Tire Balancing in Tucson, AZ

Tire Balancing — An Overlooked, Yet Very Essential Service

At BRAKEmax, we understand the importance of keeping your tires well-maintained. Because your tires are the only point of contact your vehicle has with the road, it’s vital to ensure that they are always properly inflated and maintained. Tire balancing is a critical aspect of tire service that is commonly overlooked when it comes to your tires’ maintenance and well-being. 

When we say “tire balancing,” many of our customers look at us strangely, or figure that tire balancing is a service that is only performed when tires are first purchased. Though it is a relatively small job, it plays a major role in the performance and safety of your tires, which is why we recommend routine tire balancing. Let’s talk about the importance of tire balancing, and be sure to schedule an appointment at BRAKEMax for hassle-free tire services. 

Unpacking Tire Balancing and Why You Need It

When your front tires are out of balance, this results in a steering wheel vibration. When your rear tires are unbalanced, seat vibrations are the result. If these imbalances aren’t corrected quickly, your tires will wear even faster or more unevenly. Your vehicle also will begin to require more gas to keep up with the worn tires.

If tires are left unbalanced, your shocks, bearings, and eventually the wheel assembly will be damaged. The result is a costly fix plus the amount of vibration becoming more and more dangerous. When weight is distributed evenly around the tire/wheel assembly, you’ll have a smoother ride, and your tires will last longer.

Once the severity of your tires’ imbalances has been measured, small counterweights are placed alongside your tires or on the inside of your wheels. These counterweights weigh just a few grams, are seldom noticeable, and are enough to ensure your tires’ smooth operation at high speeds. Then, the system identifies where small weights should be placed on the wheel. Our Tucson tire balancing mechanics use a computerized balancing machine to make these corrections. The machine spins each tire at highway speeds and the computer identifies where the tire is unbalanced.

Our tire balancing services in Tucson include removing the tires and wheels, mounting the wheels on this specialized equipment, correcting imbalances, and remounting the tires and wheels.

We recommend that you come in for balancing services if you notice vibrations in your steering wheel, seat, or floorboards at high speeds or a cupped wear pattern on your tires.

Tire Rotation and Balancing

How Often Will You Need Your Tires Balanced? 

New tires are generally balanced when they are placed on the car. After that, routine preventive maintenance is the key. A good guideline is to have the tires rebalanced every two years or every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

We recommend performing tire balancing services at every tire rotation. Some vehicles, such as those with staggered wheels or wheels different in size in the rear than the front, do not need routine tire rotation services. However, if you notice vibrations beginning at any point in the life of the tires, have the tires inspected. Another effective tactic is to have the tires rebalanced whenever they are rotated. Ask our Tucson tire mechanics to set up a schedule for you.

It’s also a good policy to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for their recommendation on a tire balancing schedule.

Why Tire Balancing Is Important in Tucson, AZ

Tire balancing is important your tires would vibrate against the road without it. This phenomenon causes a sensation of discomfort that can lead to motion sickness for you or your passengers and can also become a safety issue. When tires are vibrating, they’re not making constant contact with the road. This can make your vehicle more difficult to control at higher speeds, and even cause you to lose control if you attempt an avoidance or turning maneuver. 

There’s also the matter of cost. A typical tire balancing service is relatively low cost and can be completed in less than an hour. However, failing to perform routine tire balancing can shorten the life of your tires — which would require an early tire replacement. Routine tire balancing is a small but essential auto repair service that helps maximize the life of your tires.

A Few Signs You Need Tire Balancing

No warning light or maintenance reminder will prompt you to get your tires balanced. However, you may notice some signs, such as the following, that your tires may need to be balanced:

  • A shaking steering wheel. Especially at highway speeds, a shaking steering wheel may signal that your wheels are vibrating because they need to be balanced. Some vehicles feature soft suspension that can dampen or even mute the vibrating tires; however, your steering wheel may still shake as vibrations from your front wheels are more likely to transfer tire feedback through your steering column. 
  • Vibrations. Another telltale sign is if your vehicle vibrates, especially at high speeds. Some drivers mistake vibrations for brake-related issues, but there is a way that you may be able to tell the difference. Your brakes may need servicing if your vehicle only vibrates when you hit the brakes. However, if your vehicle vibrates when cruising, it’s possible that you need tire balancing services. 

Schedule Tire Balancing Service in Tucson, AZ at BRAKEmax Today

At our Tucson auto shops, we perform trustworthy and affordable tire services in Tucson, AZ on all make and model vehicles. Whether you drive a compact sedan, a full-size SUV, or a four-wheel drive pickup truck, we feature the equipment needed to perform tire balancing services that you can count on. In addition to our competitive prices and easy online scheduling, we feature money-saving car repair coupons that help you save money while receiving professional auto services from our ASE-certified mechanics.

Schedule an appointment at BRAKEmax today and maximize the life of your tires with routine tire balancing services. 

Schedule a Tire Balancing Appointment

Frequently Asked Questions

Tire balancing is the equivalent of a tune-up for your wheel/tire assemblies, and this service ensures that the weight is distributed evenly around the wheel’s entire circumference. To further expand on exactly what tire balancing does for your vehicle, there are several specific benefits of this maintenance service:

1. You’ll get a smoother ride:

One of the biggest and most noticeable benefits of tire balancing is that you’ll enjoy a smoother ride in your vehicle. When the weight is not evenly distributed on one or more tires, you may experience noticeable vibrations in your vehicle.

A surefire sign that a tire is out of balance is if you notice shaking in your steering wheel when driving on the highway. If you continue to drive on one or more unbalanced tires, it will begin to cause a consistent, noticeable vibration through not only the steering wheel but the entire vehicle. This reduces the comfort of your vehicle while you are out on the road.

Tire balancing service will usually eliminate these vibrations entirely, giving you a much smoother and more enjoyable ride.

2. Extends your tires’ lifespan:

Excess wear and tear on your vehicle’s tires can significantly reduce their lifespan. So, when you have one or more tires that are out of balance, the excessive vibrations and uneven tread wear that those vibrations cause can lead to your tires wearing out faster.

3. Helps ensure better fuel mileage:

Keeping your tires properly balanced will help optimize your fuel mileage. Unbalanced tires can’t drive evenly, and an uneven ride can quickly cause uneven tire tread wear, reducing your vehicle’s overall efficiency.

By ensuring that the weight is evenly distributed on each of your vehicle’s tires, you’ll significantly help prevent tread wear that can negatively impact your vehicle’s gas mileage. Thus, saving you money at the pump over time.

4. Protects your vehicle’s suspension from excess stress:

Unbalanced tires can also negatively impact your vehicle’s suspension components. Over time, the vibrations caused by any unbalanced tires will continue to get worse.

These vibrations can put excess stress on your vehicle’s suspension, including the shocks, struts, ball joints, and bushings. This added wear and tear can be equivalent to constantly driving over potholes. So, tire balancing is a relatively quick and cheap tire maintenance service that can prevent much more expensive suspension repairs down the line.

5. Your vehicle will be safer on the road:

The most important benefit of tire balancing is that it helps ensure your vehicle’s safety while driving. Unbalanced tires can develop dangerously uneven tread patterns and bald spots, making it much more difficult to control your vehicle on wet roads or at high speeds. Regularly balancing your tires when needed will help ensure that your vehicle is always in top shape.

Knowing whether you need to have your tires balanced is an absolute must if you want a smooth driving experience. Key indicators to help you determine if your tires may require balancing, such as feeling noticeable vibrations in the steering wheel or floorboards, especially when driving at specific speeds.

It may also be accompanied by a thumping sound. Look out for uneven or quick wear on your tires, which often suggests an imbalance. If your vehicle tends to pull to one side, it’s a strong sign that your tires might be out of balance.

At BRAKEmax, our seasoned experts are skilled in quickly identifying and rectifying these balance issues, ensuring your drive is consistently smooth, safe, and enjoyable.

A noticeable vibration is the first and most common indication of one or more unbalanced tires. This vibration is caused by the imbalanced tire wobbling or hopping up and down. It will usually be much more evident when you drive at highway speeds (usually above 50 miles per hour).

If you feel a steering wheel vibration, this usually means a front tire is out of balance. If the vibration is in your seat or the floor, the imbalance is usually on a rear tire. The vibration’s severity will depend on how unbalanced the tire is, your speed, and the driving conditions.

Continuing to drive on unbalanced tires invites a host of problems. You’ll notice vibrations in the steering wheel and seat, making your drive less comfortable and potentially distracting. This imbalance causes uneven tire wear, shortening tire life significantly. 

A more critical problem is that it puts extra stress on your vehicle’s suspension system, leading to poor handling and stability issues. Unbalanced tires also contribute to increased road noise and overall wear on your vehicle.

At BRAKEmax, we stress the importance of timely tire balancing to safeguard your vehicle’s performance and your safety. We encourage you to schedule your tire balance service today!

It can be risky to continue driving on unbalanced tires, but it’s not always possible to have them rebalanced right away. If you must, you can drive on unbalanced tires for roughly two to three months. But it shouldn’t go much longer than that.

More so than the unbalanced tire itself, the problems it causes can be dangerous. These problems include:

1. Dangerous reduction in vehicle handling:

The most important impact of driving on unbalanced tires is the increased safety risk due to reduced handling. Out-of-balance tires can cause traction loss, making it hard to safely control your vehicle. This can possibly lead to an accident and, in an extreme case, a fatality.

2. Excessive tire wear:

An imbalance in a tire/wheel assembly puts a lot of pressure on the tire, and this causes increased wear and tear on the tread. The increased and uneven tread wear can not only cause problems with the vehicle’s handling but also lead to the need to replace tires much sooner and an increased chance of a tire blowout.

3. Significant negative impact on the vehicle’s suspension:

The two main jobs of your suspension system are to provide a comfortable ride and reduce any vibration. Since unbalanced tires lead to a vibration that gets progressively worse, the excess pressure put on the suspension components will also increase, thus, increasing the damage done to your vehicle. Remember, the cost of having a tire balancing service done will be much less than having to fix or replace suspension system parts.

Definitely! Balancing new tires is as crucial as choosing the right ones. It’s not just about mounting them; it’s perfecting their performance. New tires, despite their pristine condition, can have minor imbalances that affect your ride.

Ignoring this can lead to vibrations and premature wear. At BRAKEmax, our thorough balancing process ensures each new tire is fine-tuned to your vehicle’s specifications, enhancing ride quality and extending tire life. Don’t risk poor performance or injury — schedule our tire balance service today.

Wheel alignment and wheel balancing are two different tasks. When we align your tires, we check and adjust the angles of your wheels. This helps your tires last longer and helps your car or truck track straight as you’re driving. Wheel balancing is done to make sure your tire/wheel assemblies are spinning properly, which also contributes to tire life and driving performance.

Spare tires don’t get much use, so they’re less likely to be out of balance. The main concern with a spare tire is its condition: You should also inspect your spare when you take a look at your regular tires. We’ll be glad to take a look at your spare tire when you come in for any of our services to make sure the rubber is in good condition and that your spare tire will be ready to roll if you ever need it.

Tire Balancing in Tucson, AZ
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