Tire care is extremely vital to helping your tires last longer. Otherwise, they’ll wear unevenly and need to be changed quickly.
However, it can be hard to take the necessary amount of time out of your day to have your tires balanced. So, how long does it take to balance tires? If you’d like to find out, keep reading for more facts!
How Long Does It Take To Balance Tires?
Usually, it takes about 45 minutes to two hours for tires to be balanced, assuming it’s a standalone service. However, older tires may take longer, since they’ve undergone more wear and tear. In contrast, newer tires will often take less time, since they’ll only have minor imbalances from shipping and storage.
For more information on when to balance your tires and how much it may cost, look at the sections below for more useful facts and tips!
How Much Does It Cost to Balance Tires?
In most cases, it only costs about $15 to $75 to balance tires. However, this can depend on your vehicle, as some cars are simply more expensive than others.
Older tires often need longer to balance, as they’ve accumulated more imbalances. On the other hand, new tires have fewer imbalances and, therefore, don’t require that much time to balance, which may cut the price down a bit.
Often, balances are provided for free if you purchase your tires from that tire shop. However, you may need to purchase it separately in some other situations.
How Often Do I Need a Tire Balance?
You should plan on checking your tires every time you change your oil. Usually, this will be every 5,000 to 15,000 miles.
Otherwise, the tires problems may build up and cause wear issues, which are much easier to avoid than fix later.
You won’t necessarily need to balance your tires every time, but you should have the mechanic check, otherwise you may have unknown issues later on.
Is a Balance the Same as an Alignment?
While you need both a balance and an alignment for your car, they aren’t the same thing.
Alignments involve how your tire sits on your wheel(it adjusts things like cambers), while a balance ensures that your car’s whole weight is evenly distributed throughout all four tires.
If your tires aren’t balanced, you’ll end up with weird handling and uneven wear. Therefore, you’ll need to do both for your car to drive properly.
Having both done will also improve the overall lifespan of your tires which saves you money overtime.
How Long Does It Take to Balance and Align Tires?
Usually, an alignment takes about 30 minutes to an hour, though this can depend on the tire shop and what car you have, as some simply take longer to align than others.
Additionally, a balance typically takes about 45 minutes to two hours as a standalone service. Therefore, when you add two together, it will usually take an hour and a half to about two hours to do both.
However, your particular situation does matter, as In some cases, more time may be required for older tires, while new tires often take very little time to balance and align.
How Long Can You Drive on Unbalanced Tires?
Typically, you can drive on unbalanced tires for as long as you want. However, they generally get worse as you drive, as they will slowly get more unbalanced. Therefore, the odds of an accident occurring will increase as you drive on them.
Therefore, you should only drive on unbalanced tires for a couple of months at most. Any longer, and the problems may be too serious and cause issues with your vehicle.
As well, uneven wear and problems with the suspension can develop after only a few months. Therefore, you want to get everything fixed beforehand.
Should I Balance My Tires Before an Alignment?
Preferably, you should do both an alignment and a balance at the same time. However, you don’t necessarily need to balance your tires before an alignment, as these two services do different things and aren’t necessarily related.
However, both processes prevent uneven wear. So, if you have both services done, your tire may still get uneven wear. Therefore, it’s often suggested to do both together.
For those who are experienced, determining the exact problem is often possible by just looking at the pattern of the wear. However, this is difficult to do as an amateur.
How Do I Know If My Tires Need to be Balanced?
The clearest sign for tire rebalancing is vibration, which you should feel on your steering wheel, seat, and floorboard when you’re driving.
If you change tires, you’ll need to consider rebalancing them as well. For instance, if you get a flat tire and fix it, you’ll need to get your tires rebalanced.
If the weight of your rims changes, you’ll also need to consider rebalancing them. Additionally, uneven wear may also indicate the need to rebalance your tires.
If you want to know more about tires, you can also read our posts on unbalanced tires symptoms, how much does it cost to balance tires, and what is a tire sensor.
Usually, you can expect balancing your tires to take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. However, if you group this in with other services, it may take less time altogether.
Newer tires barely require balancing, so they are often completed very quickly, while older tires often take longer. Plus, tires that haven’t been balanced in a while will often require more time for balancing.