Tire balancing should take place whenever they are replaced or rotated, but in general, most manufacturers recommend rotations every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. In addition to improved tire life and better performance, rotating your tires offers a number of other benefits:
- Helps save money by extending the lifespan of your tires
- Improves performance and handling by keeping your tires in good shape
- Increases safety by helping you avoid sudden tire failure on the road
What is tire imbalance?
Tires go out of balance when one area of the tire and wheel assembly is heavier than another. This causes it to spin improperly, which can lead to poor handling and premature wear. Tire imbalance can be caused by many different things: unbalanced weights or patching materials used during manufacturing; irregular wear patterns on the tread; loose lug nuts; bent rims; damaged suspension or steering components. If any of these issues go unaddressed for too long, you’ll be left with a bumpy ride that also puts excess stress on your car’s suspension system.
What are the symptoms of out-of-balance tires?
There are several telltale signs that will let you know if your tires have become out of balance. They include:
- Vibrations in the steering wheel at highway speeds (usually felt as a front-end “shimmy”)
- An uneven tread wear pattern on one side
The severity of these symptoms depends on how far off-balance your wheels have become—and whether both wheels are equally balanced or not! For example: if just one wheel becomes unbalanced due to an issue with its weight distribution (like having too much weight at one end), it will cause vibrations throughout all areas while driving at high speeds because they’re spinning differently than each other (with unequal resistance between them). As time goes on without being fixed this unevenness gets worse until eventually there’s an audible thumping noise coming from undercarriage when accelerating
Tires that are not properly balanced can cause a range of issues
Tires that are not properly balanced can cause a range of issues, including uneven tread wear and vibrations at highway speeds that feel like they are coming from the steering wheel. When you have your tires rotated and balanced, the mechanic will use a special machine to measure the weight of the tire and wheel assembly while it spins on a metal plate. If there is any imbalance in these components, the spinning will be visible to the naked eye (or in some cases, felt with your hands). Your mechanic can then add lead weights to the rim to bring it into balance.
Improper wheel balance can also cause excessive wear to your tires, struts and other suspension components.
This is important. Wheel balancing can’t fix a bent or warped wheel, but an unbalanced one can make it much worse. You should get your tires balanced if you experience any of the following:
- Uneven tread wear—If the heavy spots on your tires are causing them to wear more in one area than another, it’s time to get them rebalanced.
- Vibration and shaking—Getting your wheels balanced is the best way to fix any vibration or shaking coming from your steering wheel or entire car. Improper wheel balance causes vibrations that can be felt throughout the vehicle, including in the steering wheel, floorboard and seat. This vibration can lead to other problems with your vehicle if left unchecked, such as excessive tire wear, broken struts and shock absorbers and damaged suspension components.