National average cost of a Wheel Balance for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $82
Avg. cost $138
Avg. cost $169
What is a tire balance?
A tire balance, also referred to as a “wheel balance”, is a service designed to counterbalance the weight of a tire and wheel so that they work together as a unit. Wheels and tires are seldom perfectly symmetrical. They have imbalances in weight distribution. When they rotate, these imbalances cause vibrations that can be felt in the ride and performance of your vehicle. Unbalanced wheels and tires also prevent your tires from maintaining proper contact with the ground. A tire balance corrects these imbalances so that together the wheel and tire spin true.
How do I know if my tires need to be balanced?
If your vehicle has a tire that is out of balance, you will probably feel it when you are driving. Irregularities in the construction of a tire (or a wheel for that matter) cause it to spin in a lopsided manner. Up and down or side to side (static imbalance and dynamic imbalance). This causes a vibration that you can feel in the floor, in the seat, and in the steering wheel. The steering wheel might also oscillate back and forth. These signs can point to other issues, such as a bad brake rotor, a bent wheel, or a damaged tire, but most often result from a tire that is out of balance.
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To balance a tire, a technician must remove the wheel and tire from your vehicle and place it on a special tire balancing machine. Several measurements of the wheel and tire are taken and entered into the machine. The tire balancing machine will then rotate the wheel and tire at a high speed to detect the imbalance. The machine will designate where weights should be placed on the wheel to offset or counterbalance the imbalances. Some balancing machines also provide road force balancing, where the tires have pressure applied to mimic how the tire would perform under real-world conditions.
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What causes tires to go out of balance?
Your tires can go out of balance for a few reasons. Actually, they were never in balance to begin with. Tire balancing, where weights are installed on a wheel to offset imbalances in the tire (and wheel), is necessary any time you have a new tire installed. If one of the weights comes off of a wheel, your tire will no longer be in balance. A tire can also go out of balance if it wears unevenly (often due to a bad wheel alignment), if it gets damaged (from a pothole or curb), or if it gets too low on air.
Can I balance my own tires?
While it is technically possible to balance a tire at home, the process is more trial and error than a professional service that relies on a specially calibrated tire balance machine to do the job. A balancing machine designates precisely where and how much weight to attach to your wheel, to the ounce. That result is extremely difficult to reproduce with DIY equipment.
Is it safe to drive with unbalanced tires?
Tires that are out of balance might seem like little more than an annoyance with all of the vibration and shaking they produce. But over time, those unbalanced tires can cause damage. Tires that do not spin true will wear out faster. They also put undue stress on the struts, bearings, and other suspension components. Perhaps the greatest risk of unbalanced tires is that they do not perform as they should to remain in contact with the road, changing the dynamics of vehicle handling and safety.
What parts are related to a Tire Balance?
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