How to Tell If Tires Are Unbalanced

How to Tell If Tires Are Unbalanced

Safety should be your priority when operating your vehicles, so it never hurts to do routine checks on different parts to make sure you get the necessary repairs as soon as possible. 

If left ignored and unfixed for a long time, unbalanced tires may cause further damage to the rest of your vehicle. Therefore, knowing exactly how to tell if tires are unbalanced is an important skill every driver should know. Read on for everything you need to know! 

how to tell if tires need balanced

Passing the Vibration Check

Do not ignore vibrations in your vehicle since they are indicators of problems you need to investigate. Usually these vibrations are easy to spot since you can not only feel them but also hear the movement. 

If you feel unusual vibrations like your car is shaking, then your tires are likely unbalanced. Notice if your steering wheel starts shaking when you drive past 50 mph, gets worse after you get past 60 mph, and then disappears once you go any faster, then you likely have unbalanced tires. 

Don’t try to drive away from the problem. Instead, understand that this sign indicates a problem you need to fix. 

how to tell if your tires are out of balance

Steering Problems 

A vibrating steering wheel is an immediate sign of imbalance since your vehicle’s steering system is connected to the wheels and tires. 

Your steering system may be sluggish or delayed due to severe vibrations, putting you at risk of accidents if you need to turn really quickly to avoid hitting others. 

No one wants to feel unsure at the wheel. If your steering wheel is slightly delayed or difficult to turn like it used to, then you need to get your car checked out and repaired. 

how to tell which tire is out of balance

Wear and Tear

You can know how to tell if tires are unbalanced by their wear and tear. Unequal wearing on your tires is a telltale sign of imbalance. Excessive treadwear such as one section being more worn out than the rest of the tire indicates an extreme lack of balance. 

The treads are easily worn out since unbalanced tires put pressure on the section constantly in contact with the ground. One side of the unbalanced tire will be slightly higher as it has greater stress while it spins or rotates on the road. 

Improper Pressure

Check if one tire has a lower pressure than the others because it is a sign that the car has lost equilibrium as it leans towards the affected wheel. Due to the imbalance, the wheel being subject to more weight as you drive is under more stress, thus affecting its pressure. 

While varying pressure levels can be because of outdoor temperature fluctuations, consistently low levels signify something’s off. 

Be sure to routinely check the tire pressure of your vehicles so that you can pinpoint problems at the garage instead of in the middle of the road. 

Poor Fuel Economy

unbalanced tires and low tire pressure can cause

The engine takes more load to drag out unbalanced tires. When they are not properly aligned, the drive is not smooth, leading to bad fuel economy. 

Increased fuel consumption is a definite sign that your tires are unbalanced to the point of causing further detriment to the rest of the vehicle. If you notice that you are using up more fuel at a faster rate than usual, then your tires may be unbalanced and need to be fixed as soon as possible. 

Don’t wait until your fuel runs out quickly to have your vehicle repaired. Save time and money by monitoring how your fuel economy fares and how your tires affect your driving experience. 

As a bonus, when you fix this issue that’s affecting your fuel economy, you’ll be doing good for the environment! 

Consider checking: How Much Does It Cost To Mount And Balance Tires

 how to tell if your car tires are unbalanced

Failed Shock Absorbers and Wheel Bearings 

The shocks in your vehicle will struggle to keep the wheels in the right position with unbalanced tires, causing significant damage to the suspension system. If wheel bearings are not properly maintained, then you are at risk of damage to your vehicle as unbalanced tires can severely ruin how it should operate. 

Bottom Line

It is important to know how to tell if tires are unbalanced. If they go unfixed, your vehicle may be more susceptible to damage and accidents. 

We recommend doing routine checks on your vehicle (learn How Often Should You Balance Your Tires) — it’s the best way to ensure you are on top of maintaining its proper condition. Pay attention to how your tires wear and if there are odd distributions of tread wear. 

Aside from routine checks, do not ignore obvious warning signs. Strange vibrations and difficulty using the steering wheel are major red flags that you should take seriously. It’s better to investigate when you can instead of when 

Did you find our guide helpful? Then consider checking others:

How To Balance A Tire Without A Machine
How To Balance Tires Yourself
How Much Is It To Balance Tires
How Long To Mount And Balance Tires
How Long Does It Take To Balance And Rotate Tires