What Does an Unbalanced Tire Feel Like?

Tires are one of the most important components of your vehicle. They help ensure that you have a smooth and safe ride while also enhancing your fuel economy. If your tires aren’t in good condition, you could experience a variety of problems as you drive around town or on the highway.

The most common question that we get here at Biggers Chevrolet is what does an unbalanced tire feel like? We understand that it can be difficult to diagnose this issue on your own. However, we have compiled a list of some common signs that indicate an imbalance in your tires and some tips to help you identify it before it gets worse.

Vibration – This is probably the first sign that you’ll notice when your tires are out of balance. The severity of the vibration will depend on the particular tire that’s unbalanced, the current driving/road conditions, and your speed.

Strange Noises – This is another very common symptom of tire imbalance. When the tires are out of balance, they can make strange humming, buzzing, and similar noises that become louder as you drive faster.

Decreased Fuel Economy – Sudden drops in your fuel economy can be an indicator of unbalanced tires as well because your vehicle has to work harder to make up for the extra stress caused by the imbalance.

Steering Vibration – This is the most obvious symptom of tire imbalance and it can be felt at every speed, but it is especially noticeable when you’re going faster than 60 miles per hour.

Excessive Wear and Tear – When your tires are unbalanced, they’re going to experience uneven wear which shortens their lifespan. It also puts more stress on certain parts of the tire that aren’t designed to handle this kind of strain.

It’s a good idea to have your tires rebalanced by a professional at least once every six months in order to enhance their performance and ensure that they don’t wear unevenly.

Getting your tires balanced is a simple process and should only take no more than 30 minutes for a professional to complete.

A mechanic or a tire specialist will put your wheel-tire units on a balancing machine. The machine will then spin the wheels to detect stiffer spots and measure vibrations. This information will show the spot that needs to be weighted up.

The specialist will then apply steel, aluminum, zinc, or lead elements opposite the stiff spot. Once they’re done, the wheel-tire units will be rebalanced and ready to go.

Imbalance can occur for a number of reasons, including everyday wear and tear on the tires or when they’re hit with road debris. A wheel-tire unit can also become out of balance if the wheel weights fall off or shift.

When your tires aren’t balanced, they can cause a number of problems for you, your passengers and the other drivers on the road. Some of these problems include: