Wheels and tires bear the brunt of the road (and questionable driving habits), so maintaining them is vital to vehicle performance. Sustaining adequate tire pressure and keeping up with rotations, balancing and alignments are all part of a well-rounded care schedule.
The Benefit of Balanced Tires
When you have tires balanced, it redistributes weight over the circumference of the entire unit. As you drive, tires wear out unevenly and the ride gets rougher. This happens because wheels and tires aren’t perfect; they’re heavier in some places and lighter in others. Once they’ve returned to balance, any wobbling or vibration gets remedied, and you’ll notice that you no longer feel the stress of the road on your wheels.
What the Balancing Act Involves
Rebalancing is achieved when technicians place the wheel/tire on a machine that measures certain areas and makes adjustments to account for weight variations. Since the process involves removing the whole wheel-tire unit from the car, the task is best accomplished during routine tire rotation.
The three-step process looks like this:
- The mechanic attaches a wheel/tire to a balancing apparatus.
- The machine spins the wheel/tire as it takes measurements. The data lets the mechanic know where and how much weight to add.
- The mechanic may need to rebalance and adjust weight or shift the wheel and tire and re-measure (sometimes heavy spots on the wheel and tire line up and create even more imbalance).
Signs Your Tires Need Balancing
Though the owner’s manual will outline when tires should get balanced, take your car in for service if you notice any of the following:
- Vibration at the steering wheel or floorboard of the driver’s seat
- It’s time for tires to be rotated
- It’s been more than two years since you’ve had them balanced
- You’ve driven more than 5,000 miles without having them balanced
- You have a tire replaced or serviced
- You buy new tires
- Tires have worn unevenly
Tire issues can affect more than the quality of your drive. Imbalanced tires can decrease fuel efficiency and strain your engine in ways that create lasting damage. Don’t neglect routine tire maintenance. Paying close attention to this vital system can enhance your vehicle’s overall performance and extend its life. If you have any questions about wheel balancing or alignment, talk to your mechanic so a consistent tire maintenance schedule can be created.
Remember, for all your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs, call 610AutoHaus in Pottstown at 610-628-4271!