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Thread: Tire balance and rotation question

  1. #1
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    Default Tire balance and rotation question

    If you are going to rotate your tires, do you need to balance the tires again? I was thinking that once the tires are balanced, they didn't needed to be balanced again a second time even when you rotated the tires.
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    You shouldn't have to re-balance your tires. Tires do go out of balance over time, but you would notice vibration at higher speeds when they do.



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  3. #3

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    No, you shouldn't need to as a rule. Balancing wheels/tyres is just dealing with the wheel itself - rotation is changing where they are bolted onto the car.

    That said, if they feel out of balance (vibrations etc) then a weight may have come off or something.
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    As a general rule, no. I do have mine checked if I find any vibration or shimmy in the steering, tho.
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    I managed a tire shop for quite a few years. I generally recommended a tire balance when rotating. If you have a tire that is on the back that's out of balance, you very well may not know. However once it gets moved up front, you could then notice it. We would have customers come back after rotations (w/o a balance) claiming we did something wrong because now they had a vibration where they didn't before. We'd check the balance and sure enough, a tire that went from the back to front was out.

    So that being said, I'd advise the customers to also get the balance, but it wasn't a have to. Most did and I still do it on my own cars.

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    thanks everyone.

    The reason I asked is because someone told me that tire balance matters because of the way the tires will be rotated. The mounting position changed thus balance is needed, if that makes sense. Which didn't to me.

    JCee this sounds like what happened to my friends car. Now I get it
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    No need to balance everytime. If you have a vibration then have the tires balanced. I generally have mine balanced every 4 rotations, just for piece of mind, even then I have had no change necessary many times.
    Airplanedoc

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    I wouldn't get them rebalanced unless you've noticed a problem already.

    You get them rebalanced for the heck of it, then the balancer isn't calibrated properly or something, now you can have a problem.

    I tend to stick with an if it ain't broke don't fix it mindset.

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    You shouldn't have to rebalance your tires as long as you go to someone who knows what they are doing when they replace or rotate them.

    That being said, I always get an alignment or at least have the alignment checked whenever I rotate/replace tires.
    Bill

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    I usually have my winter tires balanced when I have them put on. Over the years I've found that the weights on them are often knocked off by ice/snow and it is frustrating to have to take the car in again.
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    When they balance tires it's done on a machine not your car so if position mattered how would they balance tires? As long as the balance is done on a high speed balance machine and none of the weights come off or the tire is out of round you should be OK.

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    Not being able to check the link above AND being bored, I'll throw in my thoughts.

    It depends on if you have a "Static," or "dynamic," balance on there, one being done on the vehicle and one being done off of the vehicle on a balancer.

    If the tires are balanced on the vehicle then it's likely that you'll need some work after a rotation.

    Or you could throw about half a pound of air-soft balls in there and never worry about it again.

    :)
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    I get my tires rotated and balanced every 5,000 (I use synthetic, can go longer haha) miles with my oil change. I also have them check alignment and the rotor discs every time. I have them check the brakes every two oil changes.

    May be overkill but, my truck is in just as good of shape as it was in 2003 when I bought it. I can let go of the wheel and it's almost perfect... no deviations in driving, no shimmies or shakes.

    I guess it all depends on what you're comfortable with but, I have known people to NEVER take care of their car and they were okay for years! You can be safe or you can just let it roll.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebigspendur View Post
    When they balance tires it's done on a machine not your car so if position mattered how would they balance tires? As long as the balance is done on a high speed balance machine and none of the weights come off or the tire is out of round you should be OK.
    It's not that the position makes a tire out of balance or not, in that respect you are correct. It's that if a tire is out of balance, what you feel (or not feel) is greatly affected by the tires position on the vehicle. Generally on the back, you'll feel the vibration in the seat and when a front tire is out of balance it transmits through the steering and you feel it in the wheel. Many times a tire that you would feel on the front of the car, you may not on the back. Also many times an out of balance tire will create a harmonic so to speak and only be noticeable within a certain speed range. I once had a client with a 944 tell me he got a tire vibration, but only between 90 and 110.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCee View Post
    It's not that the position makes a tire out of balance or not, in that respect you are correct. It's that if a tire is out of balance, what you feel (or not feel) is greatly affected by the tires position on the vehicle. Generally on the back, you'll feel the vibration in the seat and when a front tire is out of balance it transmits through the steering and you feel it in the wheel. Many times a tire that you would feel on the front of the car, you may not on the back. Also many times an out of balance tire will create a harmonic so to speak and only be noticeable within a certain speed range. I once had a client with a 944 tell me he got a tire vibration, but only between 90 and 110.
    yes kinda like what my friend's car. You would notice it vibrate at around 55mph
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    It isn't necessary to balance the tires when you rotate.
    If you have a vibration at speed, take it to a shop regardless of whether they have been recently rotated or not.
    If you have a shop that tells you that you need to balance them every time you rotate, they are probably also telling you that you need your transmission flushed and your crankcase flushed, and the superduper radiator preventative medicine flush etc.
    Find another shop ASAP.
    Last edited by luvmysuper; 01-31-2010 at 06:14 PM.
    Phil

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