When you go in for an oil change, you’ll often hear the technician ask if you’d like your tires rotated or balanced. It’s recommended to have both of these services done every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, and they can be done at the same time or separately. Tire rotation is a little more well-understood—tire balancing, however, isn’t always as clear. So, what exactly is tire balancing?

Tire balancing is done to correct the uneven distribution of weight in the tires. When tires have uneven weight between them, it can cause the vehicle to vibrate, including the steering wheel. If the majority of the shaking is in the front of the vehicle, the issue is likely with your front tires, whereas back tire issues can cause vibrations in the back seats. When tires are imbalanced, the tires won’t wear evenly, which shorten their lifespan.

The process of tire balancing isn’t a long one, which is why it can be done during your oil change appointment. The tires and wheels get mounted onto a tire balancing machine, and the wheels are spun to measure the vibrations and imbalance. The technician will then know how much weight to add to which wheels. This weight is added via wheel weights, which are small discs that are measured in ounces.

When should you get your tires balanced? In addition to vibrations you feel while driving, you should get your tires balanced after a wheel weight falls off, if you notice uneven wear, and if you can’t remember the last time it was done. Because oil changes are done around every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, tire balancing can be done about every other oil change. It’s also convenient to get your tires rotated at this time as well. Because the tires are already being taken off to be rotated, it’s easy to get them balanced too. And this way, you only have to make one appointment!

Tire balancing is quick, inexpensive, and important for your tires’ lifespan. After your tires are balanced, you’ll have a smooth ride! When you’re at Auto Works for your next oil change, ask the technician to rotate and balance your tires as well. We’ve been serving the Twin Cities area since 1993.