Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim
Tire balancing costs between $26 and $33, says RepairPal.com. But, some sources say you can spend as little as $15 and as much as $75 per tire. So, to give an all-inclusive range, the tire balance cost is between $15 and $100.
In this post, the editor takes you through the following headlines:
- What is Tire Balancing?
- Why Is Tire Balancing Important?
- How Do You Know When Your Tires Have Lost Balance?
- What Causes Tire Misbalancing?
- How Often Should You Balance Your Wheels?
- Can You Do Tire Balancing Yourself?
- How is Tire Balancing Different from Wheel Alignment?
- Now, let’s wrap our heads around tire balancing.
Tire Balancing Data
(Costs, Location, Car Year, Make, and Model)
Here’s a table to compare tire balancing costs from around the country:
|State||Car Year||Make||Model||Cost ($)|
As you can infer from the table, the $15 – $100 range is a good guess.
What Is Tire Balancing?
Tire balancing is adding small weights to the wheel to make it even. No wheel should be lighter than others, so balance is essential.
When your tires lack balance, your rides will be uneven. Also, the tires will wear fast, meaning you’ll replace them sooner than you expect. And I’m sure you want to spend more time with your tires, well, before you cough out more money.
Do You Need To Balance A New Set Of Tires?
A new tire set doesn’t need balancing. Each of the new tires comes with three metal attachments. The metal helps maintain balance, meaning that your mechanic won’t have lots of work to do.
But as time goes by, the tires lose balance. Thus, you need to go through the vital process of balancing them.
Why Is Tire Balancing Important?
Here’s why you need to balance your tires as soon as you can:
1. Tire balancing keeps you safe while driving.
2. It ensures that all tires rotate evenly.
3. Also, it helps in prolonging the life of your tires. If left unbalanced, one tire may experience uneven wearing. Soon, you’ll have to go shopping, and even sooner if you have one of the worst tire brands in the USA.
4. It is one of the routine maintenance practices, so you have no reason to delay it. The other is wheel alignment.
How Do You Know When Your Tires Have Lost Balance?
When you feel your tires are imbalanced:
1. Listen for vibrations
2. And check the tread patterns
The imbalanced wheel will produce vibrations. And the vibrations will sound louder as you press the gas pedal.
Here’s how you know which wheel has balance issues:
1. If your steering wheel is vibrating, the problem is with the front wheel. You should take this sign seriously as it can make you lose control. Once your steering wheel starts pulsating, refreshen the power fluid.
2. If the seats and the floorboards are vibrating, the problem is with the rear wheel.
You’ll notice irregular wear patterns. One tire will have markings on its pattern, and it will look different from the others.
Also, you may see patterns that look like grated potatoes.
What Causes Tire Misbalancing?
So, what would make your tires look like grated potatoes? Here are three leading causes:
1. When parts of the suspension are wearing out
2. The impact that comes with hitting curbs
3. Bad wheel bearings and shock absorbers
How Often Should You Balance Your Wheels?
You should balance your wheels every 3000 to 6000 miles of driving. That way, you won’t have to rush to a mechanic for emergency tire balancing.
Other sources suggest you should balance after every 12000 to 15000 miles or every year.
The Owner’s Manual Is All You Need
Manufacturers talk about tire balancing in the manual. So, if you read your document, you should see what the carmakers recommended.
Can You Do Tire Balancing Yourself?
Yes, you can. Although tire balancing sounds technical, it’s a doable job. But, you need to be familiar with a car’s mechanical parts.
More important, you’ll need a weight balancer.
If you don’t know what a balancer is, check No products found.. It’s an affordable, portable tire balancer that will help you do the job.
After you assemble the item, it’ll look like this:
Steps to Follow
1. Remove the misbalanced tire from the car.
2. Then, you need to remove any weights present on the misbalanced wheel.
3. Lower your tire onto the weight balancer. Then, let it settle into a good position.
4. Push your tire with ease and let it spin on the balancer.
5. Check if it settles with the heavier side drawn down.
6. Then, draw a visible mark when the wheel settles (stationary position).
7. Now, retrieve the weights you removed in step 1. You’ll place them inside the tire below the mark you drew in step 5.
8. Turn the wheel and let it stand at 3 o’clock. That will help you know if you’ve used the right weight. If it doesn’t stand, keep adjusting the weights until it does.
9. When you put all wheels in place, remove the newly-balanced tire from the balancer.
10. Then, put it back in the car.
If you don’t know how to remove a tire, read here.
How Is Tire Balancing Different From Wheel Alignment?
Many people confuse tire balancing with wheel alignment. But, these are two different wheel maintenance practices.
Since you know what tire balancing is, let’s see an overview of wheel alignment.
What Wheel Alignment Is
Wheel alignment is adjusting a vehicle’s suspension. The suspension is the part that connects the car to the wheel. With wheel alignment, there are three angles:
But you don’t need to know those angles if you’re not a mechanic.
Why Wheel Alignment Is Important
1. It helps the steering wheel accept your command.
2. Like tire balancing, wheel alignment helps tires to wear evenly.
What Causes Wheel Misalignment
1. Mismatching tires
2. Driving through potholes
3. Driving aggressively
4. Carrying heavy loads beyond the GVWR of the car
5. Worn out suspension parts
6. The impact from hitting curbs
How You Know Your Wheels Are Misaligned
1. Your vehicle will pull you to one side, or it may drift to the other side.
2. The steering wheel vibrates (like with tire misbalancing).
3. The steering wheel won’t remain centered even when you drive in a straight line.
4. Your tire treads will wear in saw-teeth or feathering fashion.
How Much Does Wheel Alignment Cost?
Unlike tire balancing, wheel alignment is as expensive as $200. And if your mechanic uses cutting-edge technology, be ready to pay upwards of $150.
For example, pros at Virginia Tire & Auto have these wheel alignment rates:
1. $99.99 for Computerized Alignment Service. Fine for most of the cars.
2. $159.99 for Premium Alignment Service. This is for European vehicles since they have complex systems.
And there you have it. Tire balancing will cost you anything between $15 and $100 per tire. And you may pay more depending on the tire size or type. For example, balancing a truck tire is more expensive than balancing a passenger tire.
So, instead of struggling in your garage, call auto pros. They will have the space, tools, and machinery to complete the job.