Tire Balancing

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Reader Question

I have been to your website once before and you helped me with a problem I was having with my air conditioner, thanks again. Now, I have another question for you.

My mechanic wants me to rotate and balance my tires, but they seem to be wearing just fine and I am not experiencing any alignment problems or pulling issues. Should I do this, or is he just trying to get a few bucks more from me?

Helen P.

 

Hi Helen,

So glad to see you again. :)  Tire balancing and rotation is just a good part of your regular maintenance schedule….you do have a maintenance schedule don’t you. hehehe.

Tire Rotation

You should rotate the tires on your car about every 3 oil changes, or 10,000 miles. Rotating your tires will help them wear evenly, since the front tires are constantly turning and getting wear on all sides more so than the rear tires which are just turning in a single straight direction.

Tire Balancing

Balancing the tires is something that I like to do about every 20,000 miles or so. As the tire normally wears down the weight of the rubber decreases and the “balance” or evenness (that is a word right) starts to change as the tire wears down.  So the tire that was once perfectly smooth and worn evenly is beginning to loose its shape somewhat and that causes a change in the weight distribution of the tire.

When your mechanic balances the tires, they will put them on a special machine that will spin the tires and check for areas that are out of balance. The mechanic will then use a weight he attaches to that part of the metal wheel to put the tire back into proper balance.

An out of balance tire will cause the tire to jump and skip along the top of the road surface and will make a shimmy effect inside the vehicle which you will be able to feel in your seat and sometimes see and feel in the steering wheel.

Keeping the tires properly rotated and balanced will prolong the life of the tire, and will help to keep the feel of the vehicle smooth inside the cab.

Here is a short video that I made of my wife’s car in need of a tire balancing.

 

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Posted in: Tires

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."

2 Comments on "Tire Balancing"

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  1. Austin Davis says:

    Its cheap “insurance” to improve tire wear and performance.

  2. Victor Reed says:

    I didn´t know how many miles have to go before balancing or rotating tires, but I know it is a good way to make the last longer.

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