Much like a pair of shoes, the tires on your vehicle wear down over time due to friction between your tires and the road. Tires are one of the most expensive maintenance tasks drivers will have to get done over the life of their vehicle, so it pays to do everything you can to prolong their life. When it comes to helping ensure your tires last as long as possible, you can’t beat rotating and balancing them. Inexpensive and simple, a tire rotation and balance is something you can have done at your local shop in just an hour if you call ahead to make an appointment. Here are five tips to help you determine when and why to rotate and balance your tires.
- Two different procedures, done at the same time.
Rotate and balance is a phrase that describes two different procedures that increase the lifespan and efficiency of your tires. Unbalanced tires wear unevenly, and if they aren’t rotated, your front tires will wear more quickly due to increased friction with the road when turning. When your tires are rotated, the wheels are removed and replaced from front to back, right to left. When they are balanced, a mechanic uses a special machine to check to see if the weight of the tire and wheel is balanced. If it is not, he will attach small lead weights to the rim of the wheel to ensure that they are balanced.
- Pay attention to the tire and vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
Most manufacturers recommend that all four tires should be rotated and balanced approximately every seven thousand miles. This can differ depending on your vehicle’s size, as well as the tire size and type. An easy way to keep up with this recommendation is to have your tires rotated and balanced about every other time you have your oil changed.
- Regular rotations and balancing helps increase road safety.
One of the most important reasons to rotate your tires is safety. Typically, tread wears away quicker on the front tires than on the back tires. The less tread you have on the front tires, the easier it is to lose control of your vehicle. Rotating the back tires to the front and vice versa keeps more tread on the front for a longer period of time.
- It’s an efficient way to make tires last.
The fourth reason this maintenance practice is so important is that it is efficient. If you did not rotate and balance your tires, you would have to replace your front tires much more often than your rear tires. Regularly rotating them allows all four tires to become worn at the same rate. This allows you to purchase a complete set of four tires instead of two pairs, thus saving you a trip to the garage.
- It’s an inexpensive maintenance task.
While it is possible to rotate your own tires, the vast majority of drivers take their vehicles to a mechanic or tire shop to have this maintenance task completed. A rotate and balance costs under $100, and some shops will offer it for free if you purchased your tires there.
We hope these tips have helped you learn when and why you should rotate and balance your tires. If you ever have any questions about these tasks, or need to have your tires rotated and balanced, give us a call anytime to discuss the process and set up an appointment.
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.