How do I know when I should get my tires rotated and balanced?
The interval for tire rotation could depend on a recommendation from either the tire manufacturer or the vehicle maker. The interval is typically around 5,000 miles but could range from 3,000 to 8,000 miles. The background question is why do tires need to be rotated?
Front tires wear differently than the rear tires because steering wears the shoulders faster upfront. Rotating the position of the tires allows for more even wear among all the tires. Now the suspension set-up on certain vehicles may also affect the relative wear between the front and rear.
There are several rotation patterns – your service advisor will see that you get the correct pattern for your particular vehicle.
Wheels and tires are not perfectly balanced due to slight variations in the manufacturing process and the placement of tire pressure monitoring sensors. So, weights are strategically placed on the wheel to ensure that the tire spins true. When a wheel is out of balance it is essentially bouncing thousands of extra times every mile. Now, this can result in an uncomfortable vibration in the steering wheel or through the seat. An unbalanced tire will also wear quicker and is hard on your shocks and struts.
Wheels should be balanced if you detect a vibration or uneven wear. A wheel balance check every year is a good idea.
Because tires cost so much, it’s a great idea to do everything you can to make them last as long as possible. Proper tire inflation, regular tire rotation and wheel balancing are keys to long tire life. Your service center can inspect your tires for signs of uneven wear and diagnose and correct the problem.