Everyone knows that driving on bald tires isn’t safe. But there’s another issue involving tires that can have an impact on your vehicle’s performance and your safety – unbalanced tires.
For tires to operate properly, their weight must be evenly distributed around the wheel. Otherwise they end up bouncing down the road rather than rolling smoothly. This unwanted bouncing can lead to a number of problems that compromise the tire’s structural integrity and your safety.
- Excessive vibration. When all four tires are balanced, the drive will be smooth and the steering easy. When one or more tires gets out of balance, it can cause a vibration throughout the vehicle, even when driving on well-paved roads. This vibration can make it harder to steer and control the car, and makes for an uncomfortable driving experience.
- Uneven tread wear. On balanced tires, the tread tends to wear down evenly so that all four tires are in the same condition. Out of balance tires can cause certain areas of the tire to wear down more quickly than they should. The vibration from the lack of balance combined with uneven tread wear reduces safety by making it more difficult to steer properly. It can also increase the risk of sudden blowouts due to excessive tread wear.
- Long-term damage. Driving with out of balance tires puts undue stress on your shocks, bearings, and the entire wheel assembly, causing them to wear out sooner than expected or even fail while driving.
- Reduced fuel economy. Although not a safety issue, unbalanced tires can cause your engine to use more gas, especially at higher speeds. Under-inflated tires can also reduce fuel efficiency, so if your tires are properly inflated but your gas mileage still goes down, you probably have one or more tires out of balance.
Watch Out for These Signs of Unbalanced Tires
If you experience any of the following signs, have your tires checked for balancing:
- Constant vibration in the chassis of the car
- Road noises are louder than they used to be
- You hit a curb or some other hard object with one or more of your tires
Even if you don’t experience any symptoms, it’s a good idea to see if your tires need rebalancing when you rotate them. Keeping all four tires properly balanced will help you stay safe on the road and prevent unnecessary damage to other parts of your car.
If you need auto body repair work, bring your car into the nearest Fix Auto USA location. We’ll be happy to answer these and any other questions you may have about the repair process.