When To Rotate & Balance Your Tires

A mechanic changes a tire in a car repair shop.

When it comes to maintaining cars, most people do a great job. Based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, they take their vehicles in for oil changes, new filters, and fluid fill-ups. But some forget about rotating and balancing the tires. This is just one service provided by Bob Brady Hyundai in Decatur, Illinois.

What Does Tire Rotation Entail?

To rotate tires, a qualified technician repositions them. But they don’t move them around randomly. Rather, they follow a specific pattern based on several criteria.

Here’s another thing to consider. If you’ve recently purchased new tires, check the warranty. A customer needs to follow a specific schedule for both tire rotation and balancing. This is because most tire companies won’t honor the warranty if the schedule is not followed.

The Benefits of Rotating and Balancing Tires

Before discussing when you need to have this done, it’s important to understand the benefits. First, this allows a certified technician to inspect the condition of the tires. As a result, they can spot defects, unsafe worn treads, and other issues. Second, having this done will make your vehicle drive smoother.

But there are other reasons to have the tires on your vehicle rotated and balanced as part of scheduled maintenance. Without this, you might not know that one or more tires are dangerous.

Thus, this type of maintenance will enhance your safety while driving. Moreover, rotating and balancing the tires can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Also, if you drive an all-wheel-drive vehicle, tires with even wear don’t put as much stress on the drivetrain as tires with uneven wear do.

What’s the Process for Balancing Tires?

In this case, a technician mounts the tire on a wheel attached to a balancing machine. As the wheel spins, the machine takes vibration measurements. Based on that, the technician can determine whether there’s a balancing problem. If so, they’ll make the appropriate adjustments and any necessary weights.

The Benefits of Balancing the Tires on Your Vehicle

Balancing ensures the tires weigh the same or close to it. That way, when they roll on city streets and highways, they’re smooth, which means a more comfortable driving experience. In other words, balancing prevents tires from wearing unevenly. When unbalanced, you’d likely notice a bouncing or wobbling effect while driving.

Examples of Tire Rotation Patterns

Based on the findings, the technician chooses the right pattern. Also, a technician factors in the type of vehicle and its drivetrain. That includes all-wheel and four-wheel-drive. Here are two of the patterns.

  • Rearward Cross – This is suitable for all rear and four-wheel-drive vehicles. It involves moving the rear tires to the forward axle on the same side. You also move the front tires to the back but this time, to the opposite sides of the rear axle.
  • X Pattern – This pattern works best on sedans and lighter-weight trucks. It consists of moving all the tires diagonally. A technician switches them from one axle to the opposite axle.

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Perfect Timing

You should have the tires on your vehicle rotated and balanced once every six months. But bumpiness and steering wheel pulling to one side need immediate attention. Schedule an appointment with the service center at Bob Brady Hyundai in Decatur, Illinois.

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