Tire Rotation Vs. Tire Balancing: Is there a Difference?

Tire rotation

The “penny test” is not a good way to determine if tires need to be replaced. The penny test uses a penny to measure tread depth. In reality, regardless of the tread depth, the rubber in tires can fail and cause major accidents. This is part of the reason that regular tire maintenance is so important.

You may have been told you have to have a tire rotation or tire balancing. Read on to learn the difference, when to do this maintenance, and why it is important for safety, fuel efficiency and the health of your car.

What is a Tire Rotation?

Tire rotation is when you move tires from their initial location. Typically you switch the front tires with the back tires, and the left with the right side. The goal of this maintenance is to help the tires wear evenly.

In general, you should have your tires rotated and balanced every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Certain manufacturers suggest more frequent rotation, so check with your owner’s manual. You may also have to rotate your tires more frequently if you carry heavy loads in your trunk as this speeds up the creation of wear spots.

What is Tire Balancing?

Tire balancing is when small metal weights are attached to the rim of a new tire. Typically, there are three of them and an installer will move them to ensure that the tire’s mass is evenly distributed.

To balance a tire, the installer mounts the tire on a spinning machine to check for vibration. The weights are moved until the wheel spins evenly. As tires wear, the mass of the tire changes so the weights need to be adjusted.

You should have your tires balanced and rotated at the same time. It is easy to tell if there is an issue with your tire’s balance. At higher speeds, typically higher than 50 miles per hour, the car will vibrate or shake.

If this happens, make an appointment to get the tires rotated and balanced immediately. The vibration can cause damage to the other systems in your car and lowers your fuel efficiency.

Keep in mind that worn and unbalanced tires impact your car handling and can lead to car accidents.

Car maintenance is important for safety, but can also impact fuel efficiency. Review your owners manual and follow the recommended tire maintenance program. Replace tires that are worn or bald

Do You Need New Tires or Rims?

For over 30 years we have been the place for aftermarket automobile accessories. If you decide you need new tires after your next tire rotation and balancing, check out our site. We have wheels, rims, car stereo and alarms to fit every car and budget.

Our experience allows us to provide you the best prices in the area.  Stop by or shop online, and let our experts help you accessorize your ride.