As already known, the wheels must be in balance for the car to drive safely. Therefore, the car tires are mounted on a balancing machine with weights added to the rim before installing them on a vehicle. This ensures proper balancing, leading to a pleasant and safe driving experience.
However, there are conditions in which the wheel balance can get affected, which might compromise a driver’s safety. Unevenness in the tires can cause the vehicle to vibrate or shake while in use. Not to mention that the car will drive in more than one direction due to tire unevenness.
What Are The Causes of Tire Imbalance?
On the surface, it may seem that a tire is a one-piece component. But then, it’s made part by part. It has cords, belts, and other stuff inside of it. So, there could be some degree of imbalance due to the reasons listed below:
- Mud getting deposited on the tires
- Driving-related wear and tear
- Damaged shock absorbers
- Vibration of the steering wheels
- Dent in the wheel rims
Generally speaking, experienced drivers will be able to tell when wheel balancing is needed because the car will vibrate excessively at a certain speed.
What To Do If Your Car Tire is Imbalanced?
The obvious approach would be to get in touch with a car mechanic to get the issue addressed. So, go to the nearest car repair shop, where you will find a car technician who will put the car tires on a balancing machine, one tire at a time.
The machine will spin and try to diagnose whether or not the wheel is balanced. If it’s detected that the tires are out of order, you can obtain a quote from the auto repair store to know how much money you will have to drop towards wheel balancing.
How Much Will I Pay for Tire Balancing?
The cost of the tire balancing procedure may vary from $20 to $80 for four wheels, depending on where you get your car treated. Of course, if you keep your eyes open for coupons all the time, you might be able to bring down the cost to even $15. The price would also vary a bit based on the make and model of your car.
|Americas Tire||$20 – $40
|Walmart||$15 – $35
|Firestone||$40 – $80
|Pep Boys||$25 – $60
That said, wheel balancing is usually a one-off activity. For those who don’t know, wheel unevenness is generally corrected every six to twelve months, depending on how the vehicle is used. Moreover, it’s advisable to get the wheels balanced every time you replace the car tires.
Although not necessary, you can also get the wheels aligned simultaneously. This will save you a revisit to a repair shop.
What You Should Know About Tire Balancing?
Keep in mind that most tire places won’t balance a tire properly. Believe it or not, discount repair shops are usually the worst offenders over here. They simply keep slapping huge amounts of weight on the tire, and most tires end up with too much weight.
Basically, the technicians do a rush job. Proper tire balancing takes time, and time is money in a busy shop. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t try to save a buck or two by getting the tire balanced at discount tire places. After all, tire balancing doesn’t cost a fortune. So, take it to a place with a verifiable track record of good service.
How are Tires Balanced?
Balancing the tires involves a manageable level of work, even if you are not familiar with all the mechanical parts of a car. In other words, it’s not maddeningly difficult to balance the car tires on your own. But then, it’s done on a dedicated machine, which most car owners may not have.
Nevertheless, here are the steps involved:
- To begin with, the technician will remove any weight present on the tires to make it easier to balance the tires.
- Then, he will slowly lower the wheels onto the shaft of the balancer and adjust the pressure to optimal inflation.
- The lighter side of the wheel will be on the upper side. The heavier side would be drawn down.
- Also, the highest spot of the tire will be matched with the lowest spot of the rim.
- Once the tires are in the right position, the balancer will spin the wheels at high speed to measure the imbalance.
- It will tell the mechanic how much weight needs to be added to fix the imbalance, and the areas to add the weight.
- Of course, a proper wheel balancing job is far more than simply throwing some weight on the tires.
- Usually, the mechanic will have to redo the process a few times to do a perfect job.
Important Pointer: Don’t forget to road-test the car to ensure that everything is carried out nicely. Even if there is a marginal difference in the weight of the tires, it can cause enough momentum to cause a vibration when driving. It goes without saying, you should report any problem you encounter during the road-test. If everything is handled nicely, you will notice an immediate and drastic improvement in the way your car drives. Driving will seem more relaxed, vibration-free, and pleasurable.
How to Save Money on Tire Balancing?
Your best bet would be to check for tire unevenness whenever your car is taken to a repair shop for routine maintenance. This will not only help you save money, but it will also help you detect the problem before it gets out of hand, saving you from a costly expense.
Moreover, if your car is under warranty, check if this service is included in the scheduled maintenance. Finally, make it a point to not go for a tire balancing service just before replacing the bad tires. If you are planning to get new tires, combine the tire balancing job with the tire purchase.
The chances are that the wheel balancing service will come complimentary with the new tire purchase. So, don’t put up with a rough ride, and get your tire balanced easily and quickly by getting quotes from nearby auto repair stores. Compare prices and select a trustworthy and affordable car mechanic for the job.