You should balance and rotate your tires once every 6,000 miles, every six months, or with every other oil change. But why should you balance and rotate your tires? What does maintaining balanced and rotated tires do?
The answer to both of those questions lies in uniformity.
Having your car’s tires as uniform as possible is not only important from a functional standpoint but from a safety standpoint as well. When you drive your car, weight is distributed differently in your vehicle, whether from the drive itself, the types of turns you make, the weight of the engine, or the fact that you’re in the driver’s seat. This causes tire wear at different rates around the tires themselves as well as between each tire. Parts of tires are particularly susceptible to wear if you come to a sudden stop or make a sharp turn.
Balancing and rotating your tires reduces these abnormalities over time.
Balancing your tires is a short, but necessary process. If, while you’re driving down the road, you feel your car rattling to either side or hopping up and down it’s possible that your tires are out of balance. It’s even possible that your tire’s balance is off by as little as ten grams or an ounce, as many tires frequently are. For reference, an ounce is about 11 pennies. Obviously the more out of balance your tires are, the worse the bouncing and vibrating will be.
When your tires are rotated they are moved from one part of your vehicle to the other. The most common kind of rotation is when, on a front wheel drive vehicle, the front tires are brought to the back and the rear tires are crisscrossed to the front. This essentially means that the rear passenger tire will go to the front driver’s side and the rear driver’s side tire will make its way to the front passenger’s side. This is reversed on rear and four wheel drive vehicles, with the front passenger’s side tire going to the rear driver’s side and the front passenger’s side going back to the rear driver’s side while the rear tires simply move forward.
This practice will prevent uneven wear between tires, even if individual tires are wearing evenly. Many vehicle problems can cause uneven overall tire wear from bad alignment or bad struts to over or under-inflation or a bent wheel. In all instances you will notice a strange wear pattern in your tires, either on one tire, or between tires. Either way, when you notice these problems occurring, it is time to get your tires balanced and rotated.
When you feel like you need to have your tires changed, if you’re getting new tires, or if you’re on your second oil change without having it done, stop by Golden Triangle Auto Care at 1112 North Speer Blvd. in Denver.