If you’re not a car enthusiast, you probably don’t know everything your mechanic tells you. You, like most people, probably don’t want to spend money fixing things that don’t need fixing. So, when you come in for new tires, what’s the deal with balancing them? You want your car to ride as smoothly as possible, but you might not realize how complicated ensuring a smooth ride can be. At high speeds, your tire balancing plays a big role.
Your new tires have flaws. Even when your tires are fresh out of the factory, they’re not perfectly round. Additionally, your tires will be uneven in weight. Considering these differences in roundness and weight, you’re not going to get smooth ride without effort. Tire shops use expensive and advanced machinery to make sure you get the smoothest ride out of your new tires. Don’t forget to ask your tire dealer if they offer lifetime rotation and balancing. Many tire dealers offer these services, though sometimes only on specific tire models.
You might wonder what goes into balancing your tires. If you watch while your tire technician is going through the process, you’ll see them mount your wheel and tire on a spinning machine. This machine spins at high speeds and detects vibrations caused by weight imbalances. Once they find the weight imbalances they attach weights to the wheel to balance the tire out. These weights are attached with adhesive or clips.
Over time, as you drive, your tires will become slightly uneven. This is why you need to have your tires rotated periodically. Rotation is simple: your tire shop removes the tires and wheels from the front, and then puts them on the rear of the car, and vice-versa. If you make sure to rotate your tires often, you’ll extend the life of you tires by making sure they stay even. You’ll want to do this too, because your tires play a role in your gas mileage.
Tire balancing isn't something you can just set and forget. You’re going to want to get your tires rotated every five thousand to seven thousand and five hundred hundred miles. Don’t be like so many consumers though, and forget about balancing your tires. If your tire shop gave you lifetime balancing and rotations, make sure you remind your shop to check the balance while they’re rotating your tires. If balancing costs extra however, you should still get your tires balanced every 2 years. You might even want to get your tires balanced more if the roads in your area aren’t well maintained.
As mentioned, there’s a lot that goes into your car’s smooth ride. Aside from the tires, your wheels may be bent just enough to cause vibrations. Additionally, your suspension or wheel bearings could be worn. With all these factors, there’s no way to say that just balancing and rotating your tires will give you a smooth ride, but it’s an important step.
West Coast Tire & Service is a full-service auto shop. At West Coast Tire, you can get new tires, or fix the dents in your door. If you need any help with your car, call (310) 477-7057, or visit our shop at 2239 Pontius Ave Los Angeles, CA 90064.
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