How much tire balancing cost

Wheel Alignment vs. Balance: What's the Difference?

Maintenance February 7, 2023

If you own a car, you’ve probably heard about the importance of wheel alignment and wheel balancing. Both services extend tire life and improve steering/handling performance, but they shouldn’t be confused for the same thing!

So, what is the difference between wheel alignment and balancing? Keep reading to find out.

What is wheel alignment and balancing?

Wheel Alignment

A wheel alignment refers to an adjustment of your vehicle’s suspension (the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels) to make sure the wheels are positioned correctly relative to the road.

There are three types of angles adjusted during a wheel alignment:

Camber: The inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from the front of the car.

Toe: The inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from above the vehicle.


Caster: The angle of the steering axis when viewed from the side of the vehicle.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a tire alignment. Without proper alignment, your wheels resist steering commands and your tires wear unevenly. Regular alignments help your tires perform to the best of their ability and last longer

Wheel Balancing

In contrast, wheel balancing refers to an adjustment of any weight imbalances in a tire/wheel. An out-of-balance tire causes a shaky, uneven ride. If left untreated, the uneven distribution of weight and pressure leads to excessive tire wear and tear, forcing you to replace your tires more often than should be necessary.

To balance your tires, a technician will dismount the wheels from the vehicle and put them onto a special balancing machine. The machine spins the tire at high speeds to determine where there are imbalances. Then, the technician mounts small wheel weights to the tire and wheel assembly to correct the imbalances.

What causes misalignment or unbalanced tires?

Wheel Alignment

    • Potholes
    • Jarring impacts (hitting a curb, fender-benders)
    • Normal wear and tear
    • Aggressive driving
    • Heavy loads
    • Worn/replaced suspension parts
    • Mismatched tires

Wheel Balancing

    • Normal tire wear and imperfections
    • Worn-out suspension parts
    • Sudden impacts (hitting a curb, fender-benders)

Read: What Pothole Damage Can Do to Your Car

What are the symptoms?

Wheel Alignment

    • Your vehicle drifts/pulls to one side when you’re driving on a straight, level road with little to no wind.
    • You feel your steering wheel vibrating.
    • You are driving straight but your steering wheel isn’t centered.
    • You notice uneven tire wear:
      • Sawteeth: Feel your tire. Does the sensation remind you of saw teeth?
      • Feathering: Do you notice scuffing across your tire tread, or smooth sides alternating with sharp sides?
      • One-sided shoulder wear: If you notice that one side of your tire is wearing down faster than the other, this is one-sided shoulder wear.

Wheel Balancing

    • You experience vibrations that increase as the vehicle speeds up.
      • If you feel the vibration mostly in the steering wheel, the problem is most likely in the front wheels.
      • If the vibration is mostly in the seat, the problem is probably in the rear wheel.
    • Your notice that your tires have an irregular tread wear pattern. The most common patterns we see on unbalanced tires are scalloped or cupped tire wear patterns.

How much do they cost?

Wheel Alignment

How much a wheel alignment costs varies depending on the repair shop and the vehicle, but it’s typically between $100-$200. At Virginia Tire & Auto, we use cutting-edge technology from Hunter Engineering to accurately evaluate and adjust the angles of your vehicle’s wheels.

A Computerized Alignment service at Virginia Tire & Auto costs $119.99, and a Premium Alignment service costs $179.99. Both services come with a 6-month, 6,000-mile warranty.

Most cars need a Computerized Alignment, but a Premium Alignment is required for European cars because of their complex steering, suspension and computer systems.

Wheel Balancing

A typical wheel balance service costs anywhere from $15–$50 per tire.

At Virginia Tire & Auto, we offer two types of tire balancing: standard balancing and Road Force balancing. Standard balancing costs $20 per tire and comes FREE with any tire purchase at Virginia Tire & Auto. It addresses any up-and-down imbalances and comes with a 6-month, 6,000-mile warranty.

Road Force balancing uses specialized equipment to solve balancing issues that a standard balance cannot fix. It costs $40 per tire, but, barring any damage to the wheel assembly, you’ll only need to get a Road Force Balance once in the life of the tire.

How often should you get it done?

Like most car maintenance services, there is no absolute answer to how often you should get an alignment or tire balance. There are a lot of factors to consider, including

  • how frequently you drive your vehicle
  • the quality of the roads you drive on
  • the quality of your tires

You should check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out what the manufacturer recommends. But generally, wheel balancing is typically required more often than wheel alignment.

A good rule of thumb is to have your wheel alignment and balance checked every 12,000–15,000 miles or once a year (unless you’ve had a Road Force Balance service). You should also get your alignment checked and your wheels balanced anytime you install new tires. Doing so will help cut down on repairs and fuel costs and give you peace of mind on the road.

Alignment & Balancing Services at Virginia Tire & Auto

Every tire purchase at Virginia Tire & Auto comes with tires&, our easy-installation and worry-free driving package, which helps you save on wheel alignment and balance services. Tires& includes our standard balancing service as well as a FREE alignment check.

For the best alignment and balancing service with industry-leading equipment, trust the tire experts at Virginia Tire & Auto. Drop by your local store for service or schedule a check-in time online anytime.

How Much Does Tire Balancing Cost? (Comparing 11 Service Centers)

The purchase of tires for any vehicle comes as a significant investment, requiring consumers to part with a fair sum of cash in any event. In order to make the most of such an investment, one must go to every length possible to maintain the condition of their vehicle’s tires. This involves having a vehicle’s tires serviced at all intervals specified per manufacturer.

Of such services, few are as important as having a vehicle’s tires balanced. Services of this type not only extend a tire’s effective life but mitigate aggravating ride-comfort issues.

Nonetheless, many motorists still find themselves questioning the overall importance of having their vehicle’s tires balanced, as well as the cost associated with services of this type.

The following guide has been assembled to eliminate much of the uncertainty that surrounds tire balancing as a whole, thereby allowing motorists to make the most informed decision possible. Consequently, this should eliminate many of the most common issues that arise from tire neglect.

Read on to learn more about the importance of having your vehicle’s tires balanced, as well as the cost associated with services of the like.

Read Also – How Much Does a Wheel Alignment Cost?

Table of Contents

What Is Tire Balancing?

Tire or wheel balancing is a procedure that is conducted to offset disproportionately heavy spots within a vehicle’s wheel/tire combo. When balanced, a wheel is weighted to counteract natural inconsistencies within a tire, and the wheel itself. This weight is strategically placed, thereby creating a “balance”, under which no portion of a tire/wheel combo is any heavier than any other.

Tire balancing is generally conducted on a piece of specialty equipment known as a balancing machine. This machine spins a tire/wheel combo at a high rate of speed, all the while measuring irregularities in weight and form.

The computer contained within this unit then uses a series of mathematical equations to determine the exact point at which additional weight should be placed.

Weight is applied to a wheel in one of two ways. The first, and most common means of weighting a tire during the balancing procedure, is through the use of standard hammer-on wheel weights.

Alternatively, stick weights can be used in a similar manner, though these weights adhere to the inner diameter of the wheel itself, using adhesion as a means of retention.

See Also – What Do Tire Rating Letters Mean?

Static vs Dynamic Balancing

There are two major types of tire balancing procedures, one of which is static in nature, while the other is dynamic.

  • Static balancing refers to balancing which occurs on a single plane of reference, or centrally through the middle axis of the hub itself.
  • Meanwhile, dynamic balancing relates to three individual planes, thereby compensating for runout from any angle.

Currently, dynamic balancing is the only truly acceptable way of balancing a tire to any degree of accuracy. The idea of static balancing is now viewed as antiquated in nature and falls short of the industry standard.

When Should Tire Balancing Be Done?

There are several different instances in which a vehicle’s tires should be balanced. Recognizing these instances and acting accordingly can prove beneficial when attempting to extend the life of your vehicle’s tires, and obtain the best ride possible.

The following are several of the most common conditions under which a vehicle’s tires should be balanced.

1. New Tire Installation

No matter where you buy new tires, once mounted on the wheel, any new tire should be balanced, prior to final installation on the vehicle for which it is intended.

This ensures the optimization of ride comfort, thereby allowing a consumer to get the most out of their tires, in terms of overall quality and longevity.

2. Periodic Maintenance

Even in absence of ride-related issues, a vehicle’s tires should still be balanced on a regular and recurring basis to maximize their lifespan. The exact frequency of this service is dictated by the recommendations of a vehicle’s manufacturer, as well as those specified by the maker of your vehicle’s tires.

3. Lack Of Ride Comfort

Consumers might also choose to have their vehicle’s tires balanced in the event that they notice a vibration of sorts while at cruising speeds. Such vibrations often result from relative tire imbalance and can be quickly rectified with a quick trip to your shop of choice.

Tire Balancing Cost Comparison 

Service CenterCost Per Tire
Costco$18 - $21
Discount Tire$16 (or free if tires purchased there)
Les Schwab$12 - $16 (or free if tires purchased there)
Sam's Club$20
Pep Boys$16+
Midas$18 (or free if tires purchased there)
Dealership$20 - $25
Independent Shop$15+

Disclaimer: Prices may vary based on location.

How Long Does Tire Balancing Take?

Generally speaking, it typically takes no more than 1 hour to have a vehicle’s tires balanced. However, the exact time required to accomplish this procedure often differs based on the exact size and style of tire that is to be serviced.

While small tires utilizing hammer-on weights take very little time to balance, heavier tires requiring the use of sticky weights can take inherently longer to balance.

One must also factor in the weight time associated with a particular shop, at the time that their vehicle is taken for service. While you might get lucky enough to catch a shop when they are slack, many shops are busy enough that service can be delayed by 1-2 hours, while waiting for a bay and technician to come available.

See Also – How Long Does It Take to Change Tires?

Can Tire Balancing Be Done At Home?

In certain instances, one can balance their vehicle’s tires at home without the use of a tire balancing machine. This is most commonly accomplished through the use of a bubble balancer (like this) or similar device, which can often be purchased at discount tool stores, such as Harbor Freight or online retailers such as Amazon. com.

However, it is worth mentioning that this form of balancing is strictly static in nature, rather than dynamic.

For some, the simplicity of taking their vehicle to have its tires balanced outweighs the potential financial advantages of conducting such services themselves. Especially considering the number of shops now offering lifetime rotation and balance services for a reasonable fee,

When Can Happen If You Don’t Balance Tires?

Having a vehicle’s tires balanced is important for a number of reasons, including those which pertain to untimely tire wear.

Tires that are not properly balanced tend to vibrate substantially, thereby skipping across a paved surface while in motion. With time, this can cause choppy, or otherwise irregular treadwear, thereby shortening the life of a tire as a whole.

Out-of-balance tires can also prove burdensome when attempting to achieve the highest possible degree of ride comfort. As stated above a lack of tire balance tends to cause significant vibration, which is then transferred to the chassis of a vehicle itself. This vibration is then felt through a vehicle’s steering wheel or driver seat.

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Steve Cooper

Owner at Auto Trends Magazine

Steve is a former ASE Certified Technician and holds a degree in automotive service technology from Weber State. When he's not searching for a 10mm socket in his garage, he enjoys a good BBQ with family and friends.

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Tire fitting and wheel balancing

Is it time to switch from winter to summer tires? Come to our car service to change tires by prior online appointment.

Shesteryonka car services are equipped with modern Italian balancing equipment RAVAGLIOLIM and a tire changer CORCHI , which allows tire fitting for wheels ranging in size from 12 "to 30", including low-profile tires and Run Flat tires.

In addition to tire fitting and wheel balancing, you will receive high-quality services for all types of repairs, including puncture and side cut repair, as well as washing and cleaning wheels. Service centers "Shesterenka" have the status of certified services that have the right to perform tire fitting and wheel balancing.

Name of work Cost of works
R12-14 R15 R16 R17-18 R19+
light implemented easy implemented easy off-road
Wheel - remove/attach 90 100 120 110 150 140 170 170
Wheel - balancing 90 100 120 110 150 140 170 170
Wheel assembly 80 90 100 90 130 120 130 150
Wheel - removal 80 90 100 90 130 120 130 150
Wash wheel 50 50 50 50 70 70 70 70
Wheel - inflation 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25
Chamber - repair 50 50 50 50 50 - - -
One wheel conversion (excl. freight cost)
340 380 440 400 560 520 600 640
4 / 6 wheel conversion (without cost of freight) 1360 1520 1760
1600 2240 2080 2400 2560/3840
Tire - repair (harness installation) 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150
Tire - repair (mushroom installation) 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150
Tire - repair (installation of cord patch) 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250
Tire - repair (side cut up to 3 cm) 250 250 250 250 250 300 300 300
Seat - cleaning 25 25 25 25 25 50 50 50
Seat - sealing 40 40 40 40 40 60 60 60
Disc check (balance) 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Copper grease treatment of the hub (1 wheel) 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Installing a non-return valve 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25
Pressure sensor installation 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

Please note that the price is indicated in rubles and is valid at the time of publication. You can get more complete information by contacting the managers of the Shesteryonka service centers.

Certificates of Shesterenka service centers

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Wheel balancing - prices in Moscow at tire fitting Shino-Box

State-of-the-art Hunter Road Force machines and innovative Haweka adapters for precision balancing

24/7 With 3 months warranty

Online appointment Calculator

Finishing 4D wheel balancing on Hunter Road Force machine

The Tire-Box uses a four-dimensional vehicle wheel balancing system. The data for installing the balancing weights come from not one, but from 4 vibration sensors.

The sensors measure vibrations at different points in the tire at any given time. This allows you to calculate the weight and location of the weight with high accuracy.

Qualitatively carried out balancing prevents deformation, imbalance and premature wear of tires, increases vehicle controllability and reduces accident rate.


Calculate the cost of balancing Calculate the prices for the balancing service Calculate the cost

Wheel alignment is carried out using a special cone. Suitable sized Haweka flange adapters are used for final balancing.

This guarantees maximum centering accuracy. In addition, the adapters contact the disk only at the location of the bolt head or nut. Therefore, there is no risk of damaging the disc coating.

We use Haweka's innovative equipment, which allows us to simulate real vehicle operating conditions on the stand for maximum balancing accuracy.


Balancing Absolute wheel weight correction accuracy thanks to state-of-the-art Hunter Road Force balancer and Haweka adapters

Any types of wheels We work with any types of wheels of cars and trucks up to 5 tons

Experts with experience Balancing is performed by qualified specialists certified to work with innovative equipment

The whole procedure takes 10-20 minutes

3 months warranty

We work 24\7

Excellent service and good reviews

Waiting room Comfortable waiting area with free coffee and light snacks

Balancing cost

  • Cars
  • Crossovers / SUVs
  • Wheel size
  • 1 wheel (rub)
  • 4 wheel (rub)discount 10%
  • R13
  • 165₽
  • 590₽
  • R14
  • 185₽
  • 665₽
  • R15
  • 225₽
  • 810₽
  • R16
  • 260₽
  • 935₽
  • R17
  • 305₽
  • 1 095₽
  • R18
  • 365₽
  • 1 310₽
  • R19
  • 440₽
  • 1 580₽
  • R20
  • 525₽
  • 1 890₽
  • R21
  • 620₽
  • 2 330₽
  • R22
  • 725₽
  • 2 610₽
  • R23
  • 845₽
  • 3 040₽
  • R24
  • 885₽
  • 3 185₽
  • Wheel size
  • 1 wheel (rub)
  • 4 wheel (rub)
  • R13
  • 185₽
  • 740₽
  • R14
  • 210₽
  • 830₽
  • R15
  • 255₽
  • 1 010₽
  • R16
  • 295₽
  • 1 170₽
  • R17
  • 345₽
  • 1 370₽
  • R18
  • 410₽
  • 1 640₽
  • R19
  • 495₽
  • 1 980₽
  • R20
  • 590₽
  • 2 360₽
  • R21
  • 700₽
  • 2 790₽
  • R22
  • 815₽
  • 3260₽
  • R23
  • 950₽
  • 3 800₽
  • R24
  • 995₽
  • 3980₽


What customers say about us

Olga Stuchevskaya

Wonderful place! I just changed my shoes here and I am writing from fresh impressions. Discovered this service a few years ago. Previously, it was serviced by an authorized dealer, and tire fitting was associated with something peasant-dense. But I bought complete wheels (although there is also a tire service here) and I wanted something closer.

I never keep tires at home - I think this savings due to comfort is meaningless, given the cost of car ownership. I am very satisfied, every year Shino Box is getting better and better: quality, accuracy, speed - of course. But it is also a very comfortable place - you have time to drink free coffee with candy while sitting on the sofa (they offered to take it with you - but this is already too much). There are no such flirting with cash - everything is on the card (and for a long time), a pleasant social discount ... And most importantly - you leave in a good mood - which is so important in the nervous life of a driver. Good luck in your business!

Read reviews on Yandex

Ars Eny

The place won over with its convenient location, round-the-clock work and high customer focus! I bought a car with a set of summer tires that needed to be quickly folded somewhere - I called on Saturday at 21:30, and at 23:00 I already handed over the wheels for storage. When I came to change shoes for the summer, they did everything quickly, efficiently and positively in the late evening. For me personally - a person who has every minute counting - the opportunity to do something useful in the late evening is very valuable!

High-quality service combined with a human attitude - this, unfortunately, is not common. And here it is!

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Andrey Ryakhovskiy

Very fast

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Alena P.

Awesome tavern! We punctured a wheel on a three-ruble note and came here! Came by accident, but very happy! Although the full load on changing shoes for the summer, they quickly dismantled and repaired the wheel! Stylish office and library where you can leave and pick up any book! Tire storage available!

Read reviews on Yandex

Egor Andreev

If you need a quality tire fitting - you are here.

Able to properly mount a low profile. They balance well. Instead of 100g of loads that were hung, I balanced to zero with 30g.

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Ben Gun

Change tires almost like in formula 1

Read reviews on Google

Anton R.

Normal person tire fitting - CRM, polite staff, nice design and atmosphere.

Read reviews on Yandex

Anna M.

Excellent service! Everything is high quality and inexpensive. The guys do everything quickly - before you have time to drink coffee, everything is already ready. In addition to tire fitting and rubber storage, I do all service work here. I am satisfied with everything!

Read reviews on Yandex

Boris Dergachev

Ordered summer tires and alloy wheels.

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