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Tire Maintenance & Safety

Tire Balancing

No matter what your car manufacturer promised you about the comfort and performance of their vehicle, it cannot be achieved without the right tire having the correct balance and alignment. Often confused with wheel alignment, tire balance is completely different. While tire balancing has more to do with equal weight distribution in a tire, wheel alignment involves adjusting the car’s suspension. Let’s delve deeper to know more about tire balancing, its effects, and the process to do it.

What is tire balancing?

Tire balancing or wheel balancing is a crucial tire maintenance aspect where the weight of tires and wheels is balanced to ensure they work in tandem to make the ride smooth and safe. A tire may have light and heavy spots indicating the tire weight isn’t evenly distributed. Imbalanced tires can lead to vibrations at high speeds, uneven tire wear, a drop in gas mileage, damage to suspension assembly, and other problems.

What is a balance test?

A tire balance test is done to determine the precise imbalanced weight of the tire and wheels while they mount onto a tire balancing machine. Depending on the nature and degree of tire imbalance, the tire balance test is performed.

Type of tire balancing

Tire balancing is of two types:

Static balancing

If the imbalance is small, the static balancing technique is used to balance tires with the help of a tire balancer machine. This involves putting the tire and the wheel onto a spindle of the machine to know the volume of imbalance. Later, the machine generates data based on its analysis to show you how much the balance varies. Additional weight is added to the inner and outer borders of the wheel and the required balance is achieved. This is a simple mechanism for balancing tires.

Dynamic balancing

The dynamic balancing technique is more complex than the static one. It requires a dynamic balancing machine that tests the wheel and tire setup in a vertical position while spinning at a high speed ranging from 10 to 60 mph. The spinning computer balancers, placed on all three axles, capture precise data of every weight imperfection of the tire. The tire professional then analyzes the computer data and decides where and how much weight is to be placed. Automobile manufacturers have these machines at their facilities that test vehicles during their manufacturing process. Very few advanced service centers also have such high-tech machines.

How does tire balance affect performance?

Running your vehicle with imbalanced tires negatively impacts its performance. Moreover, going hard on the pedal, driving on rough roads, and taking tight cornering may accelerate the wear process due to excessive stress on the already imbalanced tires. Some of the alarms of imbalance include:

  • Fast, uneven wear of tires
  • Drop in the gas mileage
  • Vehicle experiences constant vibrations when driving at high speeds
  • Suspension setup may face issues

How often should I have my tires balanced?

It is recommended to have your tires balanced after every 3000-6000 miles or after every 1-2 years, whichever is earlier.

How to balance tires

Tire balancing is performed by trained professionals in a service center. They mount and balance tires in quick turnaround time and with precision. Let’s see how tire balancing is carried out. Please note the procedure may differ depending on the equipment used.

Steps to tire balancing:

  1. Switch on the tire balancer machine
  2. Clean the wheel and tire and mount them on the balancer
  3. Enter dimensions of A & D and wheel width
  4. Close the hood to let the wheel spin. Check balance.
  5. Raise the hood once tire rotation is done
  6. Keep a check on the inboard center bar; add inboard corrective weight after it blinks
  7. Tap on the Next button to restart wheel rotation
  8. Keep a check on the outboard center bar, add outboard corrective weight after it blinks
  9. Close the hood to let the wheel re-spin and check the balance


The cost of tire balancing will vary depending on the shop you're going to for the service and your vehicle. In some cases, tire balancing could be as little as $5 per wheel while other vehicles might incur a $100+ charge per wheel.

Yes, tire experts do recommend getting the tires balanced after rotation.

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