The cost to mount and balance tires can vary depending on a few factors, including the tire size and type you are having installed, the type of vehicle you drive, and where you go to have the work done. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $30 per tire for mounting tires and balancing them.
However, some tire shops or dealerships may charge more, especially for larger or specialty tires. For instance, mounting larger tires like those found in 4WD trucks and SUVs may cost more considering the greater effort mounting and balancing tires entail.
Sure mounting and balancing tires can be performed DIY, but shops often have access to the proper tools to do it properly. Besides, working on larger tires for trucks and SUVs is often tough work for the average DIYer. So, don’t be cheap thinking you can save money going the DIY route.
It’s always a good idea to shop around and get quotes from a few different places to find the best price.
Why Do You Need New Tires?
There comes a time in every truck or SUV owner’s life when you need to get new tires.
For starters, your tires may be due for replacement. Tires have a life span and it’s best to replace them if they’re already worn or damaged. To ensure their integrity, it’s also advisable to get new ones if your own tires are already five years past their manufacturing date. Keep in mind that your vehicle’s four tires are your only connection on the road. So, you wouldn’t want to be gambling on running with threadbare or damaged tires.
Or, you may be considering an upgrade and swap your boring stock tires with aftermarket ones. For instance, if you want to take your vehicle off-road, you will need specially-designed tires that can take the punishment of rougher terrains. You will have to swap out your factory tires for all-terrain ones.
Regardless of the reason, changing your tires will involve tire mounting and tire balancing. Tire mounting involves removing your old tires from the wheels or rims and placing them on new ones. Tire balancing involves ensuring that the wheels, along with the tires, are weighted properly so they spin smoothly.
How Do You Mount Tires?
Mounting a tire involves fitting the tire onto the wheel of a vehicle and preparing it for use. Here is the basic process for mounting a tire though we advise just having a tire shop do it. Note that most tire shops would have special equipment to do it. They often have a machine called a tire changer which often has tire mounting and balancing capabilities.
- Remove the wheel from the vehicle. This is typically done using a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts that hold the wheel in place.
- Inspect the tire and wheel. Look for any damage or imperfections that may affect the wheel’s ability to seat the new tire.
- Remove the old tire from the wheel. Partially deflate the tire by removing the valve core from the valve stem using a special removal tool. A tire changer has a special shovel that loosen the tire bead from the rim. It also has a special tool that spins the tire, allowing you to use a pry bar to ease the tire off the rim.
- Place the new tire onto the wheel. Position the tire onto the wheel with the tread facing outward. Using the tire changer and pry bar (though some tire changing machines have special tools that eliminate the use of a pry bar), ease the tire bead into the rim. Replace the valve stem and core. Inflate the tire to ensure that the bead is seated properly against the rim.
- Balance the tire. Now that you have the tires mounted, you also need to have your tires balanced.
How Do You Balance Tires?
To balance a tire, it is mounted onto a balancing machine, which uses weights to ensure that the tire and wheel assembly is evenly balanced. This helps to prevent vibration and uneven wear on the tire.
When a tire is out of balance, it can cause vibration and uneven wear on the tire, as well as decreased handling and braking performance. You may even feel your steering wheel shudder
Here is the general process for balancing a tire:
- Mount the tire and wheel assembly onto a tire balancing machine. The tire and wheel are placed onto the machine, which uses sensors to detect the weight distribution around the tire and wheel.
- Determine the proper balance: The machine will indicate where and how much weight is needed to balance the tire and wheel.
- Add balancing or wheel weights. Small metal weights, typically made of lead or zinc, are attached to the rim of the wheel in the locations indicated by the tire balancing machine. The weights are added in such a way as to balance out the weight distribution of the tire and wheel assembly.
- Test the balance. The tire and wheel assembly is remounted onto the machine to ensure that it is properly balanced.
- Install the balanced tire and wheel onto the vehicle. The balanced tire and wheel assembly is installed onto the vehicle in the same way that it was removed, by aligning it with the lug bolts and securing it with the lug nuts.
Balancing a tire is an important part to ensure a smooth ride. Balanced tires also help lessen the load on your truck or SUV’s suspension system, improving its overall reliability and even fuel economy. Tire balancing is typically done at the same time as mounting a tire, but can also be done as a separate service.
What Other Things Do You Have to Consider?
Here are some other things you may consider when getting new tires for your vehicle:
Get tires that fit your purpose. If you’re considering an upgrade, make sure that the new tires you mount still follow your vehicle’s specifications. Otherwise, you may need a different set of rims or even modify your suspensions and your wheel wells to fit larger tires.
Don’t skimp out. You may suddenly come across cheap tires, especially online. They may be from shady manufacturers. It’s best to get from mainstream manufacturers since they often have warranties. Some even offer road hazard warranty that cover accidental punctures and flat repairs. Also, beware of opting for a discount tire. It might be from an old stock that’s way past its manufacturing date.
Go to an expert. Have your tires mounted and balanced by professionals. Having the proper know-how and tools would minimize the likelihood of wrong mounting, which can make your vehicle unsafe.
Follow proper tire maintenance. Take care of your tires. Ensure proper inflation so they perform optimally. Balanced and properly inflated tires also wear evenly, allowing you to maximize your tires’ lifespan.
Enjoy Your New Tires
Once you have your new tires mounted, you’ll have renewed confidence in the performance of your vehicle. So go out there and drive!