Is wheel balancing necessary?

Author Name – Wendy Riach

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Wheel balancing is a necessary part of tyre maintenance to ensure your safety, a smoother ride and longer tyre life.

wheel balancing

Wheels should be automatically balanced when new tyres are fitted or if your tyre is removed for repair. In order to balance your wheels, small weights will be added to the rims to evenly distribute the weight of the tyre and wheel to ensure they spin round smoothly at speed. This is done on a wheel balancer, which helps to determine the position of the weights.

What does wheel balancing do?

Wheel balancing ensures safety on the road and will provide a smoother ride. Correctly balanced wheels will also help your tyres to last longer and reduce your fuel costs.

A wheel imbalance can also cause premature wear of steering and suspension parts.

Related: Steering + Suspension

What is the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balancing?

Wheel alignment and wheel balancing are two different things. Wheel alignment refers to the angle and direction of the wheels and wheel balancing ensures the wheels are equally balanced and spin evenly. 

Related: Wheel Alignment

How do I know if my wheels need balancing?

Tell tale signs that wheels need balancing:

  • A vibrating steering wheel, usually starting at speeds of 50-55 mph and will get worse at higher speeds.
  • Uneven or rapid tyre wear
  • If your tyre appears higher on one side
  • Problems with your shock absorbers and wheel bearings
  • Increased fuel consumption

If you notice any of the issues above, it is advisable to get your wheel balancing and your steering and suspension checked asap.

How much does it cost for wheel balancing?

You can have your wheels balanced at any of our National Tyres and Autocare branches from as little as £6.50 per wheel.

Do all 4 wheels need to be balanced?

Yes, all 4 wheels will need to be balanced, otherwise, you will compromise your safety, experience an uncomfortable ride and your tyres will wear unevenly and will need to be replaced prematurely.

How often should I have my wheels balanced?

Wheel balancing should be done when you replace your tyres or have a repair done. They should also be checked and rebalanced if you experience a vibration on your steering wheel, notice uneven tyre wear and suspect a problem with your steering and suspension.

Occasionally wheels may lose weight due to poor road conditions, including potholes or if you clip a kerb. If this happens you should get your tyres checked and your wheels rebalanced asap.

We would also recommend getting your wheel balance checked every 5,000 to 6,000 miles.

Does wheel balancing affect alignment?

Not necessarily, but both wheel balancing and wheel alignment affect road safety and ride comfort.

Wheels can lose balance naturally over time, especially when your tyres start to wear and will need to be checked more regular than wheel alignment.

Related: Tyre Maintenance

If you are concerned about the performance of your vehicle, whether that is an uncomfortable ride, a vibration on your steering wheel or the appearance of your tyres, it is best to get it checked by a professional. All our branches offer FREE Safety Checks and this can be booked online at

Related: Free Safety Checks

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