​Professional Auto Care

Wheel Balancing/Tire Rotation- Houston's Premier Auto Repair Facility

Example of a tire rotation diagram.

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Rotating tires allows tires to wear evenly. When done properly all the tires will be worn out at the same time. From our experience with the combination of vehicle manufacturers and tire manufacturers, it is advisable to rotate tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Easiest way to remember is to pair with an oil change. 

Some high end vehicles have different tire sizes in the front than in the back. Rotating these tires incorrectly can cause serious damage in some cases.

You can see the fender damage on this Mercedes after having tires rotated at a local tire shop.

Did you know a directional tread pattern is designed to roll only in one direction. That's why you'll see arrows on the sidewalls pointing in the direction that tire needs to be mounted. They can only be rotated front to back.

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Three main things occur during a tire rotation:

1. Check and correct tire pressure

2. Rotation of tire - either forward/backwards or criss-cross; depending on the tire make, vehicle make and technician recommendation after examining the vehicle tires

3. A brief visual inspection of brakes, steering and suspension components.

Tire Balancing Explained.

When tires are first installed and subsequently when a change in the weight of the tire occurs - such as the wearing of some of the tread - the wheel should be balanced. There are usually small weight variations in one part of the tire relative to the other parts. 

At certain speeds, this imbalance causes the tire to vibrate up and down, shaking the vehicle and often causing a vibration in the steering wheel. The contact patch - or the part of the tire that is in contact with the road - also varies in size when the wheel is shaking, potentially reducing the vehicle's grip on the road. 

A basic wheel balance mounts the wheel on the machine and spins the wheel to detect weight variations. The computer inside the balance machine calculates how much weight should be added to each side, and exactly where on the tire the weight should be. After installing the weights, the tire is rechecked to ensure that it is now perfectly balanced. The balanced tire will now spin smoothly and maintain a consistent size of contact patch on the road. 

Tire balancing should be checked every other oil change due to changes in tire wear and road hazards which affect weight variations of the tire.  Tires are placed on a machine and measured. Service Smart℠ clients have their tire balancing checked for free.

Tire rotation should be performed every oil change to ensure proper tire wear and prolonged tire life. Tires are typically moved in pairs from front to back or criss-cross. Service Smart℠ clients receive free tire rotations. 

Alignments should be checked once annually. Service Smart℠ clients receive one free alignment check per year. 

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