Having the correct tire pressure and enough tread are essential for safe driving, as well as making sure you don’t have unbalanced tires. The weight of the tires is unevenly distributed around the wheel, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Even worse, your car could be damaged, and your personal safety may be at risk.
Below are the signs that you may be driving with unbalanced tires and the dangers involved if you don’t fix this issue right away.
If you feel a vibration in the steering wheel, or through the floorboards and your seat when you’re driving, even on a smoothly paved road, your tires are probably unbalanced. Your car will be harder to steer and control and could result in a collision that needs expensive repairs. This vibration also makes driving uncomfortable.
Uneven Tread Wear
Inspect all four tires regularly to check that the tread is wearing down evenly. If the tread is thinner on one or both sides, or thinner in the middle, or thinner in patches, the chances are that your tires are out of balance. In addition to making steering more difficult, uneven wear on the tire tread can also increase the risk of a sudden blowout and a serious accident.
Damage to Your Car
The shocks, bearings and wheel assembly will need replacing much sooner if you have unbalanced tires. They may even completely fail while you’re driving. Balanced tires spin without interference which means that you have a safer, smoother ride. Plus, there’s no excessive wear and tear on other parts of your car.
Using More Gas
Although fuel economy isn’t a safety issue, it can be a sign that your tires are out of balance. If your tires are properly inflated, but you’re using more gas, especially at high speeds, then it’s likely that your tires need to be balanced.
How Does This Happen?
Tires can become unbalanced in older cars due to a lot of mileage, normal wear and tear, and poor maintenance. Regular maintenance that includes tire balancing will keep you safe on the road and avoid expensive repairs and replacement parts.
Other reasons for unbalanced tires can be a collision with another vehicle, bumping into a curb, or hitting a pothole or rock. If your car is involved in any of these sorts of things, you should immediately have it checked for damage to the wheels, tires, and undercarriage.
How to Correct the Problem
Tire balancing is not something you can do yourself; it should be done by a trained mechanic in a properly equipped car maintenance shop. The shop will have secure mounting, and the mechanic will inspect the tires and wheel assemblies. He will make sure that wheels are correctly seated on the hubs, and that the lug nuts are properly tightened. If the mechanic doesn’t include tire rotation as part of the service, ask for it. Regularly rotating your tires results in even tread wearing and maintains better tire balance. Rotating your tires every 6000 miles is the standard recommendation but check with your mechanic regarding your particular tires and vehicle. There are several factors that could make a difference in having them rotated sooner.
Even if you don’t see signs that your tires are unbalanced, it’s a good idea to have them checked every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or every two years. If you regularly drive on rough, poorly maintained roads, then it’s better to have your tires balanced more often.
If you’ve been in an accident and your car has been damaged, call Orlando Auto Body at 480-418-4737 for a quote and advice on the repair.