Balancing your tires is something that you should be doing, but most people forget to do it or don’t want to pay for expensive maintenance on their car. If your tires are off-balance it can lead to poor fuel economy, uneven wear on tires and faster replacement needed, strange vibrations throughout your car and you may be damaging the suspension on your car and causing a host of other problems that will cost you more money in the long run.
If the biggest issue that stops you from balancing your tires is cost, then it’s essential you review the different locations that offer tire balancing so you can find the best price in your area which can save you a huge amount on the tire balancing, and save you maintenance costs on your car going forward.
On average, balancing tires cost $10 to $20 per tire, which is $40 to $80 for all four tires on a vehicle. The cost of tire balancing varies based on your location, the service provider, and the make and model of your vehicle.
Firestone is the best place to balance your tires. They have an excellent reputation for the quality of work and reasonable pricing.
|US Locations||Cost of Balancing 4 Tires||Membership Required?||One-Time or Lifetime|
|Discount Tire / America’s Tire||1,000||$64||No||One-Time|
Many national chains – including automobile specialists such as Pep Boys and Goodyear and generalist retailers such as Walmart and Costco – offer tire balancing as a service. However, these chains’ prices for tire balancing can vary quite a bit.
Firestone Complete Auto Care
Firestone is a subsidiary of Bridgestone. It operates a chain of auto care centers all over the country. Together with other Bridgestone subsidiaries, including Tires Plus and Wheelworks, Firestone has close to 2,200 tire and vehicle service centers across the United States.
The exact price of tire balancing at a Firestone service center can vary slightly based on location due to differences in local labor rates. But on average, Firestone charges $10 per tire for tire balancing. That works out to $40 for all four tires on a car.
Walmart Auto Care Center
Walmart Auto Care Center has more than 2,500 locations all over the United States. It offers all the standard auto care services such as tire balancing, tire installation, oil change, and battery installation.
Walmart offers a “Lifetime Balance & Rotation” service for $12 per tire for tire balancing. You bring in any tires, and Walmart will rotate and balance them every 7,500 miles for the life of the tires. All for $12 per tire or $48 for all four tires on a car.
Goodyear Tire Center
Not only does Goodyear make tires, but they also have over 2,400 Goodyear Tire Center locations throughout the United States that offer a variety of tire and other auto services such as tire balancing, oil changes, tire repair, and they offer a 24/7 towing service.
Goodyear charges $50 for all four tires on a car for tire balancing. That works out to $12.5 per tire.
Tip: Every now and then Goodyear Tire Center offers discount coupons on auto services. You should check the Auto Service Coupon section of their website regularly to see if they are offering a discount coupon on tire balancing.
Discount Tire is the largest independent tire and wheel retailer in the United States. In addition to selling tires, it also offers a whole host of services related to tires.
These services include tire rotation & balancing, tire air pressure check, tire inspection, winter changeover & studding. Altogether, Discount Tire has more than 1,000 locations in 35 states in the US.
For tire balancing, Discount Tire charges $16 per tire, which works out to $64 for all four tires on a car.
Tip 1: Discount Tire offers a prepaid store-brand credit card. If you apply for that credit card and use it to pay for your tire services, you can get a $20 or even $40 rebate depending on how much you spend at the store. Check the promotions section of their website for more details.
Tip 2: AAA members get exclusive savings at Discount Tire – up to $40 off a set of new “better” or “best” tires, or a free tire repair (a $20 value). Buy a set of tires and you’ll get free air checks, tire inspections, tire repairs, rotation, and re-balancing.
Costco Tire Center
Costco has more than 500 locations in the United States. Not only do they sell general merchandise, but they also sell tires and services related to tires. Costco’s tire services include installation, rotation, balance, nitrogen inflation, nitrogen conversion, and flat repair.
Costco charges $15 per tire for tire balancing, which works out to $60 for all four tires on a car.
One thing you should keep in mind – to shop at Costco, you need to be a member. Each membership costs $60 per year. So if you plan to buy a lot of things at Costco throughout the year, that $60 membership fee is probably worth it.
If not, we do not recommend that you pay for the membership just to get your tires balanced at Costco. You can get the same service at other places for a similar or lower price.
Tip: Get in 15 min before Costco Tire Center Open and save 2-3 total waiting time.
Costco typically opens at 10:00 am, and Costco Tire Center usually opens at the same time. But some Costco Tire Center locations may open half an hour earlier on a certain day of the week.
For example, on Saturday, your local Costco may still open at 10 am, while the Costco Tire Center may open 30 minutes earlier at 9:30 am. In this case, most people will not get to the Costco Tire Center at 9:30 am because they want to wait until it is closer to Costco’s opening time at 10:00 am. That way, they can shop at both Costco Tire Center and Costco, one right after the other.
On days like this, if you go to Costco Tire Center extra early, such as at 9:30 am, or even 9:15 am, you can avoid any line, get in on the 1st round of service, and get out much more quickly.
If you get there 15 minutes later at 9:45 am, you will probably miss the 1st round of service and have to wait for the 2nd round. So getting there just 15 minutes late could mean an extra 2 to 3 hours of wait time.
America’s Tire is the name of Discount Tire in some parts of California. Outside of those parts of California, the chain is known as Discount Tire. Inside of those parts of California, it is known as America’s Tire.
The price of tire balancing at America’s Tire is the same as that at Discount Tire – $16 per tire, which works out to $64 for all four tires on a car.
Tip: AAA members get exclusive savings at America’s Tire – up to $40 off a set of new “better” or “best” tires, or a free tire repair (a $20 value). Buy a set of tires and you’ll get free air checks, tire inspections, tire repairs, rotation, and re-balancing.
National Tire & Battery
National Tire and Battery have more than 500 locations in 22 states in the United States. As a specialist retailer, it offers a comprehensive suite of services related to automobiles.
These services include oil changes, battery inspection & installation, brake fluid exchange, tire balancing, and steering linkage inspection.
For tire balancing, National Tire and Battery charges $16.99 per tire. That works out to $67.96 for all four tires on a vehicle. That is one of the higher prices on our list.
Tip 1: National Tire and Battery regularly offers discount coupons on various products and services. Check the Deals section of their website to see if there is any coupon for tire balancing.
Tip 2: National Tire and Battery offers a store brand credit card. Use it for your purchase and you can get up to $50 in rebates. Check here for more detail.
Pep Boys has more than 900 locations in the United States. As a specialist, Pep Boys offers a whole host of auto services – tire balancing, tire alignment, oil change, as well as various repair and performance services.
For tire balancing, Pep Boys charges $15.99 per tire. That works out to $63.96 for all four tires on a vehicle.
Tip: Pep Boys offers a large number of discount coupons for both services and products. There is a coupon good for 25% off on oil change. Another coupon is good for $40 off any brake service package. So be sure to check the Coupons & Deals section of their website to see if they are offering any discount on tire balancing before you buy from them.
Yelp Auto Repair Shops & Car Dealerships
Other than the national chains we have looked at in the sections above, you can also balance your tires at your local car dealerships or auto repair shops.
Quite possibly, you can find lower prices for tire balancing at these local dealerships and shops. On the other hand, the quality of services at these local shops tends to be more varied than at national chains.
As a result, you must do your homework before getting your tires balanced at one of these local shops. Be sure to check their reviews on services such as Yelp and Google Maps.
Ask around on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. Ask your real-life friends, colleagues, and family. Finally, check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if these shops have any customer complaints.
Also, do not forget the cardinal rule of frugal living – always comparison shop. Call a few of these dealerships and local shops to get price quotes from them before you make up your mind. Do not be afraid to negotiate on price.
Is Tire Balancing Necessary?
As you can see from our list above, to get all 4 of the tires on your car balanced could easily cost you $50 or more. Many people only have their tires balanced out of a sense of duty. But as a frugal person, you have to ask – is it even worth it to shell out $50 or more for this service? The short answer is yes.
Tire balancing is one of the recommended services listed in the owner’s manual of pretty much all vehicles. As you drive, the tires of your vehicle will steadily lose balance. This is because the treads on your tires will get worn out at different rates, which will cause the distribution of weight on the tires to change, which will cause the tires to get out of balance.
If you continue to ignore that imbalance, many bad things will happen. Your cars will start to vibrate as you drive. The fuel economy of your car will get worse and worse. Your tires will get worn out faster and faster. The suspension of your vehicle will get damaged. Eventually, the damages to your car and your tires will far exceed the cost of tire balancing.
In conclusion, tire balancing is well worth its cost. Do not skimp on this necessary expense.
How Often to Have Your Tires Balanced and Rotated
How often should you have your tires balanced? The answer depends on the make and model of your vehicle.
Your car’s manufacturer typically has a specific recommendation on the optimal frequency of tire balancing for your car. This recommendation can usually be found in the owner’s manual of your car.
Generally speaking, you should have your tires balanced every 5,000 to 7,500 miles for most vehicles. On average, Americans drive about 30 miles per day. That means the average American should have their tires balanced every 170 days to 250 days or every 6 to 8 months.
In this article, we have covered quite a lot of information on tire balancing. So let us do a quick recap:
- As you drive your car, your tires get worn out at different rates which leads to them getting out of balance
- Imbalanced tires can cause a whole host of problems for your car:
- Lower fuel economy
- Uneven and faster tire wear
- Vibration of the steering wheel
- Damage to the suspension
- To avoid the problems above, it is important that you balance your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles
- For the average American who drives 30 miles per day, that means balancing their tires every 6 months to 8 months
- The average price of tire balancing is about $10 to $20 per tire. That works out to $40 to $80 for all 4 tires on a car
- Among national chains, Sam’s Club Tire Center has the lowest price for tire balancing – $15.52 for 4 tires. But it requires a $45 per year membership
- Local auto shops may charge lower prices than national chains. But make sure you check for reviews before you decide on them
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.