The answer to the question “do tire balancing beads really work?” is more complicated than a yes or no. To answer the question as simply as possible is yes, under the right conditions. These conditions vary from suspension, amount needed, installation, and cause of vibration. We will go through the necessary steps to ensure you have the smoothest ride possible with balancing beads.
The main condition that needs to be met is a stiff or simple suspension. If the suspension is too soft on the vehicle, then the balancing beads will not be able to migrate effectively to the correct spot to counteract the tires. With over 25 years in business, we have concluded that with light passenger vehicles, you will have a 75% success rate, but with simple suspension vehicles from motorcycles to 3 quarter ton trucks, you will have a 99% success rate.
After ensuring the proper suspension is met, the next step would be to ensure that the inside of the tire is dry and free of contamination. Counteract Balancing Beads are moisture resistant so they will not clump, but excess bead lubricant or oil from the tire manufacturers assembly line will certainly not allow the beads to work as effectively in the short term. Grabbing a shop rag and wiping down inside the tire or ensuring the bead lube is used sparingly is always suggested.
Making sure the proper number of balancing beads are being used is another important topic. With not enough inside the tire you will still have a slight vibration, with too much, it could cause a vibration. There is always a goldilocks zone that we like to stay between to ensure the right amount is added. Typically, our charts are accurate and are suggested for worst case scenario for lower tier tires. Counteract has 6 different charts for different applications from motorcycles, classic vehicles, off-road, and class 8 trucks, so be sure to reference the proper chart. https://counteractbalancing.com/applications/
The last thing is to ensure the vibration is being caused by an out of balance tire. No amount of balancing will fix an out-of-round tire, rusty wheel hub, or if the tire is not concentrically seated on the wheel. So, for most vehicles, a good sign of an out of balance tire is vibrations at highway speeds. If the beads have been installed and there is a still a vibration it is worth looking into an out-of-round tire, that the wheel is free of rust and debris, or running your finger along where the tire and wheel meet to make sure it is not kicked in. Counteract’s troubleshooting guide is a fantastic guide for causes in vibration, or a simple phone call to our customer support line is always worth the time to get more information: 519-837-3331 or toll free 1-800-572-8952.