In the 2020s, do we still need to keep our tires balanced? The short answer is: absolutely. Here’s why wheel repair is something to keep in mind.
Why get your tires balanced?
Tires need balancing because each tire comes off the line just a little bit differently; each has its own imperfections in weight distribution, which get amplified as the car accelerates, increasing as the tire’s rotation increases and possibly causing the vehicle to shake. Most tires are relatively high quality these days, but even minor imperfections can make a difference.
Your vehicle’s everyday wear and weight distribution can also impact your wheel balance. The wheel balance must be checked regularly as part of your vehicle’s regular maintenance. If not addressed, the unbalance can cause damage to tires because of the constant vibration through the system.
Balanced tires contribute to a smoother ride by reducing vibrations. Balancing will extend the life of your tires by evening out the wear and tear on the tires. Less vibration will protect the vehicle’s suspension and increase gas mileage. Unbalanced tires can create bald spots on the tires, which can be unsafe and perhaps even cause an accident. In short, keeping your tires balanced will save you a lot of money, time, and effort in the long run.
What is tire balancing?
Unbalanced tires should be fixed at an auto maintenance shop. At the shop, the wheel tire unit is put on a tire balancing machine, which takes vibration measurements and identifies areas where the tire is heavier or lighter. The technician will add or move weight to address any imbalance. Though they can often make these adjustments while the tire is in place, it may need to be removed if the imbalance is significant.
Balancing versus alignment
Wheel balancing and alignment are both parts of regular maintenance for your vehicle but are different processes. A wheel alignment adjusts the angle the wheels are pointing to ensure they are all on the same line and pointing in the same direction. Alignment increases the life of your tires by reducing spot wear. The benefits of aligning your tires are similar to those of balancing the tires—both could be done along with your regular tire rotation.
When to visit a wheel repair shop
Although it’s recommended to get your wheels balanced regularly, definitely visit an auto body tire repair shop if you feel a vibration through the floorboard, your seat, or the steering wheel. If you get a flat tire, get a new set of tires, or have to replace a tire, the tires will need balancing. If one of your tires has experienced a hard knock or if you’ve bounced up to a curb, consider getting that tire checked out.
If you regularly travel on uneven roads, get your tires balanced at a tire shop once every two years. A great rule of thumb is to balance your tires every time you rotate them, about every 10,000 kilometres or every six months.
If you notice repair issues, like uneven wear or a weight falling off a rim, definitely take the car in for wheel repair at an auto body shop. In general, a vibration can be caused by several issues like an imbalance or, more seriously, could mean a damaged tire, bent wheel, or ageing components. If you feel a vibration, don’t wait. Head into the repair shop, avoid more significant problems, and enjoy a better ride.
How can Simplicity Car Care help?
Simplicity Car Care offers one-stop, bumper-to-bumper care for your convenience and guaranteed service for your peace of mind. Simplicity Car Care full care centres are open seven days a week and offer new tire installation and tire repair and maintenance. Contact Simplicity today for a free estimate and some great advice.