Regular tire maintenance shouldn’t be overlooked if you want to have a healthy set of tires to use on the road, and one of the critical things to pay attention to is balanced tires.
However, if your tires are unbalanced, they can make driving quite uncomfortable. But, how exactly do you know that your tires are unbalanced? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!
Unbalanced Tires Symptoms
1. Excessive Vibrations
Vibrations are the most common symptom of an unbalanced tire, meaning it might be the first symptom that you’ll notice.
When you have a tire imbalance, you’ll feel the vibration in the steering wheel, seat, or floor, depending on the tire that’s unbalanced.
In fact, the vibrations could become so severe that you’ll feel them when you drive at high speeds.
If the front tires are unbalanced, the vibration will be felt more on the steering wheel, whereas if the rear ones have the issue, the vibrations will be felt on your seats.
Vibrations come about because there is an imbalance that travels through the wheel assembly, axle, and steering rack. Therefore, if you notice this problem, take your car for balancing as soon as possible.
2. Rough Steering
When your tires are unbalanced, you’ll feel the effect as you drive, especially on the steering wheel.
These tires create an uncomfortable driving experience because the steering wheel becomes more difficult and has reduced response time. Additionally, unbalanced tires reduce the smoothness in turning a car.
Therefore, if your vehicle can’t steer properly, you’ll increase your chances of getting into an accident.
3. Uneven Tire Wear
It’s normal for tires to wear out after a certain period. However, if you notice that your tires are wearing out unevenly, you should check whether your tires are well balanced.
Check the tread wear and whether one tire or parts of the tire are degrading faster than the rest, as this could indicate an imbalance.
However, keep in mind that uneven wear could mean the car needs a wheel alignment. Therefore, you should take your vehicle to a tire expert who can identify the real problem.
4. Poor Gas Mileage
Unbalanced tires consume more fuel than well-maintained ones, so if you notice a drop in fuel economy in your vehicle, it could mean that your tires are not well balanced.
Poor mileage becomes an issue because the car needs more power to move, and unbalanced tires add more pressure to the engine.
Therefore, the car has to consume more fuel to perform optimally, creating a form of resistance that significantly affects overall gas mileage.
5. Tire Noise
Some drivers have had an issue with tire noise due to different factors, which can be very unsettling if you don’t know what the problem is.
However, once you start hearing a humming or buzzing noise accompanied by vibration, this could indicate an unbalanced tire.
In fact, if the tire noise becomes more pronounced as you accelerate, this is a clear sign that you have an issue with unbalanced tires.
6. Problems With Bearing and Shocks
When your bearing and shocks start having problems, this is an indication that your tires are unbalanced. Generally, these issues arise under extreme conditions or when your car is under high stress.
Nonetheless, you need to take care of this problem as soon as possible, as your car’s performance will be affected, decreasing the mileage.
Additionally, if you don’t fix it early, you’ll spend more money repairing your car and replacing parts if the issue is left too long.
7. Worn Out Suspension
As your tires wear out, they’ll also put pressure on your steering and suspension components, which could become worse if not handled immediately.
Unfortunately, when your suspension system is affected, the car will start vibrating too much for what’s considered safe, and will continue to worsen the longer the issue is left unresolved.
8. Pressure Imbalances
If you’re losing tires unevenly, you could be having an imbalance issue. Some manufacturers recommend that you should balance tires every 5,000 to 6,000 miles, but you should also do it after tire replacement and during car service.
Therefore, when you are checking the pressure on new tires, have the wheel balanced to avoid problems on the road.
To know more about tires, you can also see our posts on how much does it cost to balance tires, what is a wheel offset, and if tires make noise.
Unbalanced tires can be risky, especially if left on for longer. When servicing your car or replacing new tires, you should always have your wheels balanced to avoid experiencing any problems on the road.
If your tires are not well balanced, you’ll notice uneven tire wear, excessive vibrations, noise, rough steering, reduced fuel economy, etc. Additionally, when these problems are not addressed, it can damage other car parts and potentially cause an accident.