There have been lots of debate about how often you should balance your tires.
In this article, we answer the question of whether you should balance your tires every time you rotate the wheels.
Let’s start with a quick answer:
Should Tires Be Balanced at Every Rotation?
While balancing tires at every rotation isn’t necessary, many mechanics recommend it. This is to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the tires and also to avoid vibrations while driving. Lastly, perfectly balanced tires also put less stress on the suspension.
Some experts believe that balancing is only necessary when new tires are installed or when old ones are removed and replaced. Others argue that it should be done every time the tires are rotated.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to balance your tires is up to you and your mechanic.
There is no right or wrong answer, but if you are unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution.
When is the Best Time to Balance Your Wheels?
The best time to balance your wheels is when you first get new tires.
Doing this ensures that they wear evenly and last as long as possible. However, if you have an older car or your tires are beginning to show signs of wear, it is still a good idea to balance them at each rotation.
You’ll help prolong the life of your tires and keep your car running smoothly.
Why Do Tires Need To Be Rotated?
Otherwise, you might have one tire wear faster than the rest.
Tires do not do an equal amount of work on the road. For example, the front tires do a lot of the heavy lifting when maneuvering the car.
They do most of the turning and the cornering, which means they experience more wear and tear.
The back tires, on the other hand, take it easy.
They provide stability and traction but don’t have to do much turning.
Because of this, it is essential to rotate your tires regularly. This will help ensure that they all wear evenly and last longer. Rotating your tires is a simple process that can be done at home or by a mechanic.
Rotating tires helps them last as long as their posted mileage.
A 60,000-mile tire properly rotated will last 60,000 miles, while one that is not rotated may only last 50,000 miles.
Do Mechanics Balance Wheels When Rotating Wheels?
Most mechanics will balance your wheels when they rotate them, but it is always best to double-check.
Some shops may charge extra for this service, so be sure to ask before you have the work done. If you are comfortable doing it yourself, you can save money by balancing the wheels yourself.
However, unless you are experienced with this type of work, it is best to leave it to the professionals.
What Happens if You Rotate Wheels that are Not Balanced?
If you rotate your wheels and they are not balanced, it can cause a number of problems.
1. Tires will wear unevenly
Tires wearing unevenly will mean that you may have to change or replace your tires more frequently. This can be expensive, and it may also cause your car to ride uncomfortably.
In fact, you can make tires last as much as 20% longer when rotating them.
2. Your car may vibrate
If your wheels are not balanced, it can cause your car to vibrate.
This is because the weight of the tire is not evenly distributed.
The vibration can be annoying and make driving less enjoyable. It can also cause wear and tear on other parts of your car, such as the suspension.
3. Causes Stress on the Suspension
The vibration caused by unbalanced tires can put stress on the suspension of your car.
In short, it is best to balance your tires whenever you rotate them. This will help prolong the life of your tires and keep your car running smoothly.
If you are unsure, be sure to ask your mechanic.
They will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation.
How Often Should Tires Be Balanced and Rotated?
Tires should be balanced and rotated between every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, and most experts recommend that you rotate your tires every 5,000 miles or so.
However, this may vary depending on the type of car you drive and how you drive it.
This interval may be shorter or longer depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as your driving.
For example, if you have a front-wheel-drive car, you may need to rotate your tires more often.
This is because the front tires do most of the work and can wear down quickly.
This interval may be shorter or longer depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as your driving habits.
If you frequently drive on rough roads or in bad weather, you may need to balance and rotate your tires more often.
Conversely, if you primarily drive on highways or well-maintained roads, you can likely go a bit longer between balances. Ultimately, it is best to consult your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic for guidance on how often to balance and rotate your particular set of wheels.
Signs Your Wheels Need to Be Balanced
1. Too Much Vibration
If you feel vibration when driving at high speeds, it could be a sign that your wheels are out of balance.
This is especially true if the vibration is coming from the steering wheel or the seat.
The vibration can also be felt in the floorboard or in the pedals.
This vibration is caused by the weight of the tires being unevenly distributed. When the weight is not evenly distributed, it causes the tire to wobble and creates vibration in the entire car.
2. Uneven Tire Wear
If you notice that your tires are wearing down unevenly, it could be a sign that they need to be balanced. Uneven tire wear can be caused by many things, but one of the most common causes is unbalanced wheels.
When the weight of the tire is not evenly distributed, it puts more stress on certain areas of the tire.
This extra stress can cause the tread to wear down faster in those areas.
3. Your Car Pulls to One side
If you find that your car pulls to one side when you are driving, it could be a sign of unbalanced wheels.
When the weight of the tire is not evenly distributed, it can cause the car to pull to one side or the other.
This is usually more noticeable at higher speeds, but it can be felt at lower speeds as well.
What Does “Balancing Tires” Mean?
Tire balancing is the process of making sure that the weight of the tire is evenly distributed. This is done by adding weights to the rim of the tire. The weights for balancing wheels are usually made of lead or steel, and they are added to specific locations on the rim.
This helps to offset any imbalances in the weight of the tire.
There are two types of tire balancing: dynamic and static. Dynamic balancing is done while the tire is spinning, and it is the most common type of balancing.
Static balancing is done with the tire not moving, and it is less common.
It is typically only used when there is a problem with dynamic balancing.
Why Should You Balance Tires?
1. Extends Tire Life
One of the main reasons to balance tires is to extend their life. When the weight of the tire is not evenly distributed, it puts extra stress on certain areas of the tire.
This extra stress can cause the tread to wear down faster in those areas. By balancing the tire, you can help to distribute the weight more evenly and reduce the amount of stress on the tire.
This will help to extend its life.
2. Improves Fuel Efficiency
Another reason to balance tires is that it can improve fuel efficiency. When the weight of the tire is not evenly distributed, it can cause the car to use more fuel.
This is because the car has to work harder to overcome the imbalanced weight.
By balancing the tires, you can help to improve fuel efficiency.
3. Reduces vibration
Another benefit of balancing tires is that it can reduce vibration. If the weight of the tire is not evenly distributed, it can cause the tire to wobble and create vibration in the entire car.
This is especially true at high speeds.
By balancing the tires, you can help to reduce or eliminate this vibration.
HowStuffWorks: Will rotating my tires make them last longer?