Proper vehicle maintenance can be complex and take a while, but mounting and balancing tires is not something you should put off—especially since it’s probably not as time-consuming as you think.
Here, we explain everything about how long to mount and balance tires, including how long you have until this process is necessary and how long it will take at the shop.
How Long to Mount and Balance Tires?
First, we will explore mounting and balancing as they relate to the safety and longevity of your tires.
Mounting a tire is a relatively simple concept. It is the act of placing a tire on the axle of your car. However, it is only the first step to installing a tire.
When a mechanic balances a tire, they ensure that it distributes weight evenly around your car.
Most people think tires are perfectly uniform, but in reality, that is rarely the case. It is very common for them to have imperfections in the tread, such as thickness variability. This is more so the case with older ones because the roadways wear them down, but even tires straight from the manufacturer come with their own flaws.
The recommended period for how long to mount and balance tires after getting new ones installed is about every 12,000 miles. The goal when balancing is to correct the uneven weight distribution that occurs from deformities in the tires. Balancing them at 12,000 miles helps extend the life of your wheels and keeps your car running smoothly.
How Long Does It Take to Mount and Balance Tires?
Altogether, the process should take no more than 2 hours for a professional service.
While that is not an insignificant amount of time, remember that mounting only takes place when getting new tires, so you will not need to get it done often. Most tires are suitable for at least 25,000 miles, so depending on how much you drive, you could put off getting new ones for a year or more.
Understanding the process will help you better grasp how long to mount and balance tires may take while your vehicle is in the shop.
After placing your car on a lift, the mechanic will remove your existing tires by unscrewing the lug nuts and letting the air escape. Then, using a machine, they will secure a new tire to your rims and reinstall it onto the axles.
While it is possible to mount a tire without a machine, most service shops and dealerships prefer to use one because it is quicker and easier.
Mounting alone only takes a few minutes. However, mounting usually coincides with balancing, which is a lengthier process.
There are two methods for balancing a tire:
- The first is called static, and it is relatively outdated. High-quality mechanic shops will not use this method, and if they do, consider declining. Static balancing is not very accurate and can take more time than dynamic balancing.
- The dynamic method, also called road force balancing, is most likely what your service shop will follow.
The first thing a mechanic will do when road force balancing your tires is to remove them from the axles and place them on a machine. The specialized machine spins for a few seconds to mimic road-like conditions.
As this happens, sensors detect each deformity in the tires. Afterward, the computer system will provide your mechanic with a report detailing exactly where and how much weight to add. Once clip-on weights are correctly in place, your tires will have achieved balance and be ready to put back on your vehicle.
It can take a service professional anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to balance all four tires, depending on their condition.
Consider checking: How Long Does It Take To Balance And Rotate A Tire
Do Newly Mounted Tires Require Balancing?
Simply put—yes. It is in the best interest of your safety and your tires’ longevity to do so. As previously mentioned, tires have imperfections, which balancing helps to alleviate. An unbalanced tire is more prone to going flat, thus creating a dangerous and expensive situation. Furthermore, the uneven tread can cause vibrations when driving and put added stress on your vehicle’s shocks and bearings.
A large majority of mechanics automatically provide balancing services after mounting any new ones. Most service shops offer a package deal for the whole tire installation process.
Feel free to check out: How To Tell If Tires Are Unbalanced
To get the most out of your tires, stay up to date with their maintenance. When you know how long to mount and balance tires between new installations and when your vehicle is in the shop, you can adjust the maintenance to fit your needs and schedule. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as your local mechanic or dealership’s protection plans. Proper tire care can keep you safe and save you money.
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