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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eleven
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Aston Martin at Detroit Auto Show
Issue Eleven
March 30, 2004
Live, From Detroit, It's the 2004 NAIAS!
Detroit Auto Show Awards
Keeping things in Balance
60 Seconds with Henrik Fisker
Windshield Dyno: The Beltronics GX2
Nissan Altima Facelift
WORK Wheels Introduction
Cadillac Merchandise
Not The Record To Be Proud Of
Open Wheel Racing in the USA: Big Changes
Bear Market in the Auto Business?
Coming Next Issue
NYC Auto Show

Keeping things in Balance
By Steve Litscher

(Friday, Jan. 9, 2004 1:35 PM EST)

Hunter Engineering Headquarters

Hunter Wheel and Tire Balancer

Your passengers are questioning whether you're having trouble affording your car payments, and thinking they must be joking, you ask, "Why?" Their response comes as a bit of a shock, "Because it feels like your car is trying to shake the loose change from my pockets!"

The problem started and grew so gradually that you didn't even notice, but sure enough, now that you're actually paying attention to the vehicle's ride characteristics, you do notice a rather unpleasant vibration. Where's it coming from? Looks like it's time for a trip to the tire shop.

The burly gentleman with the bushy mustache who's standing behind the local tire shop's counter diagnoses the problem before you even finish telling him the situation. "Yer tires need to be balanced," he says. "It'll be forty-two dollars and we'll have ya' outta' here in 'bout an hour." You pass the time in the "quaint" waiting room, leafing through a two-year old copy of Field and Stream, and sure enough, your car's ready to go in no time.

Problem solved, right? Well, maybe not entirely. How well do you know your tire shop and its employees? Are the technicians ASE certified? Do they have additional specialty training? Are they using equipment that's state of the art, or does the shop bear a striking resemblance to Gomer Pyle's garage? These are important questions, and they could make the difference between a repair that's fixed right the first time or the beginning of a long and stressful repeat problem relationship.

Roadfly was fortunate to have spent a full day at the world-renowned Hunter Engineering headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, where we met with the folks who know more about vehicle dynamics than Brett Favre does about football. They gave us the full tour, and we were able to pick their collective brains about the proper way to mount and balance a wheel and tire. What they told us might surprise you...let's read on.

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