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57 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Ceshion's user avatar
  • 1,698
54 votes
Accepted

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 ...
dlu's user avatar
  • 14.5k
41 votes
Accepted

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....
psaxton's user avatar
  • 492
38 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
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....
Blackbeagle's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Fred Wilson's user avatar
  • 11.6k
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 ...
Fred Wilson's user avatar
  • 11.6k
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 ...
Oxy Synth's user avatar
  • 371
26 votes
Accepted

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 ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 14.6k
24 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 28.8k
21 votes
Accepted

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 ...
HandyHowie's user avatar
  • 25.4k
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 ...
Bart's user avatar
  • 2,954
17 votes

Can the car jack get adjusted?

The gear mechanism skipped a tooth. It's likely broken and dangerous to use. Such jacks are quite cheap; in Norway they are available for 20-25USD, so I would simply pick up a new one, or raise a ...
vidarlo's user avatar
  • 764
16 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Ellesedil's user avatar
  • 1,197
16 votes
Accepted

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. ...
coteyr's user avatar
  • 365
15 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Old_Fossil's user avatar
  • 3,962
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.
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 34.6k
14 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
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 – ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 28.8k
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 ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 18.6k
12 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Shobin P's user avatar
  • 8,936
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 ...
Mauro's user avatar
  • 2,655
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 ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
12 votes

How can a wheel fall off while wheelnuts remained in place?

It seems to be an extreme case, but if the lug nuts were not fully secured against the rim, the forces involved in driving can erode the holes in the wheel, especially if the wheel is not steel and is ...
fred_dot_u's user avatar
  • 4,650
12 votes

My 2016 Chevrolet Spark started making a noise at high speeds, but then stopped. Is it safe to drive?

That isn't an alloy wheel, that's a regular steel wheel with a plastic wheel cover on it. The plastic cover is obviously in bad shape, it's just for appearances so you can just take it off and throw ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 17k
11 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 34.6k
10 votes

Hit a curb today, taking a chunk out of the tire and some damage to the rim. Is it still safe to drive?

I highly recommend having the tires replaced. Even if physical deformation/damage is not evident from a visual inspection, there could be damage to the internal structure of the tire, like the steel ...
FourthGenZ28's user avatar
9 votes

Correct fitment of wheels using hubcentric rings

There is one other figure you need to take into consideration; offset. The offset is the measure of how far pushed out or in the centre point of the wheel (that bolts to the hub) is when compared to ...
Steve Matthews's user avatar
9 votes

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

(I would have added this as a comment but I don't have the reputation yet) As dlu pointed out, on steep hills you want to angle your front wheels towards the kerb, but there are also situations where ...
Ben A's user avatar
  • 91

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