To Balance or not to balance


I was told by a (used) tire shop that it is not necessary to balance all 4 tires, only the front 2 are necessary. How true is this? Thanks



Ridiculous. Find another shop.


I have no idea why they think the rear tires won’t go out of balance. ???

Usually front wheel imbalance is more apparent since it is often noticeable in the steering column/wheel.
Rear wheel imbalance is often felt in the floor and/or seats and may not appear as bad due to the cushioning effect of the chassis and seats even though they may be as far out as the fronts.


Balance all four always.


It is sorta true. Even a small imbalance up front will give you front end shake, but that same small imbalance in the rear will be hardly noticeable.

The catch is that you don’t know if new rear tires have a small or large imbalance. Why drive off only to find you have to return to the shop? Take care of all four at the same time. Ignore that foolish advice from the tire guy.


As the others have said. Do all four. Balancing is relatively cheap and will save you money and reward you with some additionally smooth ride.

Avoid that shop in the future and advice your friends likewise.


only if your getting new tires and the back ones are balanced, should you not balance all four


Of course, I agree with everyone that all four should be balanced. However, we a talking about a used tire shop that is probably trying to save his customers a few dollars by telling them that they can get away without balancing the rears.


With the rear tires out of balance you may not notice it…however the tires won’t wear evenly. Also what about when you rotate the tires? Or do you NEVER rotate the tires???


This is really a no-brainer. All 4 wheels are subject to potentially go out of balance, the rear wheels won’t bother you so much, but unbalance will eventually destroy the tire. Get all of them balanced and rotated regularly to get the maximum mileage out of them.


If you’re going to do drifting then the logic is applied to, that’s the only case I can think of.


This is not as crazy as most people think. If you bought Michelin tires, they are pretty good as is, require only small weights for me.

You could try the tires as is and get them balanced if needed but that’s more work to remove, balance and reinstall the wheels.

When it comes time to rotate tires, the rears go to the front and then you may have to balance them so get it done when new as was repeatedly said.


I may have seen a minivan on the highway recently that was serviced by the guy that made this statement. The van was cruising down the road with one rear wheel hopping and skipping wildly, probably stressing the heck out of the tire, certainly cupping the tread, and definitely not assisting in holding the rear of the van in place. I’ll bet the driver wonders why every time he gets to his destination his pocket change is all over the floor.

Avoid that shop.


by any chance is your name tj?


LOL, I seem to see that mini-van often. I don’t no how many times I’ve seen one of those silly things with a rear tire bouncing down the road and a oblivious driver. Very scary.


It isn’t necessary to do anything if you don’t care to. I was lucky with four sets of tires that I didn’t have balanced. At the time, I didn’t care to have it done. I don’t have those 1987s anymore and I have enough money for balancing now, so I don’t care to try that again. If I had 12 year old cars I would try it. I had a tire on the rear (sound familiar?) of an 85 escort that seemed alright without balancing. A year later I had it bubble balanced and it took an amazingly large collection of weights. You could draw a lot of conclusions from that and they will differ wildly. Bouncing tires don’t get the most traction. Don’t tell all your friends if you aren’t currently balancing your tires. It is bad enough going around making tire people mad at you. Tell them (the tire people) that you get em balanced for free by a friend. My thoughts were related to "Why balance a 23 dollar tire?) Wrong in so many ways.


This thread is interesting to me since i just had my tires balanced/rotated. When installed 7k miles ago they had a wheel weight on 3 and missing from 1. Now I only have one weight and three I can see where the weights were.

I must note some cars are much more noticable in bad balance while others you can’t feel it. My Subaru WRX is very noticable as was my Jetta GLI 16V(sports version).


I’m sure I’ll take some verbal abuse for this but I just have to say that I never rotate my tires. 40 years of driving and I think I did it once on my first car and then haven’t done it since. I get the normal expected service from the tires easily going 60k+ miles on a set.

I have also never paid for an alignment. In fact, the only alignments I have ever done were on total rebuilds of front ends and then I used a stick with nails in it and a tape measure. When I replace tie rod ends, I just count the number of threads and put the new one in the same spot.

But I would never buy new tires without balancing them. It’s only like $4/wheel to have it done at the same time they’re mounting the new skins.

Flame away.


What I found the smaller vehicle you drive the less likely you need alignment and/or tires rotated.

But on a vehicle like a 4wd SUV…there’s no way you’ll get over 20k miles without rotating them periodically…I know I tried…


My current 2004 Trailblazer has 56k now and never had tires rotated. There’s plenty of tread left too. I must live at the nexus of the universe, eh?