Tire Balance and Rotation: Why Bother?

May 31st, 2016 by

 

1966_Rambler_American_2-door_hardtop_custom_401_um-t

 

When it comes to keeping your vehicle in top shape, there are a few jobs that are a no brainer. Most drivers can remember basic maintenance like oil changes, routine cleaning, and tune-ups, but there are a few simple jobs that are more likely to be overlooked. This can mean higher expenditures later on down the road rather than easy maintenance now, and with the right idea of what to do you too can avoid the pains that come with neglecting basic maintenance. Among these basic tasks, few match the ease and value of basic tire rotation and balance – both of which can help extend your tire life far beyond what you might expect without proper care.

For some, the problem might be as simple as being unaware of what a tire rotation or tire balance actually is, and how much it can do to prevent excessive wear and tear on one of your vehicle’s most important features. That’s why we figured it would be beneficial to lay down the basics about these easy tire maintenance jobs in Albany, NY, and just why you should plan on taking better care of your tires – if, that is, you’d like to see them travel as far as they possibly can.

What Does It Mean To Have My Tires Balanced?

We all know how important a smooth, even ride is in your vehicle – if not for your own comfort, then for the improvement in fuel economy that a properly-aligned ride can bring. But whenever you put new tires on your vehicle, you might run the risk of having improper balance between your tires, and this can result in everything from poor fuel efficiency to a shaky, uneven ride whenever you hit the road.

Tire imbalance can occur when the “heavy” points on your tires are misaligned from the center, causing wobbling around the central axis and an uneven roll down the road. That’s why your local mechanic or tire center likely has a tire balancing machine, which can measure the “wobble” of your tires and add small corrective weights as needed. This can help rebalance your tires and provide for a better ride for miles to come.

How About Tire Rotation?

Tire rotation works a little differently and, as a result, will help in slightly different ways. Rather than focusing on how the tires themselves function during operation, tire rotation instead works to fight uneven wear on your tires by literally switching each tire’s position with another on the vehicle.

Since a tire will wear faster on the outside edge of whatever side of the vehicle it’s on, rotating each tire to the opposite side of the vehicle can help even out wear for a smoother and longer-lasting performance from each individual tire. This is a simple task that any mechanic can take care of in minutes, and with the right rotation schedule you can extend your tire life for thousands of miles beyond their capability un-rotated.

So next time you notice your tires are wearing a little unevenly, or if you notice a little wobbling out on the road, consider having your tires examined by a mechanic or tire professional. Chances are, you can seriously extend your tires’ lifespans with a simple balance or rotation – and when they keep rolling for miles and miles, you’ll be happy you took the time to schedule this simple maintenance job.