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Does Tire Installation Include Alignment And Balancing?

If you are purchasing new tires from a tire dealer or a mechanic, there are specific items that will be included with the purchase of the tires. Should you be curious if this will include alignment and balancing, we can help you. We researched this topic in depth so that you'll know for sure what you are getting.

When you purchase new tires, the shop will balance them when they are installed. Alignment is an extra task that can be performed on the same visit, but it will incur an additional charge.

Now that we know that tire installation will include balancing but not vehicle alignment, we'll take a look at what you can expect when purchasing a new set of tires. You might also be wondering if you will need to replace all four tires at once or how long it will take to mount and balance a tire. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what we've learned from our research.

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Mechanic man working on balancing machine to balance tire - Does Tire Installation Include Alignment And Balancing

What Tire Installation Includes

When you purchase a new set of tires, it will normally come with more than just the tires themselves. Tire dealers tend to be full service these days, offering so much more to the consumer than just the rubber that they bought.

In most cases, you can expect the following when you buy tires:

The New Tires Will Be Professionally Mounted

Though many of us would be capable of mounting our own new tires with a jack, having the pros do it is so much faster. These workers will put your car high up in the air on a lift and have a new set installed on your vehicle before you could even loosen the lug nuts on one tire.

These professionals have the equipment, tools, and know-how to get your tires on quickly and efficiently. The technicians will need to make sure to balance the tires first, however.

Dirt on the wheel. Mechanic holding a tire at the repair garage. Replacement of winter and summer tires.

The Technicians Will Balance Your Tires

The tire manufacturer will have balanced your new tires. But that doesn't mean that they will be perfect. When you buy new tires, the pros at the tire shop will use a wheel balancing machine to ensure that the tires are fully balanced. Only then will they be safe to install on your vehicle.

Tires do go out of balance over time. Rough driving will cause this to happen. As the tire tread wears down over time, the tires can also go out of balance. This might mean that you will need to periodically get them rebalanced. There is a small fee for this.

Technicians Will Perform A Thorough Quality Check

A quality check will be performed after the tires are balanced and installed. The technicians will inspect each tire. They will ensure that they are secure and free of any defects. 

This quality check is important. The tires are the only part of your vehicle that comes into contact with the roadway. The tires need to be fully functional and free of defects before you drive on them.

The Store Will Offer To Dispose Of Your Old Tires

If you are replacing old tires, you will need to dispose of them. You could do this on your own, but we recommend that you consider allowing the tire shop or dealership to handle this. They can do this quickly and easily.

There is usually an extra fee for the disposal of the old tires. But many consumers feel that this fee is well worth it. Otherwise, you'll have to cram the old tires into your clean vehicle. Then you'll have to find a place to legally dispose of them on your own.

Should You Balance All Four Tires?

If you are noticing your vehicle riding rough, it might mean that you have tires out of balance. You should have this routinely checked. But sometimes they will go out of balance in between maintenance appointments.

It's a good idea to have all four of your tires checked for imbalance at the same time. This process doesn't take long. It will take up to 40 minutes to inspect and fully balance a set of four tires.

Rough riding and "pulling" to one side or the other could be a sign of something else, however. If your vehicle is out of alignment, the symptoms can be the same as an imbalanced tire.

Inside a garage - changing wheels-tires on spining wheel

Do I Need To Replace All Four Tires At Once?

If you have a damaged tire, you might think you can get away with just replacing it alone. This will cost a lot less money than a full set. But the reality is that you might have to replace all of them at the same time.

All-wheel drive vehicles cannot just have one tire replaced. The treads on the tires need to be very close in wear for these types of vehicles. If they are not, it can lead to drivetrain damage.

Uneven tread wear will trick the computer and differential, which supplies torque to each wheel. An imbalance here will certainly lead to long-term damage.

Front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles should probably have the damaged tire and the one opposite it replaced so that the treadwear is the same. But if the treadwear is close on the existing tire to the new one, it's fine to replace just the one.

Tire changing at car service

How Long Will Mounting And Balancing A Tire Take?

While a professional can get your tires balanced and mounted a lot quicker than you could in your driveway, it won't happen at the snap of the fingers.

This will require each tire to go through the wheel balancer and to have any necessary adjustments made to it. Mounting the tires is usually faster, as the air compressor-powered rachets make this part a breeze.

Expect the entire process to take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. It's not an expensive task, either. Altogether, this will average less than $150. But if you purchase the tires, these two items are often included in the sale price!

Should I Have My Tires Rotated?

If you read the owner's manual of any passenger vehicle, you will find a recommended maintenance checklist. One item on this important schedule is tire rotation. If you weren't aware, this is crucial to your vehicle's performance and the life of your tires.

The front and back tires will not wear evenly. If you do not rotate them, one pair will be far more worn than the other. This will lead to premature tire replacement and end up costing you more money in the long run.

Rotating the tires saves the tread on them. It balances out the fact that they won't wear evenly if left in the same position. Tires should be rotated at regular intervals and routinely inspected for damage. It's also critical to keep them inflated to the recommended psi.

Removing car mechanic to repair the leaky tire car wheels.Mechanic changing a car tire on a vehicle a hoist using an electric drill to loosen the bolts .concept of service or replacement.

Final Thoughts

A tire dealer will balance your tires at the time of installation. This service will not include any sort of alignment. You should have your tires routinely inspected to see that they are in balance. It is also important to keep your vehicle properly aligned, as not doing so will cause damage to your tires and impact your driving. Drive safe!

We hope this post on tire installation answered all of your questions. For additional helpful information, we suggest reading the following automotive posts:

How Long Do Spare Tires Last? [And How Far Can You Drive On Them]

Car Shakes When Turning And Accelerating—What Could Be Wrong?

How To Deal With Slashed Tires