Cars are expensive, and no one’s arguing that. It’s important to maintain each of their parts to help them last as long as possible — the tires especially.
One crucial yet often forgotten aspect of tire maintenance is routine balancing. How often tire balance is needed, however, depends. But generally, you’ll want to get it done as regularly as possible.
Read on to learn when to take your car in for this service and why it’s so important.
Consider checking: How To Tell If Tires Are Unbalanced
You should get your tires rebalanced every 12,000 miles you drive or every time you get them rotated. At the very least, you should recruit this service once a year.
Also, head to the mechanic if you notice your vehicle vibrating while driving, after repairing a puncture, or if the rim weight detaches.
Tire Balancing — What Is It?
Tire weight isn’t evenly distributed straight out of the factory — and believe it or not, they’re not even perfectly round! This unevenness is combated with balancing, which corrects the weight imbalance on your wheels.
This action is performed when mounting new wheels, but it’s also necessary for routine maintenance. It’s inexpensive and vital for longer wheel life, longer vehicle life, and a smooth ride.
How Tires Are Balanced
Technicians will mount the car on a specialized machine. This machine spins your vehicle’s wheels and assembly to gauge the imbalance. The results show the technician how much and where the rim needs a weight correction. Weights are added to your wheel to complete the process.
When to Balance Your Tires
We get it can be hard to remember to rebalance your tires. It may not be something you think about until you experience adverse effects.
How often tire balance occurs can change depending on your vehicle’s condition. But the general rule is to recruit the service every 12,000 miles.
Other times you should visit a mechanic are:
- Following a professional rotation
- When a weight detaches from the rim
- After repairing a puncture
- After installing a new set of wheels
How Does A Tire Become Unbalanced?
Quite a few things can cause an imbalance. A few causes are as follows:
- Getting a flat spot
- A bent rim
- A loss of rim counterweight
- Aggressive braking or acceleration
While sometimes you can prevent the above scenarios, it’s not always possible. This is why you should keep in mind how often tire balance is necessary.
Effects of Unbalanced Wheels
Check out some of the most devastating effects of this common car problem:
Vibrations in Your Vehicle
Tires help your car distribute its weight evenly. When they’re unstable, one section of your car holds more weight than the others, leading to uneven rotation and an annoying shaking throughout the car’s body.
Diminished Fuel Economy
Your tires will require additional power to roll the car while driving, pushing your engine and burning more fuel than normal.
Outside of discomfort on the road, imperfect tires can lead to a whole mess of issues with your vehicle. With the resulting vibration, you’ll find your car’s handling characteristics compromised, including steering.
An imbalance may cause uneven and increased tread wear. This goes double for improperly inflated or not routinely rotated tires. This uneven wear increases vibration and raises the chances of a blowout.
Damaged Wheel Bearings & Shocks
Over or irregular tire rotation puts additional pressure on vehicle wheel shock absorbers and wheel bearings. Wheel bearings emit a terrible, high-pitched screech at higher speeds when damaged. Worn shock absorbers won’t absorb the effects of the road, increasing discomfort while driving.
Though a few of the effects will hurt your wallet, others can threaten your overall safety. Problems with handling can put you and others on the road at considerable risk. And it only takes minimal weight difference on any single wheel to cause vibration.
Alignment & Balancing — Is There a Difference?
Alignment and balancing are both crucial for prolonging wheel life and giving you a smooth ride. But they do different things — wheel alignment corrects the tire angle, while balancing helps a car evenly distribute its weight.
We know you lead a busy life, but you should work tire balancing into your routine. You’ll help your wheels last longer and keep your whole vehicle in top condition.
How often tire balance maintenance happens can depend on a variety of factors. If you notice your steering wheel or seat shaking when cruising down the highway, that’s a glaring sign it’s time to take your car in.
And if your car is running perfectly? It’s still in your best interest to recruit this service every 12,000 miles.
If you find this tutorial helpful, please, feel free to have a look at other guides:
How Much Does It Cost To Mount And Balance Tires
How Much Does It Cost To Get Tires Rotated And Balanced
How To Mount And Balance Tires At Home
How To Balance Tires Without A Machine
How Long To Mount And Balance Tires
How Long Does It Take To Balance And Rotate Tires