Balancing tires takes the proper knowledge, equipment, and expertise to successfully get the job done the first time when it comes to a tire change. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you risk ruining your tires and wheel assemblies. And potentially even your vehicle because an improperly balanced tire can lead to blowouts, accidents, and poor fuel efficiency. Make sure you know how to balance tires by following these steps.
Rotate Your Tires
Balancing your tires isn’t a one-time deal. Like most people, you’ll need to rotate your tires about every 5,000 miles. Rotating your tires keeps them from wearing out at the same rate and ensures they wear evenly. It also helps to even out the wear on the tread of your tires. A good time to do this is after an oil change when you have access to all four corners of your car. Use the car’s lugs or lug wrenches to remove each tire and replace it with another one from the opposite side of the vehicle. Make sure you put the wheel back on as tightly as possible, so it doesn’t wobble. Give the wheel a spin to ensure it turns smoothly without friction. Repeat these steps for each tire. When you’re done, take your car for a test drive around the block to ensure everything feels okay.
Invest in Alignment
When you’re buying a new car, don’t forget the rubber! Make sure your alignment is up to snuff and will last a lot longer. Remember that even though one side of the tire sits lower than the other, this doesn’t mean it needs a new tire. The issue could be just from an improper alignment. Alignments are not expensive and should be checked before spending more money on a new tire. If this doesn’t fix the problem, there might be another issue with the suspension or ball joints. Due to wear and tear, all vehicles experience uneven wear across their tires.
Check Tire Pressure
When balancing a tire, you need to identify which side of the tire is heavier and then find the same side of the other three tires. The more you weigh down that tire, the more balanced it will be. One method of doing this is by adding weights to one side. If that doesn’t work, try to install two additional small weights or use two pieces of plastic jugs filled with water as an alternative. If none of these methods work for you, get a new set of tires or call in professionals. You can also check your pressure periodically to ensure that your tires are well inflated. Low air pressure makes your vehicle less stable and more likely to drift when driving. Tire change can cause poor handling, premature wear on your tires and braking distances, and even blowouts. A great time to check your tire pressure is before you head out for the day’s commute or leave for vacation.
Add an Inflator
If you are looking for a tire inflator, the easiest and most common way is a handheld air compressor. They have hoses and many other features that make it much easier to inflate your tire with just one hand. Inflators can be mounted in the trunk of your car or near where you work on vehicles. Portable models are also available for those who do not want to mount an inflatable in their vehicle but still want access when needed. To find these models, visit your local hardware or auto parts store. You may be able to find them online as well if you are not able to locate one at a store nearby.
Consider Weighing the Car
A smart way of balancing your tires is by weighing the car. Your goal is to find the perfect weight for your vehicle, so there are no issues with the balancing. To do this, consider the front and back end separately before putting anything in them. Once you know what they each weigh, load up both sides evenly with all your supplies or luggage until they are each at their respective weights again. The process should only take a few minutes, and you’re ready to go!
Use a Mounted Dial Gauge
It is one of the simplest ways to measure your tire pressure and is highly accurate. This measurement includes a long, flexible probe that will go deep into the sidewall of your tire when needed. Once you’ve inserted it and you see that it fits snugly between the lines or ribs inside your tire, push the gauge over until you feel resistance and then read what’s displayed on top. Most people aim for a reading of around 30 psi pounds per square inch for balancing purposes. The best option for those who don’t have this equipment at home is to find an air pump station and get the reading from there.
With all the factors you need to consider when balancing a tire, from the weight of your car to driving habits, it’s never a good idea to wing it. The best way to go about it is testing them once a month and if they become under-inflated with low treads, then replace them as soon as possible.