So, you have finally made the decision to replace the old dry rotted and unsafe tires on your car? You found a good brand of tires at a good price and now you are asking yourself how much will cost to mount and balance tires?
- Why Changing Tires Matter?
- When Should I Replace Them?
- What It Is The Cost?
- Tire Mounting Process
- Tire Balancing Process
- Tire F.A.Q
The cost to mount and balance tires may vary. Depending on the shop where you are getting this service done. Some shops are more expensive and some are less expensive. Many shops do balancing for free if you buy the tires from them.
Balancing your tires will improve the overall stability of your vehicle. When tires are balanced it means that the thread lies evenly on the road and your tires would not be eaten from the inside or the outside. There are some cases with people that run their cars on unbalanced tires, and they change them prematurely.
In addition to this, your car will be safer and the chance of getting into an accident caused by worn out or unbalanced tires will be minimal. Also, the other participants in the traffic will benefit. Because with new tires your car will brake easier in emergencies.
New tires also offer better handling in low grip situations like rain or black ice. In these conditions by running your car with worn tires, you are probably going to cause a major accident. So, change and balance your tires regularly.
In this article we are going to discuss prices, and some tips and tricks when it comes to doing your tires properly, so follow along.
Why Changing Your Tires Matter?
Changing your tires on-time matters because the tires keep you on the road. They are made out of rubber, and this rubber over time starts to degrade and dissolve. You can easily spot worn-out tires.
There is minimum or even no thread left on them. You can also notice cracks are starting to appear and the tire starting to look very sketchy. These tires are not safe anymore and need proper replacement.
If you do not replace them on time some issues may appear. Your brake distance will hugely increase, causing your ABS system to engage all the time. Because your tires don’t grip at all and are starting to slip when you apply the brake.
This may involve you in accidents. I’m saying this to you because I was one of those people that do not changed their tires very often. And I have experienced these things first hand.
When should I replace my tires?
Replacing the tires is a smart thing to do every three to five years. It doesn’t matter if the tire looks good and has low miles on it. That doesn’t mean that the tire kept its driving characteristics.
You can touch them and you will see that they don’t feel very rubbery anymore, and the feel is more like you are touching a hard plastic. And this plastic would not work well in the conditions when you are out in traffic or on the highway.
When you see that you are closing to that 5-year mark. It’s better to save some money and plan on your next tire purchase. Look online for tire reviews and study the market and see which tires are the best performers for your budget. And also look for a shop and their cost to mount and balance tires.
Choosing The Right Shop
Choosing the right shop for this process is a very tricky thing to do. Because there are plenty of shops that are doing sketchy work.
Ask a friend to give you a recommendation if you have one that is into cars. Or look online and find some shop that has a decent number of positive reviews. This is probably a good sign when it comes to this type of work.
After you get there, you can also talk to the people and see how they work. And if you don’t like it, you can just go away and look for a new shop to do your tire job properly.
Cost To Mount And Balance Tires
If you own a regular car, it can cost you anywhere from 50 up to 200 dollars per tire if you purchase it new. And if you own an SUV it can go from 100 to a couple of hundred dollars. SUV tires are bigger and that’s why they are more expensive to buy.
Mounting is going to cost you anywhere from 13$ to 45$ per single tire. Balancing on the other hand starts at a price of 36$ for all four tires. Think of an average price of $20 per tire for mounting and balancing.
Prices may look expensive, but there are many shops that offer discounts on these services if you buy the tires from them.
If you own an exotic, you will probably pay some more money for this job. Because not every shop does these expensive vehicles and you will probably have to go with the most expensive option out there. But that are the downsides of owning exotics.
SUVs are similar, the complete tire change, mounting, and balancing of the tires may set you back a grand or two depending on your model and the tires you are getting.
So before getting a vehicle you need to make these calculations first. To be on the safe side when it comes to regular maintenance and to have a clear understanding of the cost to operate these vehicles. So, if you are low on budget, it is a better idea to get a regular Camry.
The Tire Mounting Process
Mounting tires is a fairly easy process. Nowadays there are machines that are doing this with little human assistance. The worker is placing your tire on the machine and the machine is doing everything by itself.
In the past, things were different and it was an extremely difficult and painstaking process of removing a tire from a steel rim. But now everything has changed. And also, the prices are fairly cheap and affordable for everyone.
One thing that the worker needs to be aware of, is to take care of your rims properly. If you go to some shop where they do not care about customers rims. You are probably going to find them all scratched when you check them at home.
In order to prevent this issue. It is smart to see how they work and even warn them to take care of your wheels when they are doing the process. This will add them some awareness that you are not a sheep and will respect you because of that.
After the mounting process. The first thing to do is inspect the rims carefully and check if there are any scratches. If there are scratches you should notice them and ask the shop to fix that for you. Because you didn’t give them the rims for them to destroy.
Tire Balancing Process
The balancing process is fairly simple and straightforward. The worker at the shop will put your newly mounted tire on a special machine that will spin the tire at high speed.
This machine will look for imperfections in the rim and will find the sweet spot where some counterweight needs to be installed. In order to deliver a proper rotation without any hiccups.
This will guarantee that your tire will work evenly and you will not get uneven wear. Uneven wear may cause you to waste your tires prematurely. If the tires not laying flat on the road will wear on the right or on the left side. This will cause the tires to go bad after a few thousand miles.
If not addressedd this may take you into trouble and possibly some life-threatening situations. Especially if your tire goes pop on the highway while you are going a hundred miles per hour.
In this situation, you may cause a bigger accident and also hurt yourself and also hurt other traffic participants. So, do your balancing properly in order to protect your tires and also keep yourself and the ones around you safe and sound.
Can I do this DIY?
Personally, I always support and encourage doing DIY stuff on your car. But when it comes to tires, I would recommend you to leave this job to professionals. They know what they are doing and they have the proper equipment to do this job properly without mistakes and also without causing damage to your wheels.
But let’s explain why I’m claiming this. If you are doing all the process by yourself with common tools you will likely nick and damage your alloys. Modern rims are made out of aluminum, a metal that is easy to scratch or nick because it is so soft and you need to be very gentle with it.
The second thing is balancing. This requires a special machine that you need to put the tire on. Then the machine will decide on which point of the rim you need to put some counterweight. In order for the wheel to spin perfectly. That process cannot be done without proper equipment.
So, as we said. Leave this job to professionals who know what they are doing, and have the right equipment to perform this task.
FAQ About Tires
Before we dive into explaining what tire balancing is, first let’s discuss some basic frequently asked questions. Questions that beginners are asking themselves before they need to do their first tire change.
What Tire Size Do I Need To Get For My Vehicle?
The tire size you need to get is written on the sidewall on your existing tires that you want to replace. You will find the dimensions written like this, 205/55/16. And now let’s explain what these numbers mean.
- 205 is the width of the tire, the wider the tire the more surface it covers which in other words translates to better contact with the asphalt and better grip in the process. This is measured in metric units, so your tire is 205 millimeters wide.
- 55 is the height of the sidewall of your tire. This is important because if you want a comfortable drive you need to get tires that have a bigger sidewall. 50+ is recommended to have in order to get comfort on the road. Especially if there are a lot of potholes. The higher sidewall will also keep your rims safe from cracking. For example, if you run on a pothole at high speed. A tire with a small sidewall will likely take a bigger hit and break your rim. This may be a pain to fix and if it’s too far gone you will need a new rim. So, if you don’t drive a fast sports car get tires with decent sidewall height.
- The third important aspect is the rim size. They are measured in inches. So, in our example, the rim size is 16 inches. The bigger the rim the bigger the tire you will need to put on. So, keep that in mind. The best option is to drive with the factory spec rims and wheels. Remember that, with this wheel size your car was tested out. And that’s why they picked this specific tire. If you install anything above the recommended size, the car will behave differently and also will burn more fuel than usual. And finally, the engine will take a bigger hit because it will need more energy to move these bigger tires.
What Brand Should I Choose?
When getting a new set of tires try to choose the brand wisely. Not every tire is good for you and your car. Some brands make better quality tires than others. And the performance of each tire brand varies. So, choosing good tires for your budget is a must.
If you do not have a lot of money to spend on tires, the best idea is to go for a tier 2 brand. We call them like this because they are owned by companies who make premium tires and these brands are their cheaper options.
These tires are priced accordingly and their prices are very similar among the competition. So before getting a new pair of tires open up google and search for reviews of the specific tires and also search for the cost to mount and balance tires.
There are many first-hand reviews that will come in handy for you and will help you out when choosing. Go with the tires that have the best reviews. You will probably make the right choice because most of the reviews are sincere and transparent.
I wouldn’t recommend going for tier 3 or 4 tires. They are usually plasticky and offer poor grip. Your ride quality could be terrible and also the stopping distance will put you at risk of an accident.
Can I Replace Only One Tire?
It is not recommended to replace a single tire. This is because the tread pattern is not the same on every tire. You can do this job and fix it for a small period of time. But if you plan on running the tires for a long time. It is recommended to replace them in a pair or all four at once.
Changing only one tire may cause your vehicle to get unstable at high speed because the tread wear is uneven and also the thread pattern is not the same. This may cause vibrations and all sorts of unpleasant things while you are driving. So, don’t do this unless you are in a tight situation where you need your car as soon as possible.
My Tire Is Flat, Do I Need To Buy A New One?
That depends. If you have a gigantic hole in your tire, you will probably need to get a new tire at the tire shop. Sidewall holes are also a challenge to fix. But if you have a pinhole caused by a nail or a screw, it is easily repairable. You just need a repair kit.
These kits are cheap and easy to find at every parts store. Just get a decent brand and you will be good to go. If you want to repair the tire by yourself you first need to find the hole. Then follow the instructions that come with the kit. Spread the hole for the repair process to commence and then apply the patch.
I will also attach a video on the full process of repairing these holes for you to learn.
If you are not mechanically inclined or you are not interested in fixing your flat tires. You can always take your car to a tire repair shop. They will charge you for this and it’s not a very expensive process.
After that, you are ready to go for another 10 thousand miles.
Do I Need To Balance My Tires?
Balancing your tires is a must if you want the thread to be even. If you leave them unbalanced the thread will wear unevenly and cause premature failure of the tire. This may take you to accidents and other very dangerous situations. So, it is smart to balance your tires.
This process is a bit pricey but it is worth it. So, if your tires are not balanced go to your local tire shop and balance your tires before they wear unevenly. If they are not laying flat and if you let them wear unevenly. They will be junk after two thousand miles or so.
In this case, you will pay twice for your actions, and you do not want that to happen.
Is It Fine If I Run Winter Tires In Summer And Opposite?
It’s not ok to run your winter tires in the summer and your summer tires in the winter. Namely, because these types of tires are made for a specific purpose. One is made to be soft and gentle with its big thread intended to tackle the snow and stick on the ice. And the summer tire is made to be harder in order to tackle the high temperatures on the asphalt in the hot summer months with ease.
Driving your winter tires in summer is going to cause a reduction on the thread by a huge margin. And after two years of use, you may throw your tires in the trash can. This is the case because winter tires are extremely soft and will melt on the boiling tarmac. These temperatures will eat the thread quicker than usual and that will result in premature wear.
In the second case. If you drive your summer tires in the winter it may cause some incidents. Namely, your car will eventually get stuck in the snow and you will not be able to drive it out without help.
This can be bad, especially if you are in a terrain that is far away from any roadside assistance available. This may become a huge headache for you. Also, in addition to that, if you run your summer tires in the winter it will cause the car to slide on the ice. Especially if it’s black ice and you cannot spot it. This can be very dangerous for you and your car. In the worst-case scenario, you may hurt yourself and other people around you, because your braking distance will be really long.
So, go with your winter tires in the winter and take your summer tires out in the warm weather.
When Is Recommended To Change Tires?
It is recommended to change after 3-5 years of usage, or 15,000 miles. Depending on the tire and the manufacturer. Some tires last longer, some don’t. So, before you make a purchase of a new set of tires you can do a little research and find one which will last the longest.
They are changed after 3 years of usage because the rubber becomes hard and it loses its ability to do its job properly. So, although your tires may look good and have meat on them. If you press them hard you will feel that they are hard as a rock. It will not stick to the road and lose traction in some situations when you need that extra braking power.
When you are about to reach 5-year-old tires you can go online and find some new tires to buy and find out about the cost to mount and balance tires locally. But before you do that you can read and learn some of our tips that we shared for you here. We went deep into this problematics with the tire mounting and balancing process. We also shared some very useful F.A.Qs about the tires and their characteristics. Now we come to the conclusion and the conclusion is to change your tires frequently and drive safely on the road. Be an example that other people will follow.