If you're feeling a lot of vibration in the steering wheel of your car while driving down the road, it could be a symptom of unbalanced tires. It's difficult for manufacturers to create a perfectly balanced tire; a small variance in weight can lead to side-to-side wobbling when the tire is rotating at high speeds. This wobbling will not only cause your ride to be less smooth, but it will also place extra stress on your suspension system and drivetrain when it tries to correct for an unbalanced tire. Rebalancing your tires regularly will extend their lifespan by making the treads wear down more evenly. Here's what you need to know about tire balancing and how often you should do it.
How Is Tire Balancing Performed?
A technician will remove the tire from your vehicle and place it on an automatic balancing machine; this machine spins your tire at a very high speed to determine which areas of the tire need to have weight added to them to make the tire perfectly balanced. The technician will use the information given to him or her by the machine to add weight to the tire, usually in the form of adhesive weights. These are attached to the inside of the tire barrel to distribute weight more evenly around the tire. The adhesive used is very strong, and you don't have to worry about the weights falling off.
How Often Should I Get My Tires Balanced?
You should check your tire balance whenever you feel excessive vibration in your car's steering wheel. As a routine maintenance task, you should have your tires balanced every two years. If you often drive on rough roads, you may have to balance your tires every year since there's a greater risk of uneven wear on the treads, which causes your tires to become unbalanced.
Since you will have to remove the tire from your car to balance it, a perfect time to have your tires balanced is when you are having your tires rotated. You can have your tires balanced after they are removed from your vehicle and before they are rotated and reattached.
Is Tire Balancing The Same Thing As Tire Alignment?
While both are important for tire maintenance and will extend the lifetime of your tires and suspension, tire alignment and tire balancing are not the same thing. Tire alignment is an adjustment to your suspension system that ensures all of your tires share the same angle, which prevents unaligned tires from damaging your suspension or wearing out their treads unevenly. Your tires do not have to be removed from your car for an alignment. Tire rotation, tire balancing and tire alignment are all important routine maintenance tasks for your tires, so don't neglect any of them.
Proper tire maintenance is the key to extending the lifetime of your tires and your suspension system. It's less expensive to regularly maintain your tires by balancing them than to have your tires wear unevenly and need replacement and much less expensive than trying to diagnose issues in your car's complicated suspension caused by unaligned or unbalanced tires. Contact a shop, like Foster's Auto Service Inc, for more help.Share
12 January 2018
After driving a car that I loved for several years, I realized that it was starting to have some serious problems. In the beginning, the engine just sounded a little shaky, but after a few weeks it was having trouble starting. I knew that there had to be something that I could do to create a better situation, so I started looking into professional automotive repair. Within a few months, I found a mechanic who was more than willing to help me to take care of things. After giving my car a thorough tune-up, it ran wonderfully and I knew I could count on the business to help me again if I had problems. Read more on my blog!