New tires,balancing and alignment



When buying new tires for my car, do I have to have them balanced and aligned?


Yes you should balance the tires, and alignment would not hurt if it has never been done.


You HAVE to have them balanced. Only place I know of that doesn’t include that in their price is Sears.

As for alignment. Not necessary…but not a bad idea anyways. Especially if you see uneven wear on your old tires.


Balance is required with new tires.

An alignment is a good idea. Good shops discount the alignment with purchase of 4 tires or will only charge half of cost if it checks out ok.


Tires do need to be balanced. I usually get new valve stems (~$3 apiece) when I get new tires also. BJS used to charge $10 a tire for mounting, balancing, and road hazard. I’m not sure if the $10 included valve stems or not. Today, BJs price per tire includes the above. On the other hand, Pep Boys may have low tire prices, but their installation packages can get very expensive negating any savings on the tire. Any of these places (BJs, Sears, Pep Boys, Goodyear, etc) should be able to give you an itemized estimate of the total cost before you make a final decision.

I may buy my next set of tires from Tire Rack and have my local mechanic install them. The website is a good place to learn about different types of tires and which tires suit your driving style.

As for an alignment, it wouldn’t hurt. Some places give a discount if you are buying tires at the same time.

Ed B.


do I have to have them balanced and aligned

Well having them balanced is a very good idea and it is cheap. Many places just include it in the price. Failure to do so can cost you a set of tyres in a short time.

Alignment depends. If you are experiencing any issues that may be related to alignment or if the old tyres showed any indication of an alignment problem, you really need to do it or again risk damage to the new tyres.


It would be unthinkable to buy new tires and not have them balanced.

Alignment, on the other hand, is usually quite unnecessary. You can pass it up unless you are having a steering problem. But, as others have said, it can’t hurt.


Balancing is a must, and an alignment on a regular basis (every 40k or so) is a good idea.
A good alignment tech will check ball joints, tie rods, etc. and advise you of any problems in these areas.

They’re not only safety factors, but it’s a good way to head off worn suspension parts, (or suspension parts that are damaged due to potholes, curb strikes, and railroad tracks) from eating up that new set of tires.


Balancing, not really necessary, but if you have ever driven a car with an unbalanced tire, I think you will have it done, probably opt for the lifetime balance as tires do become unbalanced from time to time.

Wheel alignment is only necessary if you first set of tires wore funny or wore out too quickly. If you had the original tires rotated frequently, you could have an alignment problem and not known it because frequent rotations not only wear tires faster, they mask alignment problems.


I don’t know about new valve stems, I always have the shop re-use the ones from my old tires. They charge more for the labor than for new valve stems but at least the old valve stems stay out of the landfill.


Balancing is extremely important, not only when you’re installing new tires but even after they’ve been repaired. I’ve been working with tires for quite a few years and have noticed that many people really understimate its importance.
See: for a fairly comprehensive discussion of this topic.

Alignment is also important to long term tire life as well as handling characteristics. A careful inspection of you old tires will often give you a good indication as to whether or not it is essential but if you want to get maximum mileage from your new tires, it is good to have them aligned when they are freshly installed. A defect in alignment can completely ruin a new tire in as little as 500 miles.


Balancing, not really necessary,

NOT NECESSARY??? Besides having a lousy ride…it will result in premature tread wear. It could mean a tire lasting 40k miles or 10k miles.


do what everyone is saying about getting them balanced. It would be wise to have an alignment aswell with the new tires to keep the warranty, most places I’ve seen will not honor the 60, 70, or 80,000 mile warranty of the tires since you had a “bad” alignment.


It would be wise to have an alignment aswell with the new tires to keep the warranty, most places I’ve seen will not honor the 60, 70, or 80,000 mile warranty of the tires since you had a “bad” alignment.

Been buying tires for 35+ years and NEVER heard of that. What store has that requirement.


Have you ever brought in tires that were worn erratically and tried to get the treadlife warranty to kick in? Some tire makers are more strict than others on this.

Those warranties are a joke anyway and just a marketing scam since its prorated based on wear and excludes demount/mounting costs.


I had some cars of 1987 vintage. I used to get the cheapest tires and not have them balanced. If they needed balance I would have them done for free at a friend’s used tire shop. I got lucky with the four sets of tires I bought and never got them balanced. If you have a car that you respect, you usually get the tires balanced. Cheap tires don’t last long. When the ad says low prices and brands may vary, be wary. I was always thinking about trading cars and couldn’t stand fifty bucks going down the drain.


Sears used to pull that crap on customers. Pulled it on my wife when I was out to sea once, the OEM tires went 80k, after they “aligned” it, the replacement tires only lasted 20k. That was a long time ago though.


I don’t disagree with you. Balancing is extremely important, but that doesn’t make it necessary. It is necessary to mount the tires on the wheels and mount the wheels on the vehicle, but it is not necessary to balance the tires.


Again, I don’t disagree with you, but that still doesn’t make it necessary.


By that logic…Changing your oil isn’t necessary either…but if you want the engine to last more then 2 years it is. Balancing new tires isn’t necessary, but if you want a smooth ride and the tires to last more then 10k miles it is.