A good rule of thumb is to have your unbalanced tires rotated every 6,000 miles and your wheels balanced at the same time. The reason why is simple: Changes, such as switching the tires’ positions or replacing a flat tire, throw off the weight distribution, i.e., the balance, between the wheels and the axle. The greater the imbalance, the harder it is to control your vehicle, not to mention the damage it causes. Integrity Auto Repair can balance your wheels, and this is important for the following reasons.
Uneven Tire Tread Wear
Weight fluctuations throughout the axle cause the tire rubber to hit the road unevenly. In fact, severely unbalanced tires will actually bounce a little. The consequence of this is uneven tread wear that weakens the tires and reduces the mileage you’ll get out of the set of tires. Heat and excess friction caused by the unbalanced road contact can also wear down the tires prematurely.
Premature Suspension Damage
Your vehicle’s suspension is designed to help you handle your automobile. The struts, shocks, and other suspension parts absorb uneven road surfaces, so you have a smooth ride. Your vehicle’s steering is also a part of the suspension, as are the wheels. Unbalanced wheels place additional stress on the suspension, wearing down the parts prematurely and making it harder to control your vehicle.
Signs of Unbalanced Tires
The above is bad news. The good news is you can often tell if your wheels aren’t balanced. Uneven tire tread wear is the most common sign you’ve got a wheel problem, but you might also feel the imbalance while you drive. Unbalanced tires cause an automobile to shake the faster it goes. Usually, you’ll begin to feel the vibration when you drive 40 mph or faster, and it will stop as you slow down.
You might also hear the wheels wobbling louder and louder the more you pick up speed, and if you haven’t had your wheels balanced in a while, it’s probably time to get this service done. As we said above, every 6,000 miles is a good gauge, but if you drive on rough terrain regularly, you might do better to have the wheels balanced every 4,000 miles. They should also be balanced after every tire repair.
Contact Integrity Auto Repair in Eugene, OR, for more information on wheel balancing and to set up an appointment for your automobile. Get the most out of your tires and suspension parts by keeping the wheels balanced and aligned.