Do you balance when you rotate your tires?

Joined
Jun 29, 2005
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E. Texas
I have been getting some conflicting advice and wanted to see what you guys thought. Is it important to balance the tires when they are rotated? I have heard some people say yes and others say balance is needed only if the lead weights have come off or the tire shows some abnormal wear signs. What do you all do and why?
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
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CA
quote:
Originally posted by martyi: I have been getting some conflicting advice and wanted to see what you guys thought. Is it important to balance the tires when they are rotated? I have heard some people say yes and others say balance is needed only if the lead weights have come off or the tire shows some abnormal wear signs. What do you all do and why?
I usually rotate every 6-8K, and rotate/rebalance every 30K or so if you have to pay for it. For the Saturn in the family, it gets free lifetime rotation/rebalance from Sam's Club since we bought the tires there, so they get balanced with each rotation. [Smile] MW
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
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Elizabeth City NC
I rotate without balancing. Never seems to be a problem. I have even fitted new tires and never balanced them. That to does not seem to be a problem. If you have a tire out of balance most of the time you can feel it. Balancing tires is somewhat overated to me. Maybe I just drive cars that soak up the vibrations? [I dont know]
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
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Moving/rotating the tires should not affect balance. If it does, you have bigger problems. It is often overlooked but fixing a flat that takes the tire off the wheel requires rebalancing.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
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Minnesota
I've only rebalanced once, it was when I was getting a shake from the steering wheel when going 70mph or faster. The balance was off and rebalancing was the solution. Back in high school I checked the balance of my tires on the car I had and the balance was off and the tires were 25k miles old so it might not be a bad idea to check on it somewhere around the midpoint of the life of the tire, or like mentioned above the tread wear seems off or the vehicle is being affected by a bad balance.
 
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If you scrape a weight off parallel parking (against a curb) you'll need rebalancing. My only unbalanced system was from a defective or bent wheel on my cutlass ciera that even new tires didn't fix... noone ever found the reason and/or I kept getting sloppy techs... I think the "lifetime rotation/balance" is mostly hype that comes with a road hazard warranty... particularly if one "has" to come in every 5000 miles for "inspection" or it will void said warranty...
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
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maine
I have free balancing with my tires. So I balance every time I rotate. Tires and oil is what I deal with for work and while for some people it may not make a difference I prefer to have then balanced. the reason I do this is because as the tire wear it wears rubber off of the tire and weights change. I've seen tires that i installed and match mounted perfect be .75 off and sometimes more when they return for rotation. Not only can being out of balance cause vibration problem but it can also cause premature wear on tire and bearing assemblies.
 
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Maryland
I don't balance when I rotate my tires and have never had a problem. If however I suspected a balance issue I would have them balanced and not rotate them my self. [Cheers!]
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
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MO
No balancing at the shanty. Only rotation is when the non-winter tires are removed and the four snow tires are called upon to do their duty. Wheels marked so that when the replacement occurs proper rotation occurs. No apparent imbalance problems at city or highway speeds.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
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I think the big picture answer is this: If you're doing the work yourself, then you probably don't have a balancer, so you would have to do somewhere, so why bother unless you have a vibration? However, if you are a shop and this is a service you are providing (for a fee, of course), then it's best to do the balance, if though it is unlikely to be necessary. This just protects the shop from those customers who can never be satisified, (or whatever, you know what I mean). If you are a customer in the above paragraph, then it is probably unnecessary, but it's part of the procedure the shop is doing, so you either pay for it or find another shop. Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
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Bremerton, WA
i'll probably start getting my tires balanced every time i rotate them (every 3k) they are very soft & sticky, and the fronts like to wear a lot faster than the rears (heavy AWD beast)- so a little bit of uneven wear makes them a little but unbalanced. I don't drive the car too often so it's not like i'm doing it all the time. Plus i buy my tires at discount tire usually, and they do free rotation & balancing for life.
 
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I've never re-balanced a tire. What could change that would throw the balance off? If it starts vibrating, I figure it's time for new tires. I've personally never seen an old-tire vibration problem fixed by balancing.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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Indianapolis, IN
I rebalance only when needed. Usually after a tire repair. Well...every set of Goodyear tires I have had needed at least one rebalance. Never on a Michelin, Bridgstone/FS, Kumho, Yokohama.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
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Richmond, BC
There is absolutely no need to balance tires every tire rotation and tire rotation every 3K is overkill and a waste of time. Try rotating your tires at 6K or 7.5K intervals, that is all that is required.
quote:
Originally posted by slugsgomoo: i'll probably start getting my tires balanced every time i rotate them (every 3k) they are very soft & sticky, and the fronts like to wear a lot faster than the rears (heavy AWD beast)- so a little bit of uneven wear makes them a little but unbalanced. I don't drive the car too often so it's not like i'm doing it all the time. Plus i buy my tires at discount tire usually, and they do free rotation & balancing for life.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
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Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by bobo: There is absolutely no need to balance tires every tire rotation and tire rotation every 3K is overkill and a waste of time. Try rotating your tires at 6K or 7.5K intervals, that is all that is required.
You're on the right track, but tire rotation should be by a percentage of estimated tire life, not fixed miles. Two of my vehicles wear all 4 tires pretty straight across the tread. Those get rotated at about 1/2 of tire life. One rotation in the life of the tires. Cars with lesser suspensions need it more often, maybe 3 or 4 rotations during the life of the tires.
 
Joined
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For what it's worth, the tires being rotated @ 3k show VERY noticably different wear characteristics. The fronts take a huge amount of abuse, and being very sticky, they wear very, very fast. If i did not rotate every 3k, I have very little doubt that these tires would be corded by 10-12k miles. I'm trying to prolong them out to 15k~ish
quote:
Originally posted by bobo: There is absolutely no need to balance tires every tire rotation and tire rotation every 3K is overkill and a waste of time. Try rotating your tires at 6K or 7.5K intervals, that is all that is required.
quote:
Originally posted by slugsgomoo: i'll probably start getting my tires balanced every time i rotate them (every 3k) they are very soft & sticky, and the fronts like to wear a lot faster than the rears (heavy AWD beast)- so a little bit of uneven wear makes them a little but unbalanced. I don't drive the car too often so it's not like i'm doing it all the time. Plus i buy my tires at discount tire usually, and they do free rotation & balancing for life.

Wait until you have a tire that wears the inside shoulders faster than the rest of the tire (including the fact that the alignment is known to be good). R-compound tires are funny about how they wear, especially when you're beating on them (or do an oops and mini-flatspot). [Wink] I'm not suggesting that you need a frequent rebalancing of street tires though, that seems silly.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
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Charleston, South Carolina
I haven't been to a tire store in years. I mount balance and rotate my tires at home and they're always perfectly balanced. 33X12.50X15 MTs on my jeep- each with 12 ounces of BBs in them. [Wink] Been doing this for years, even on my passenger cars. As long as my alignment is in spec, I get very good wear out of my tires- usually on the order of 50,000 miles. Something about a tire that constantly balances itself as you're driving...
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
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South Texas
Of all tire sets except for one time, I always buy tires from Discount Tire and Wheel. I buy the Life Time Rotation/Balance and Full Replacement RoadHazzard protection plan. On each set, I have use the replacement roadhazzard at least once, which pays for its self. I always balance when I rotate. The roads where I live really suck bad, I mean real bad. A few months ago, there was a national report on roadway quality and my town ranked in the top 5 worst of metro areas with population between 250-500k in the nation (or something horrible like that). My roads beat down tires here, so I rotate and balance at least 2-3 times a year.
 
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Feb 3, 2010
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Cocoa, FL
Originally Posted By: burntkat
I haven't been to a tire store in years. I mount balance and rotate my tires at home and they're always perfectly balanced. 33X12.50X15 MTs on my jeep- each with 12 ounces of BBs in them. [Wink] Been doing this for years, even on my passenger cars. As long as my alignment is in spec, I get very good wear out of my tires- usually on the order of 50,000 miles. Something about a tire that constantly balances itself as you're driving...
Mind explaining this? You put 12 oz. of BBs in your tires, before mounting them yourself? Now I'm not surprised you mounted them yourself, I've heard of this :) Using some long pole and guiding the bead onto the rim :) But the whole BB thing......
 
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