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.

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.


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.

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.

If you need those loose teeth to fall out and would prefer premature, uneven tire wear, the I’d skip the balancing. If you want to keep the teeth in place and maximize the mileage from the tires, then I’d go ahead with the balancing.

I have installed hundreds of tires, and I think I have put one on the balancer that didn’t need any weight added to it. Running your tires without balancing them will result in vibration and uneven tire wear, which will cause high levels of road noise. An added benefit of having them balanced is that this is a wonderful way of identifying a defective tire before you have the opportunity to drive on it. Balancing your tires is a necessary procedure if you want your vehicle to be pleasant to drive and want your new tires to last more than 15k miles. Definitely not overcharging or a waste of money.

I don’t get it. Every tire dealer I’ve ever used includes free mounting and balancing with each new tire purchase. The advertised price assumes these services are part of the deal. Dealers who would make them optional at extra charges would not be able to compete.

Ellenparsley99, are you doing business with someone who asks for additional balancing charges at the time of purchase?

The shop I buy my tires from (local, independent, not a chain) leaves the “extras” separated out - mount, balance, valve stems. Its not all that uncommon. The totals end up being the same anyway so the only difference is whether or not you’re told that there are charges built in for these things.

It depends. Are you asking about car or truck tires? Yes, car and truck tires should always be balanced. However, when I buy tires for my trailer, the shop says it isn’t normal to balance new tires on a trailer. If you are asking about motorcycle tires, they are generally balanced, but not the high speed balance they do for car tires.