technician measuring tire balance

Tire Rotation & Balance

You spin me right ‘round, baby…

It’s easy to take tires for granted, right? They’re just down there, going ‘round, doing their thing and getting you where you need to go. Truth is, though, you need to show your tires a little love occasionally. And one of the best ways is with a rotation and balance. You know, get them out of their old groove. Make sure they’re all pulling their weight. Don’t worry: we can make it fast, easy and affordable for you to show your tires you care.

What’s the difference between a tire rotation and balance?

A rotation simply switches the positions of the tires on your car to change their pattern of wear. Depending on whether you have front or rear-wheel drive, what your wear patterns are and other factors, our technicians will rotate your tires to the most beneficial positions to extend their life. They may simply switch the tires front-to-back or they may crisscross from the left to the right side of your vehicle.

A tire balance is different than a rotation, but you should have your tires balanced at the same time they are rotated. Balancing means attaching small weights at precise positions on your wheels to ensure their weight is equally distributed.

Why do you need to rotate and balance your tires?

When you drive, your tires wear in the same pattern. If they are left in place, they will wear out more quickly because they are wearing constantly in one area. Rotating your tires changes the wear pattern — or switches the wear to another part of the tire — thus extending the life of your tires.

The distribution of weight on your tires also impacts how they wear. Balancing your tires, or shifting the weight distribution, also changes the wear pattern and helps your tires last longer. Properly balanced tires also ride more smoothly, as unbalanced tires can cause shaking and vibrating when you drive.

How often should you rotate and balance your tires?

Every car — and every driver — are different, but ideally you should get your tires rotated and balanced every 5,000 to 7,000 miles to help your tires last longer, make your drive smoother and keep your car in the best possible condition.

To keep your tire rotation and balance on a consistent schedule, we recommend having it done at every other regularly-scheduled oil change. Recommendations specific to your vehicle's tire rotating and balancing can be found in your car’s owner’s manual.

What are the symptoms that indicate you need a tire rotation and balance?

  • Uneven wear – If your tires are wearing significantly in one area, you likely need them rotated and balanced.

  • Shaking or vibrating when driving – This is a sign your tires are out of balance and need to be checked.

  • When you have tires replaced or work on your car’s suspension – Just to be on the safe side, it’s wise to get your tires rotated and balanced after either of these services.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms — or you just want to get your tires checked — visit any of our Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers locations and our trained technicians will be happy to help.