Car Maintenance 101: Tire Rotation And Balancing

Tires are one of the most important components of your car. Not only do they separate you from the road, but they can also impact the rest of your car. For example, your tires play a big part in how your car uses gas and how smoothly it drives. Making sure your tires are in good condition is also extremely important for your safety, for the safety of other motorists and for the life of your car. However, despite how important tires are, many people don't pay them any mind until an emergency happens, like a flat.

Avoid putting yourself and others in harm's way and having to pay for an expensive replacement before you need to by rotating and balancing your tires. Not sure what rotating and balancing your tires is or when it needs to be done? Here's an introduction to this basic, yet extremely important, aspect of car maintenance.

What is Rotating and Balancing?

Tire rotating and balancing refers to two separate procedures that should be done together, because both play a big part in increasing the efficiency and the safety of your tires.

When the tires are rotated, the wheels are taken off of the car and switched from front to back and left to right. For example, the back left tire is moved to the right front position, and so forth.

When the tires are balanced, the weight of the tires and the wheels is evaluated to see if they are balanced using a wheel balancing machine. If the tires and wheels aren't balanced, small lead weights will be attached to the rims of the wheels to balance them.

When to Rotate and Balance?

Mechanics recommend that you have the tires and wheels balanced and rotated every time you have your oil changed, or every 7,000 miles or so. Every time you have a tire repaired or replaced, you should have all four tires balanced.

Other Signs Tires Need to be Balanced

Every time you drive your car, your wheels become unbalanced. Each bump, turn and brake affects the balance of your tires, so the more you drive, the more unbalanced your tires will become.

Tires that need to be unbalanced are very obvious: If you feel the steering wheel shaking or feel any other type of vibration while you're driving, balancing is necessary. The longer you put it off, the more imbalanced they will become and the more dangerous they will be to drive on.

Keep yourself, others and your car protected: Regularly ask a professionals service, like Lee Tire, to rotate and balance your tires to keep your vehicle operating smoothly.