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58 votes
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Strange metallic stickers on rims after repair shop visit

Those are wheel weights. They are to balance out imperfections in the weight of the tire to avoid vibration at speed. I would recommend not removing them. If you're concerned about them standing out ...
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  • 1,708
55 votes
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Is it necessary to have the wheels of a car aligned with the body when parked, due to weight on the axle?

Not at all, in fact there are many occasions when you would want the tires at an angle to the body of the car. Any time you're parked on a hill it is prudent to angle the wheels of the car so that if ...
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  • 14.2k
41 votes
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Why are wheels labeled "R16" when the 16" is actually the diameter?

Tires (or tyres) are marked as www/hhRdd where www is the tread width in mm, hh is the sidewall height as a percentage of width and dd is the inner diameter in inches. I.e. 245/75R16 has a width of 24....
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  • 492
39 votes
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What are these metal clips where my wheel rims meet the tires and what are they for?

They are exactly what you stated: wheel weights. They are used to balance the tire so when you are going down the road you don't get an out of balance condition. These are VERY important for several ...
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33 votes

What is the small metal square attached to the wheel or tire?

Those appear to be wheel weights. When mounted on the rims, tires are often not totally and absolutely balanced. When you drive, it may cause all sorts of shaking issues if it is badly out of balance....
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31 votes

Why do some tuned cars have very inclined tires?

The tilt of the wheel is known as the camber angle. Tilting the wheel in that manner is called negative camber. Doing it the other way around (top outwards) is positive camber. Mounting the wheel ...
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  • 700
27 votes

What is the small metal square attached to the wheel or tire?

This is a wheel balancing weight. This type is held onto the inner side of the wheel with double-backed foam type adhesive tape. The the "1/4" stands for one quarter of an ounce. The "FE" denotes ...
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  • 11.5k
26 votes
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Grease on wheel bolts or not?

Do exactly what the manufacturer of the vehicle states in service information. Why do I say this? The nut rotational friction and bolt clamping force are both affected by the choice of lubricant used ...
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  • 11.5k
26 votes

Is it necessary to have the wheels of a car aligned with the body when parked, due to weight on the axle?

Perhaps my post is a bit late, but make sure you always face your wheels to an angle if you park your vehicle on a hill. A brake failure can lead into some heavy damage. If you parked your vehicle at ...
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  • 371
25 votes
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What is this wire in my tyre?

These wires are probably the wires in the steel belt of your radial tire. If you see those wires, the tire is worn out. You should replace it today! No, you should have replaced it yesterday! For ...
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  • 13.3k
24 votes
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Why do mechanics give the wheels a spin after raising a car for inspection?

Probably a combination of things - as you surmise, it's a good way to check for worn bearings (you may also spot them rocking the wheel up and down or side to side, that's also checking the wheel ...
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  • 28.6k
21 votes
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What is the purpose of this black plastic loop around rim spokes?

The wheel trim that it is holding on is likely damaged, so a previous owner has added the cable/zip tie to stop it falling off. The damage may not be visible from the outside. There are plastic tabs ...
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  • 19.8k
17 votes

Why are spare wheels smaller than normal wheels?

Because you rarely use it, reducing its size and weight is an effective method for cutting down costs. It also saves space and makes packaging easier for the engineers. The cost aspect is also the ...
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  • 2,919
16 votes
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What are the pros and cons of having "summer wheels" and "winter wheels"?

The pros and cons of running dedicated summer and winter sets of wheels/tires will depend on individual situations. For what it's worth, I advocate having dedicated summer and winter tires available ...
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  • 1,195
16 votes
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Why are spare wheels smaller than normal wheels?

Do all cars that come factory fitted with alloys follow this rule? No, there are three basic options that I see all the time. An Emergency wheel - Will get you to the next tire shop or gas station. ...
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  • 365
15 votes
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Why nitrogen and not carbon dioxide is used in critical tire applications?

Nitrogen is inert and doesn't affect rubber or the steel rim. Carbon dioxide is highly reactive and affects both the rubber by causing swelling in the rubber. It also would cause corrosion in iron ...
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  • 3,812
15 votes

Should I not drive with this huge chipped rim?

Do NOT drive this at all. Change the wheel before driving it again. That can cause sudden loss of control if the bead shifts.
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  • 34.4k
14 votes
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Does wheelspinning damage my car?

The short answer is probably not, but you are creating undue hardship on the internals that will likely lead them to fail earlier than they would otherwise. When you drive your car, you are putting ...
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  • 2,045
14 votes
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When buying a new tire at car shop, they pumped the new tire and it popped loudly, is that normal?

This is absolutely normal. What's going on is they are seating the beads of the tire against the rims. In order to get them to do this, they have to over pressurize the tires a bit, which then allows ...
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14 votes

Will this tyre fail its MOT?

If you can't see or feel the cords by lifting the edge of the cut with a blunt instrument (e.g. a coffee stirrer), then it shouldn't fail: any ply or cord that can be seen without touching the tyre – ...
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  • 28.6k
13 votes

Should the inflation pressure for low profile tires be the same as for regular tires?

In almost all circumstances you should use the manufacturer's numbers as your guide. They are aware of the requirements of their wheels, and they do understand that a low profile requires a certain ...
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  • 18.5k
13 votes
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Is it safe to fix a bent motorbike wheel?

Fixing a bent motorcycle wheel is situational. If you are on a 125 to 200cc motorcycle using it for commuting purpose and will be driving under the speed limit, I would not be worried and its ...
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  • 8,916
12 votes
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How can you change a pressed wheel bearing without a hydraulic press?

There are tools available that can do the job without using a press: There are many more. The overall theme is the C-clamp like stile of pressing the bearing in and out. There is an old saying, ...
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  • 15.9k
12 votes

Why nitrogen and not carbon dioxide is used in critical tire applications?

Nitrogen makes up around 80% of Air - therefore its more readily reclaimed and separated than the smaller amounts of other gases in air. I.e. the process for reclaiming nitrogen from air could be ...
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  • 2,645
12 votes

Why do mechanics give the wheels a spin after raising a car for inspection?

What exactly are they looking for? Anything that could be wrong or irregular. Tire defects Bent wheel rims Worn bearings noisy anything dragging brakes health of differential gears condition of CV ...
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11 votes
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What should one do to reduce the HP lost at the wheels on an automatic transmission?

The power losses in a MT are primarily do to friction. Everything in a MT is positively locked together, meaning there is no slip anywhere. Beyond friction at least one of the rotating assemblies is ...
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  • 15.9k
11 votes
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Is balancing necessary on a full-wheel change?

No, you don't have to balance the summer wheels again. I have two sets (winter & summer) and swap them over with no issues. The only time you need to get balancing re-done is when you have new ...
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  • 34.4k
10 votes
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Driving on a tire with different aspect ratio number than recommended?

If the tire were to be used on the rear of the car, the worst that would happen is the ABS light would come on (and possibly the low tire indicator, if so equipped). If it were on the front end (since ...
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10 votes
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Front left controller arm corroded and broke on my 2002 Hyundai Elantra

You have severe case of corrosion. The part is called the lower control arm. Its function is to maintain the tire in the correct position. Do not attempt to drive the vehicle. In the best case ...
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  • 19.7k
10 votes
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Wheel removal solutions

I've worked at a garage. We use a rubber mallet. Hit it like your doing lug nuts. Hit it, rotate 90*, hit it, rotate 45*, and so on so you are not always hitting on the same spot. We would ...
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  • 8,393

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