Whenever you get new tires placed onto your vehicle, you need to ensure that all the tires are balanced before they touch the ground. That is the only way your vehicle is going to drive and function correctly. Auto mechanics and service shops have a balancing machine which they use to help balance your wheels. Then they will add weights to the rims so that the actual tires are balanced on the ground. This ensures that you have a smooth driving experience with no disturbances or unpleasantness on the road.
A regular car maintenance task is to have your tires balanced. When you go to get an oil change, the service person will usually ask if you want to balance your tires. Most people will say no because they think the serviceperson is just trying to upsell additional services to them. But you should not ignore this maintenance service if your tires are truly unbalanced. Otherwise, it could make driving a hazard on the road.
The Top 5 Symptoms of Unbalanced Tires
It is easy to notice when you have unbalanced tires. You don’t even need to wait for an auto serviceperson to tell you this. The symptoms will be obvious as you’re driving your vehicle. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, get your wheels and tires balanced at once.
Below are the top 5 symptoms of unbalanced tires.
1) Vibrations – One of the earliest warning signs of unbalanced tires is feeling vibrations coming from the steering wheel. Just the slightest imbalance of your tires on the road will cause vibrations to occur as you drive. You will feel these vibrations clearly in the steering wheel at first. But eventually, the entire cabin of your vehicle will start to vibrate, including all the seating in the front and back.
2) Steering Problems – Unbalanced tires will create an uncomfortable driving experience. To make matters worse, it will make steering more difficult too. The ability to make turns and steer the vehicle on the road will now be a challenge. The reaction time of your steering will be sluggish and delayed. Most importantly, you will not be able to steer smoothly in one given direction. This could cause accidents on the road that are unavoidable.
3) Uneven Tire Wear – A visual inspection of your tire treads is always a good thing. Your tire treads can tell you a lot about how well your tires are balanced. If you have some tire treads which are more worn out than others, you clearly have a tire balancing issue going on. A temporary fix might be to rotate your tires until you have the money to replace the ones that are too worn out. Once you do put on new tires, make sure you balance them all out.
4) Bad Fuel Economy – Unbalanced tires put more stress on the engine of your vehicle. This imbalance creates more resistance as you drive, so the engine is forced to work harder just to keep the vehicle in motion. As a result, the engine requires more fuel to sustain its heavy operation under these conditions. You will notice this problem as your fuel tank starts to lose gas faster than usual. This means more trips to the gas pump and more money out of your pocket.
5) Bad Shocks and Bearings – The shocks and bearings are put under a lot of stress when the tires are not balanced. In fact, all the components of the wheel assembly are going to suffer the longer this goes on. This means they’ll experience more wear and tear than normal. If you don’t resolve this tire balancing issue soon, you may be replacing multiple components of your wheel assembly aside from just the tires.