When it comes to our cars, it can feel like we’re always looking for ways to save money. This often means avoiding or putting off services we know we shouldn’t. Among those services is balancing your tires.
It turns out there are all kinds of reasons why you should balance your tires. In addition to keeping you safe, balancing your tires can give you a smoother ride while also extending the life of your car. Here are five reasons why you need to balance your tires, and what you need to know to get the job done right.
What is Tire Balancing?
Before we can get into why it’s important, you need to know exactly what tire balancing does. Modern tires have tiny weights attached to them near the edges of your wheels when they are installed. These weights help to evenly distribute the weight of the tire. Tire balancing is when these weights are adjusted to ensure each tire is balanced equally. This ensures a smooth and even ride.
It’s important to remember that tire balancing and wheel alignment are not the same thing. They’re both important, but they also both do very different things to your tires. Tire balancing adjusts the weights and their distribution on the tire.
Wheel alignment, sometimes called tire alignment, is when you adjust your car’s suspension to correct the angles of your tires on your vehicle. This makes sure the rubber literally meets the road in just the right way for safe and secure travel. Today, we want to focus specifically on the benefits of balancing your tires.
1. Balanced Tires Give You a Smoother Ride
Maybe the biggest, or at least most noticeable, benefit of balancing your tires is that your car will ride smoother. When the weight on your tires goes out of whack, you may start to notice vibrations in your vehicle. These vibrations are particularly evident when you reach highway speeds (often above 50 miles per hour).
If you notice your steering wheel shaking when you’re on the highway, it’s a surefire sign you need to balance your tires. Balancing your tires cuts down or eliminates these vibrations entirely, giving you a ride that’s nice and smooth.
2. Balanced Tires Get Better Gas Mileage
Balancing your tires does a lot more than improve the quality of your ride. It can also improve your gas mileage. Your tires can’t drive evenly if they are not balanced. An uneven ride can make your tires wear down at different rates, reducing your overall gas mileage.
Just like how maintaining your tire pressure improves gas mileage, so does balancing your tires. By ensuring weight is evenly distributed across your tires, you can prevent wear that can reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, saving you money in the long run.
3. Extend the Life of Your Tires
We just explained how unbalanced tires wear down unevenly. So, it should come as no surprise that uneven wear and tear can also reduce the life of your tires. When your tires are out-of-balance, the excessive vibrations and uneven tread wear can cause some tires to wear out faster.
4. Protect Your Vehicle’s Suspension
Unbalanced tires are bad for more than gas mileage and treads. It can also impact your vehicle’s suspension. Over time, the vibrations resulting from your out-balance-tires will keep getting worse.
These vibrations can ultimately impact your car’s suspension. While balancing your tires is usually a quick job costing less than $100, ignoring the problem can lead to much more expensive repairs down the line.
5. Enjoy a Safer Ride
The most important benefit of balancing your tires is that it improves the safety of your vehicle. When tires are unbalanced, they can develop dangerous bald spots and uneven tread wear. This can make it more difficult to control your vehicle’s steering, especially at high speeds. Regular preventative maintenance like tire balancing goes a long way to ensuring your vehicle is always in top shape.
When Do I Need to Balance My Tires?
The best thing to do when balancing your tires is to not wait until it’s too late. A good rule of thumb is to balance your tires every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first. You can also have your tires balanced every time you change your oil or get a wheel alignment.
Aside from regular maintenance, we recommend you watch out for the following warning signs and follow this advice to have your tires balanced:
- Steering wheel shakes at high speeds
- Chassis is vibrating unusually
- You’ve hit a big bump or experienced “curb service”
- Bald spots and other signs wear appear unevenly
- Lower gas mileage than usual
Find Fast and Easy Tire Balancing with Tread Connection
Is it time for you to balance your tires? Don’t worry about making time to go to the auto shop. Bring the auto shop to you! Contact the friendly tire professionals at Tread Connection today to meet you at your home or office to balance your tires and get you back on the road!