ...
 

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When I had the new Cooper tires installed on my Equinox, none of them came with red or yellow dots on them. Supposedly there is a mark on the actual wheel that designates the low point on the wheel.

General rule is if a tire has both dots or only a yellow dot, align the yellow dot with the valve stem and ignore the red dot.

If a tire has only a red dot, align it with the designated low point on the wheel (if the wheel actually has a mark showing the low point.)

Most tire installers who aren't dedicated tire installers have no idea what those dots are. They throw the tire on the rim, balance it, and send the car on its way. In most cases that is fine and won't hurt anything other than possibly a little more weight required to get the balance right. My Dad recently had a new set of tires installed on his car. All 4 had red dots, but no yellow dots. No way to know if they were aligned with the low points on each wheel since the wheels don't have a visible mark [unless it is on the inside of the wheel].

A few years ago, an OCD friend of mine complained to a tire installer that there were yellow dots on the new tires and they looked unsightly. The installer told them the yellow dots didn't mean anything and would eventually wear off.

Ignoring the dirty wheel, here is my somewhat perpendicular wheel weight.

Automotive tire Rim Automotive lighting Wood Automotive exterior
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@arcee : That weight strip looks like it may have slipped, or shifted, into that position?
 

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Just to play devil's advocate, perhaps the diagonal application of the wheel weight actually shows some ingenuity on the part of the wheel balancer to get the needed weight on the part of the rim that needs it, not "spread out" over the areas that don't.
 
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