Tire maintenance involves many activities, such as wheel balancing to keep you safe on the road while driving.
When your wheels need to be balanced, your car will develop symptoms that indicate that there’s a problem. But what exactly are these symptoms? Here’s a complete list of common issues to look out for.
Wheel Balancing Symptoms
Wheel balancing corrects the uneven distribution of weight on your tires. If your wheels aren’t properly balanced, your car will start experiencing abnormal vibrations, excessive tire wear, suspension damage, poor gas mileage, tire noise, bad shocks and bearings. Additionally, if this issue isn’t fixed immediately, it could affect other parts of the car.
For more information about wheel balancing symptoms such as uneven tire wear, bad fuel economy, vibrations, and more, keep reading for more facts!
What Are Symptoms of Wheel Balancing?
Every tire needs balancing, even the new one in order to achieve the best performance, safety, and lifespan for your tires and vehicle. However, if you don’t follow through with proper balancing, how can you know when your tires aren’t balanced?
Listed below are a number of common symptoms to look out for:
1. Uneven Tire Wear
As a car owner, you should regularly inspect your tires for abnormal tire wear, as they have a legal tread depth limit that they shouldn’t go below.
After a certain period, it’s standard for your tires to wear out; therefore, once you notice uneven wear, you should check for wheel balancing.
Your vehicle is at a greater risk of getting flat tires if you continue driving on tires with degraded treads, and since the treads contact the road surface when driving, they should wear out at the same rate.
Therefore, if you have one or two tires with damaged tread, this could be an indication of improper wheel balancing.
However, damaged tread may also result when your car needs a wheel alignment. Therefore, to confirm the actual cause, have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic or tire expert.
2. Bad Fuel Economy
If your wheels aren’t correctly balanced, they put more stress on the engine because the resistance forces the engine to work much harder than necessary.
Tires that need balancing will consume more fuel because the engine needs more gas to sustain all the operations.
Therefore, if you notice that your fuel efficiency is continuously dropping, have your tires checked for balance.
On the other hand, underinflated tires can also make your car consume more fuel than usual, so you should closely monitor this factor and be prepared to take your car to a professional for further examination.
If you haven’t taken your wheels for balancing for a long time, you’ll notice that they have excessive vibrations.
When you start experiencing abnormal vibrations from your steering wheel, car seats, or floors, it could signify that your car needs to be balanced (these vibrations tend to become severe when driving at higher speeds).
On most occasions, vibrations start on the steering wheel and progress to other parts of the car as the condition worsens.
If the vibrations are more prominent on the steering wheel, your front tires need wheel balancing, while if the vibrations are on the seats, the rear tires need balancing.
Vibrations also occur due to wheel assembly issues and damaged tires; therefore, you should have a tire expert confirm the actual cause to be safe.
4. Abnormal Tire Noise
Tire noise is a huge problem for some drivers, and it arises due to different factors. However, companies have developed advanced tire noise-canceling technologies, therefore, most tires aren’t noisy unless they have a problem.
Nevertheless, his type of noise can be irritating and distracting, especially if you’re driving on a well-paved road with no potholes.
Overall, when you start hearing a buzzing or humming sound accompanied by vibrations, this is a symptom that you need to take your tires for balancing (you’ll also notice that the noise becomes more prominent as you accelerate).
5. Rough Steering
When you need wheel balancing, you’ll have a tough time steering your car safely since your tires aren’t driving smoothly.
Your steering wheel becomes difficult to handle and has reduced response time since the wheels and tires aren’t performing optimally. Additionally, you won’t be able to make smooth turns.
Once this happens, you’ll need to have the wheel balanced to avoid getting into road accidents.
6. Worn Out Suspension
When your tires wear out, you’ll put pressure on the suspension and steering components, which becomes quite dangerous if not fixed immediately.
Once your suspension system gets affected, your vehicle will start vibrating too much. Keep in mind that if you leave the wheels unbalanced for longer, the more your tires wear out, and the worse your suspension becomes.
Therefore, to avoid incurring more costs by fixing other parts of the car, have the wheels balanced as soon as possible.
7. Bearing and Shocks Issues
When your wheels need to be balanced, you’ll notice some issues with your bearings and shocks. Unbalanced wheels can cause stress to the vehicle, forcing the car to work under extreme conditions.
Once this happens, you’ll need to have your tire expert examine your tires as soon as possible; otherwise, your car’s performance and mileage will be affected.
When the wheels aren’t balanced, shocks, bearings, and springs, which are part of the wheel assembly, will go through more wear and tear than usual. Therefore, if you don’t fix the issue early, you’ll end up paying more to replace parts.
8. Pressure Imbalances
If you notice that your tires are losing tread unevenly, you may need proper wheel balancing.
According to some manufacturers, you should balance tires every 5,000 to 6,000 miles, but it’s advisable to do so after tire replacement or when you attend your car service.
However, if you buy new tires, check the pressure and balance the wheels to avoid further problems when driving.
To avoid these problems, ensure that you regularly check your tire pressure and watch out for any potential issues to avoid incurring replacement costs.
Wheel balancing is a critical part of tire maintenance for your safety and that of other motorists. Overall, you need to drive with wheels that have been properly balanced to avoid tire problems on the road.
Some signs and symptoms that your wheels need balancing include tire noise, abnormal vibrations, excessive tire wear, suspension damage, poor gas mileage, and bad shocks and bearings.