As cars have changed over time, so have their tires. There are currently several vehicle models that will require their tires to be balanced accordingly. If you fail to do this simple task, it will usually result in a very unpleasant vibration-like feeling when you’re driving around.
Most mechanics use a balancing tool called Road Force Touch to fix this vibration issue at hand. This is an advanced balancing tool that features a roller on which the tire will spin and any type of variation in the tire’s sidewall will be recorded. This is done because it is very common for stiff spots to happen.
These stiff spots will cause the car to shake while you’re driving it, even when you balance tires for the car’s weight.
Nowadays, as the distance from the rim of the tire to the top of the treat is smaller and sidewalls are created a lot stiffer, tires have a much lower profile, which means that any minor problem will be amplified and then passed to the car, according to websites like MotorWeek.
How Much Does a Road Force Balance Cost?
The average cost of a road force balance is anywhere between $60 to $150 for the whole car, with a price per tire at around $15 to $40 when going to a franchise-based mechanic, like the Discount Tire. Of course, this cost will usually depend on important factors like where you’re getting the job done, your geographical location, and available discounts. This price is usually an addition to the cost of the tire balancing job.
Based on the available offers we found online and several reviews from Yelp and similar websites, independent tire shops usually charge about 20% to 30% less than local dealers, with prices around $120 for the job done on all four tires.
A discussion on CorvetteForum revealed that a member was charged at his local dealership $100 for all four wheels, while someone else was charged $115 for all four.
A member of Bobistheoilguy, on the other hand, stated that they were charged about $120 for all four tires, while others said they were charged between $18 and $25 per tire.
What is a tire road force balance job?
Along with performing a traditional spin balance, the road force balancer will also use a large roller by pressing it against the thread as the tire is spinning, to measure the wheel and tire. This process will simulate the weight of the car while it is traveling on the road by applying around 1,400 pounds of pressure on the tire that is spinning.
The tool’s tech made of a computer and several sensors that are strategically placed, will determine any variations of the tire as it is spinning. They will also check whether anything is obstructing the construction of the tire and any radial runout that could affect the tire tread and wheel and cause them not to work appropriately when in use.
After the test is done, the computer will give the mechanic valuable information on where they will have to shift the tire around the wheel to place it at the most effective point of the tire. This is done to match the lowest point of the wheel. There are also cases in which the machine can run all combinations between tires and wheels to find the perfect wheel-to-tire combination.
How can I save money on tire balance?
It’s always best to compare the rates of three to five companies before you choose one to take your car to. This is fairly simple as most companies list their prices online.
Road force balance should usually be done in combination with a wheel balance job to get a better rate and to make sure that the tire is perfectly balanced. This isn’t a job that you should try as a DIY project, as it can only be done with specialized tools and the needed knowledge.
Trying to balance the wheels yourself might cause more harm and you might risk damaging the tires or putting your life in danger on the road.
By going for the road force balance, you will prolong the life of the tires, and considering that this is usually a rather cheap job, you will save money in the long run as you will have to buy new tires less frequently.
Some shops will charge you to dismount the tires, so make sure you know for sure what you are charged for so that you don’t have to pay more in the end.
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