Tire Balancing

January 12, 2023

Tire balancing

TIRE BALANCING

We’ve discussed the necessity of wheel alignment before, but did you know there’s more to the alignment process than just making sure your tires are straight? There’s another half of the process called “tire balancing” that we’re gonna go over real quick just so you know what’s happening during typical auto alignment service.

WHAT IS TIRE BALANCING?

wheel balancing and tire rotation

In order to “balance” tires, we fill all tires with an equal amount of air.

There are exceptions to filling every tire with equal air, like when tires aren’t perfectly uniform or for unique vehicles that don’t come with uniform tires. But generally, all four tires (or however many) should have the same amount of air inside them, i.e., have the same tire pressure (PSI).

Please check your tires before filling them for the correct PSI, but as a comprehensive reference point, most smaller vehicles use tires that need about 30 psi of air, 35 for mid-size, and 40+ psi for larger wheels. But again, never presume, and always check your tires or owner’s manual for the correct number.

To learn more about tire balancing from a significant US tire distributor, you can visit the S & S Tire website and read their post, “What is Tire Balancing and Why is it Necessary?”

THE RIGHT TIME FOR BALANCE

Tire Balancing
Tire Balancing

Like getting a car alignment, tire balancing typically happens every six months to a year, depending on usage conditions. More often for off-roading work-horse types. Of course, tire balancing generally is part of tire alignment, so more often than not, they naturally occur together, but this isn’t always the case. So be sure that balancing the tires happens regularly, just like alignment.

Some signs you might look out for that warn you that alignment and balancing are necessary includes:

  • Unusual vibration of the steering wheel, seats, or body of the vehicle
    • Note that if the steering wheel is shaking, there is a good chance you need a front wheel alignment. And if the seats shake, you more likely need a rear wheel alignment.
  • Substantial and uneven wear on your tires
  • Obvious signs of a flat tire
    • Especially if you can feel bumps more sharply than usual

If you’re unsure about the need for balancing or alignment, please call us, and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have.

WHY YOU NEED TIRE  BALANCING

Not unlike how wheel alignment improves control, so does tire balancing. As a consequence of improving the reliability of your vehicle, it also broadly improves safety, decreases tread wear on your tires, and in the worse cases, may even improve fuel efficiency (when misalignment is so bad that the tires are effectively working against each other). That doesn’t come up too often, but it’s not unusual after accidents, for example.

Toyota Wheel Alignment

But above all else, the ultimate joy of balanced tires is enjoying a smooth ride. So get out there, get your tires balanced, and then cruise! We hope this information helps keep your ride smooth and safe. Next time, drop in for more helpful information and tips about maintaining your vehicle.

Buddy Rausch
Buddy Rausch

Buddy started his auto career journey at Butte College and started his own auto repair company in 2007. Since then he has worked on countless cars, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing worn, faulty, and broken parts.

After a few years, he moved to a bigger shop to accommodate his growth and to better serve the Chico, CA community. It’s a family-owned & operated business.

Outside of work Buddy enjoys spending time with his family and playing softball is one of his many passions.

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