You’re at the service department and you’re told your Acura needs tire balancing. Of course, you know your ILX (or maybe MDX, RDX, or TLX) isn’t new anymore, but really? What’s wrong with your tires? Is there a reason your tires need to be balanced? How can you tell when tire balancing is necessary?
What is Tire Balancing?It helps to know what your service advisor means when they recommend your tires need to be balanced. In a nutshell, a technician spins your wheel and tire on a machine to make sure there’s an equal amount of weight all the way around the wheel. When a wheel is out of balance, small weights need to be added.
Why Balance Tires?Have you ever driven a vehicle that had a shaky steering wheel on the highway? Or have you ever needed to replace tires well before you expected they would need to be changed? Tire balancing is important for two very different reasons. First, it ensures your car is as easy to handle as possible, preventing an accident because you couldn’t control the car. Secondly, it prevents costly tire replacement due to premature tire wear.
How to Tell if Your Tires are Out of BalanceSome symptoms are subtle while others are incredibly obvious. Here are the main ways you’ll tell that your Acura – or any other make – needs tire balancing.
- The steering wheel shakes between 55 and 65mph. If you feel a shimmy in the steering around these speeds, there’s a good chance your front tires are out of balance.
- You can feel a constant shake through your seat between 55 and 65mph. When it’s present, one or both of your rear tires are probably out of balance.
- A vehicle inspection reveals premature suspension wear. All of that vibration causes extra strain on your suspension and steering components.
- There are signs of unusual tire wear. It can be flat spots on the tread, feathering, or excessive treadwear.