Do Snow Tires Need To Be Balanced?

Most of us dread the thought of having to take our cars to an auto repair shop. The experience of drowning under auto repair costs isn’t a pleasant one for most.

So when the question arises on whether or not to make auto repairs like balancing snow tires, it’s understandable why some people would be reluctant to do so. So I, having reservations of my own, decided to look into this question with a local auto repairman and he gave me some interesting answers.

You need to balance your snow tires on at least two occasions. The first is when you have bought a new pair of snow tires. The second is when you’ve had a change of rims either between summer and winter(snow) tires or solely among snow tires themselves.

You might wonder as to why it’s only necessary to balance your snow tires on at least two occasions and optional and unnecessary for the rest?

Are there any sets of emergencies where it’s necessary to balance snow tires besides the two primary recommendations?

Lastly, if costs are an issue and so someone chooses not to balance their snow tires, what are the common ramifications of this. Let’s have a look at some of the answers to these questions.

Why Balance Snow Tyres On Primarily Two Occasions?

The process of balancing snow tires is one of the most critical with regards to the engineering of automobiles (cars, trucks, buses, etc.) Without proper balancing, automobiles become vulnerable to a whole host of issues.

This is even more true with regards to snow tires, as the terrain that they mostly have to navigate is highly treacherous and preys easily on tire surfaces that are not properly balanced.

So the two times when balancing snow tires is necessary is very critical in determining the degree to which your vehicle becomes susceptible to accidents due to unbalanced snow tires. Here’s why:


When tires first come out of the factory from which they are made, although they would’ve been manufactured with the most precise, scientific, rigorous, and cutting edge methods, they are still not considered to be roadworthy.

This is mostly due to the fact that they have a set of characteristics, such as weight, alignment, load-bearing strength, and mileage that are not compatible with your vehicle as a consequence of not yet being fitted for the road.

This is true for the pair of tires themselves, since-even though they’re engineered and manufactured according to the same specifications as a pair- they are mostly made separately and have yet to be put into use as a vehicular pair.

Safeguard Measures

Taking your new snow tires to the auto repair shop and getting them balanced becomes a safeguard measure in this instance. The mechanical engineers, machinists, and mechanics will mostly set all of these incompatible issues into order, thus ensuring your safety for the foreseeable future, save for unforeseen circumstances.

Rim Technology

The second time when it’s necessary to balance your snow tires mostly revolves around the exigencies of rim technology. Rims, like tires themselves, tend to be custom-made and not all purpose. So when you decide to swap the rims of your snow tires, you must take them to the auto repair shop for a session of re-balancing.

Accounting For Incompatibility Issues

Re-balancing your snow tires after a change of rims ensure that whatever discrepancies and incompatibility have been brought about due to the change can be accounted for and dealt with.

Are There Any Occasions When It’s Necessary To Balance Snow Tyres Besides The Two Main Occasions?

I mentioned certain circumstances that necessitate the balancing of snow tires briefly above, so I just wanted to mention a few of them here because they’re quite important when dealing with balancing snow tires.

Snow tires, though quite durable and highly resistant to environmental stressors, are by and large still tires and thus made of rubber. This means that they are highly susceptible to some of the weaknesses that most rubber products have.

For example, sharp objects are usually the bane of any rubber-enforced material or product. Latex, the main component of the manufacture of rubber, is simply not strong enough to withstand the insistent pressure of a sharp object pressing up against its surface.

This is true for snow tires as well. Over time, consistent exposure under the pressure of sharp objects encountered on the road will gradually cause snow tires to show effects of wear and tear. This will have a subsequent effect on the degree of balance on the tires and cause the aforementioned vulnerabilities of unbalanced tires.

Another circumstance that might necessitate an unforeseen case of balancing your tires as per the instructions of your traffic department. A lot of traffic departments have their own set of specifications with regards to the balancing of tires.

Most of these specifications are in line with and/or adapted to the traffic guidelines set for vehicular travel on the roads over which they exercise legal jurisdiction. So it’s recommended that you check whether or not the balancing of your tires -in this case, snow tires- is in line with local traffic department guidelines.

If You Can’t Afford To Balance Your Snow Tyres And So Choose Not To Balance Them, What Are Some Of The Ramifications?

As mentioned before, balancing snow tires is a very critical component of ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy. Besides the risk of personal harm and injury due to accidents, you also risk incurring certain legal penalties.

The most glaring penalty is that of causing harm and injury to others due to an accident caused by your unbalanced tires. The subsequent litigation process, possible criminal trial, and associated costs are something that I’m sure no one wants to ever go through.

If you have passengers in your vehicle while traveling with unbalanced snow tires, the risk and possible ramifications are even more immense. No one ever wants to be in a situation where they bear responsibility for the harm and injury of those closest to them.

So please, if you can and it’s necessary, do the right thing and balance your snow tires. It’s an investment in your safety and the safety of others.


To have a car is a necessity that most of us can’t afford to fulfill as a result of our busy lives. Whether it’s morning rush hours to work or prime-time quick drives back, we can’t afford to miss our designated appointments no matter the weather.

This includes bad weather, which for most of us is inadmissible as an excuse not to drive our vehicles to where we need to be. Part of the reason why we developed snow tires was for exactly this reason.

And so with every piece of advanced technology that we’ve created to help us do what we need to do a little bit easier, we need to compensate for some of its weaknesses in whatever way we can. With regards to snow tires, this means going to the auto repair shop and effecting the necessary balancing procedures needed to ensure that we void and protect against any susceptibility to incurring any accidents.

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