When you’re driving, the tires get worn-down. This is exacerbated during turns, and you will often need to rotate tires to ensure that your car rides are smooth. So, car owners will need to rotate tires from time to time.
However, many car owners have one common question about tire rotation, do tires need to be balanced when rotated? Will there be any problems if they aren’t balanced properly? This article is here to answer these questions.
What Is Tire Balancing?
When a tire is made, the weight of the tire isn’t always equally distributed. If a tire’s weight is not properly distributed, it will shift sideways when you’re driving due to the imbalance of weight.
This can result in terrible vibrations when you’re riding your car as the tire moves from side to side.
These imbalances in weight can also shift as you use the tire, so the effects can end up increasing. To counter these, tire balancing beads are placed on the tire so that the weight evens out.
This is known as tire balancing. If the weight of the tire is evenly distributed, it will not shift sideways when the car is moving.
How Is Tire Balancing Done?
Balancing a tire is more of a trial-and-error method and requires you to use a balancing machine. There are two parts of the balancing process- horizontal and vertical balancing. Both of these parts must be done to ensure that the weight of the tire is appropriately distributed.
The tire is firstly placed on the balancing machine horizontally, and the imbalances are detected using the balancing machine. Then the balancing beads are properly placed and the weight recalculated. This is repeatedly done with the beads being changed until the imbalance is zero.
Next, the tire is placed vertically on the balance machine, and the process is repeated. The beads are repositioned until the vertical imbalance is eliminated. With these done, the tire is properly balanced and given a test run at various speeds to check if it stays still or not.
Is Tire Balancing Necessary for Rotation?
An unbalanced tire can cause severe headaches. Although it is not mandatory to balance tires when they are being rotated, the benefits of the tire being balanced are huge. The new tires can quickly get damaged due to the vibration originating from imbalance.
So, although it is not mandatory to perform balancing, there are massive benefits to doing it as that helps your tires last longer. Having the balance checked on your tires isn’t very expensive at all, so you can easily have it performed when you go to get your tires rotated.
Having your tires balanced for rotation is especially necessary if you happen to encounter issues with it. There are some signs you should be aware of that indicate that your tires need to be rebalanced.
Signs That Your Tires Need to Be Balanced
One of the difficulties of spotting when your tires need to be balanced is that the signs can vary. Sometimes, the typical signs in a car might not be present unless you are driving the car at high speeds. This is why when a balancing test is done, it is performed at different speeds.
Some of the signs that show that your tires need to have their balance checked are:
This is one of the most important signs. The degree of wobbling when driving is an indicator of how badly balanced your tires are. High wobbling and noticeable vibrations at speeds of 40 MPH usually mean that your tires need to be checked as soon as possible.
Small wobbling at higher speeds isn’t too much of a concern.
- Scratches Inside the Wheel
Sometimes it may be difficult to hear the wobbling. So the other alternative is to look for any scratches or signs of wear on the wheel. If you notice dents in it, there is a high chance it was caused by the tire vibrating. More scratches usually indicate that the tire has been out of balance for a long period.
Remember to pay attention to these signs as they are the best indicators as to when you should rebalance your tires.
So, do tires need to be balanced when rotated? Yes, although it is not mandatory, it is good practice to have the balance on your tires checked before rotation. Most of the time, it is an inexpensive and quick process.