Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

do new tires need to be balanced or is that just overcharging?

repair and maintenance


  • Absolutely. The wheel and the tire need to be balanced together, to avoid vibration, etc. Money well spent.
  • Yes, when you buy new tires you alway want to have them balanced. Unless something happens, I don't do it again until the next set of tires.
  • edited August 2011
    Just as oil needs to be changed periodically in order to prevent engine damage, and just as the car's exterior needs to be washed and waxed periodically in order to preserve the quality of the finish, tires need to be balanced--at least at the time of purchase.

    In a perfect world, perhaps tires and wheels would be made with such precision that they did not need balancing, but in our imperfect world, tires do need to be balanced--if you want to have a smooth ride and smooth handling, if you want the tire tread to last as long as possible, and if you want to prevent some types of suspension/steering damage.

    And, in case nobody mentioned it to you, the inflation pressure of those tires should be checked at least once a month, and the tires should be rotated every 5k to 10k miles (consult your maintenance schedule for details). Failure to take care of inflation and rotation will drastically shorten the tread life of the tires, and can also result in poor handling and reduced fuel economy.

    All of this is just one small part of the maintenance of your car.
  • Absolutely
  • Yes you do, just like mounting. Goodyear usually provides lifetime balancing for every 10-15K which is a good opportunity to have them rotated at the same time for no additional charge.
  • New tires need to be balanced when installed, and they may need to be rebalanced periodically during their life.

    Balancing is important, and it's not overcharging.

  • And your bill also includes a charge for new valve stems. Why, you ask, can't they just use the old ones? Well, we've been through this before. Just accept the fact that the tire dealers insist on installing new valve stems, and that doing so sometimes renders unnecessary a return trip by a dissatisfied customer.
  • edited August 2011
    Usually you want them balanced. If you aren't somebody who wants to act normally, don't have them balanced. If you could still get new tires for $30 each, you could just say no. I had a Ford Tempo which I didn't respect and an 87 pickup truck and never balanced the 14 months worth of tires I bought. OK the truck tires lasted three years. I had no problems "that I knew of". I mean the vehicles had no problems.

    Now that I'm spending a lot more for tires, I have them balanced every time and buy the lifetime rotation/balance plan. I sleep a little better now.
  • Yes they need it. Some places will include it in the price, others will bill it separate.
  • Stems, balance, wheel alignment, always.
    I can't afford the cheap way.
    I don't have time to take the shortcut.
This discussion has been closed.