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#2077637 - 11/15/10 02:11 PM How often do you balance tires?
tpattgeek Offline


Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 330
Loc: Louisiana
I have road hazard on my Civic with its fairly new Michelin's, and the guys at the shop said to balance every time you rotate. It's not included in the maintenance minder for the Civic (maybe they assume you'll do it when they start vibrating the car) and it's not like they're making money if I do it every 5k miles because it's included already. Toyota recommends every 15k miles for my Sienna. Some old-schoolers I've talked to say they "never" do it, unless of course there's an issue. So, what do you think? Every 5k miles, 15k miles, 30k miles, etc.? I do about 70/30 hwy to city driving and rarely hit any large potholes (if that makes a difference). Thanks!
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2017 Subaru WRX STI
2012 Ford Fiesta
2007 Honda Civic EX (flooded)
2014 Kia Optima (flooded)

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#2077660 - 11/15/10 02:25 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
440Magnum Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 8508
Loc: Texas
Whenever I notice a vibration OR every tire rotation, whichever comes first.

Its free at Discount Tire anyway, so I err on the side of more often than less. I absolutely HATE feeling a vibration that's at tire-rotation speed in any car I drive.
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#2077665 - 11/15/10 02:28 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
blackdiamond Offline


Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 630
Loc: Western Washington
I buy tires from Discount and getting them balanced is free. For this reason I always ask them to balance them when I get the tires rotated.

In the case of having to pay for it, unless you notice the tires wearing poorly or can feel a vibration, don't worry about it.
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1989 Toyota 4Runner / 5w-30 Valvoline Maxlife
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#2077672 - 11/15/10 02:30 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
rslifkin Offline


Registered: 06/27/10
Posts: 2740
Loc: Rochester, NY
In theory, it shouldn't be needed unless you feel anything. However, my tire place gives free balancing at the free rotations, so it makes sense to do it every time just to be sure.
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#2077682 - 11/15/10 02:39 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 26837
Loc: NY
In theory tires should be balanced every time they are rotated. I try and avoid "free balances and rotations", because the less someone touches one of my vehicles, the better. The tire shops around here use the free rotations and balancing to sell brake and front end work so for me it is not worth the aggravation. If I feel something amiss that could be tire related I'll have the tires balanced. Only after I r/o worn front end parts, or a bad tire, and check the brakes myself.
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#2077737 - 11/15/10 03:34 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
flatlandtacoma Offline


Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 1078
Loc: Illinois
The only time I've had a tire rebalanced was if it was remounted on a rim.
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#2077756 - 11/15/10 03:57 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: flatlandtacoma]
barlowc Offline


Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 2098
Loc: Southeast Michigan
On my Nissan, I've been rotating every 7,500 and balancing every 15,000. These intervals either came from the owner's manual or was the dealer's recommendation.

On our VUE, I've been rotating every 6,000 and balancing every 18,000. Again, these intervals either came from the owner's manual or was the dealer's recommendation.

When I had new tires put on the VUE a couple weeks ago I asked the shop. They suggested every 5,000 - 8,000 for rotations and balance only when needed, signaled by vibration felt in the steering wheel.
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2013 BMW 335i xDrive Sport Line (37K Miles)

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#2077758 - 11/15/10 03:59 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: flatlandtacoma]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 13448
Loc: Silicon Valley
Originally Posted By: flatlandtacoma
The only time I've had a tire rebalanced was if it was remounted on a rim.


+1, or if it is vibrating at high speed (but that's usually too late).
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"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah

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#2077769 - 11/15/10 04:07 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
defektes Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 3216
Loc: Hesperia, CA, USA
when i get a new tire or I feel some vibrations is when I get my balances
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#2077772 - 11/15/10 04:09 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
simple_gifts Offline


Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 11241
Loc: Middlesex County CT
Never, unless a reason manifests itself.
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2004 Prius; 68K M1 0W-30
2003 Echo > 4.03x10^5 miles; 0W-40
2006 B2300;114K;ALM


Was driving an ox cart; Now on the USS Enterprise

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#2077795 - 11/15/10 04:38 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: simple_gifts]
XS650 Offline


Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 12385
Loc: Northern CA
Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
Never, unless a reason manifests itself.



+1

If there is no problem, a "tech" won't make it better, but he might make it worse or screw something else up.
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Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

--Mark Twain

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#2077804 - 11/15/10 04:44 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: XS650]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 26837
Loc: NY
Good point. If it ain't broke don't fix it. There is a very good chance a re-balance can make a good situation into a bad one.

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#2077875 - 11/15/10 05:39 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: demarpaint]
tpattgeek Offline


Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 330
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
Good point. If it ain't broke don't fix it. There is a very good chance a re-balance can make a good situation into a bad one.

That's what I was hoping for. The last time I let the tire shop rotate/balance, they chipped my rim and almost rotated wrong if I wouldn't have caught it... I think I'll continue to rotate myself and bring it for a rotation/balance every 10 or 15k since they're free. The worst part is having to wait more than an hour for someone to do the work that doesn't care about my vehicle when I can do it myself and enjoy doing it...

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#2077958 - 11/15/10 07:06 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 8504
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
+1, only if needed
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#2077976 - 11/15/10 07:29 PM Re: How often do you balance tires? [Re: tpattgeek]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
Good tires seem to need less balancing, and stay balanced.

But every time you rotate the tires is way too often. They had better NOT need it that often!

15-20,000 seems about right, maybe less if you have a special free deal.

BTW, when actually driving on a tire, it is flat on the bottom, and squished out on the sides, to some degree. This has to change the balance of a tire that was spun balanced round with no load.

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