Balancing your new set of tires is a crucial step that you shouldn’t just skip to save some bucks. Tire balancing ensures that any imbalance present in one or more of the tires is eliminated, resulting in a smoother drive and less tread wear.
But how much does it cost to get tires balanced? That’s exactly what we’re going to find out in this guide.
The cost of tire balancing will vary depending on the location you go to (a car dealership versus an auto shop), the size and quality of wheels you have, warranties in place, and additional procedures necessary.
On average, you can expect to pay around $15 per tire. Some places may offer balancing services for free if you make a purchase there.
What Are the Benefits of Tire Balancing?
Most modern tires have small weights attached to them. These weights are located next to the edges of your wheels when a mechanic installs them. Their main purpose is to help distribute the tire’s weight evenly.
Tire balancing is the process of correcting the weight imbalances on your wheel assemblies.
The main benefits of balancing are:
- A smoother ride: When you get your tires’ weight balanced, you’ll experience a much smoother ride, especially on the highway.
- Better gas mileage: Balancing your wheels doesn’t only offer comfort for you and your passengers. This process also provides better gas mileage by preventing wear and tear that lowers your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
- Long-lasting wheels: The average American drives more than 1,000 miles per month. With all of this time on the road, you want to ensure that your tires last for the long term. When you enlist regular balancing services, you won’t have to invest in new tires prematurely.
- The preservation of your vehicle’s suspension: Your vehicle’s suspension maximizes your car’s performance and absorbs bumps in the road as you drive. When you balance your tires, you protect your suspension and prevent costly repairs.
Balancing vs. Alignment — Is There a Difference?
Both processes provide similar benefits, but balancing and alignment differ. Balancing involves correcting weight imbalances, while alignment involves correcting your wheels’ angles so that they contact the road properly while you drive.
Are My Tires Unbalanced?
You should enlist balancing services if you notice any of the following signs:
- Your steering wheel shakes at high speeds.
- The chassis (the bottom framework) of your car vibrates more than usual.
- Your vehicle has lower gas mileage than usual.
- You notice bald spots or other signs of uneven wear on your wheels.
- You’ve hit a large pothole, bump, or curb with aggressive force.
- One or several of your vehicle sensors have turned on (including your brake control module or ABS).
- You’ve been involved in a fender-bender (even if it was minor).
The Cost of Tire Balancing & The Different Types
The cost of tire balancing will vary based on several factors:
- Where you’re located (in a city vs. in a more suburban/rural area)
- The spot you visit (a car dealership is usually more expensive than an auto shop)
- How large your wheels are
- The brand, quality, and condition of your wheels
In general, the cost of tire balancing will range from $10-$20 per tire ($40-$80 for all four).
There are two main types of balancing: static and dynamic. The price difference between these two techniques isn’t large, but the former usually costs less.
Static and dynamic balancing are necessary in the following cases:
- Static: Mechanics use static balancing for tires with slight imbalances.
- Dynamic: Mechanics use dynamic balancing for more complex cases of imbalance.
Breaking Down the Costs of Tire Rotation and Balance
Wheel balancing is a much cheaper service than rotation and you can expect to pay anything between $10 and $50 per tire.
Tire rotation can cost you anything from $20 to $200 and will depend on what kind of equipment is required to conduct the service, how old your car is, which city you live in, and the prices set by the company switching them for you.
Many garages and auto-shops offer a packaged rate with all rotation, balancing, and alignment services combined. Sometimes, if you have bought new tires from a company, they will offer to balance and rotate them for free for the first few years or till you reach a certain mileage limit. It’s best to work out the best possible deal with your garage from the beginning to avoid unexpected costs at a later stage.
You might want to compare rates and packages from a number of well-rated garages before making a decision to see which best suits your budget and offers exactly what you require.
Can I Balance My Tires on My Own?
Some vehicle owners may want to balance their wheels on their own to save a few bucks.
It’s very possible to do so, but you’ll need to have a good grasp of the mechanical parts of the wheel and your vehicle as a whole. Otherwise, you risk performing a sub-par job and inflicting damage on your tires and vehicle.
The easiest way to balance your tires on your own is to use a balancer machine. While this machine makes the process easier, it’s very costly. Prepare to spend up to $1,000 or more to purchase this machine.
Alternatively, you can balance your own wheels without a machine. You’ll need to go through a lot of trial and error to discover which tires are out of balance and make the appropriate adjustments.
Instead of investing in costly equipment or learning the tedious techniques yourself, it’s best to chalk up the money and hand over the task to a professional.
The Bottom Line
How often do tires need to be balanced? A good rule of thumb to follow is to get your tires balanced every 5-6,000 miles, which is approximately every six months.
While you can complete the process yourself, it’s best to visit a professional. An experienced mechanic will perform a thorough job without damaging your wheels or vehicle.
And, enlisting expert services will only set you back about $15 per tire (or $60 for all four).
If you find this guide helpful, please, feel free to check out:
How Long To Mount And Balance Tires
How Long Does It Take To Balance And Rotate Tires
How To Tell If Tires Are Unbalanced
How Much Does It Cost To Mount And Balance Tires