Signs of unbalanced tires include steering wheel vibration, seat vibration, excessive wear and increased fuel consumption. In order for a vehicle to operate properly, the tires must remain in balance. Unbalanced tires can cause expensive problems and create an unpleasant driving experience. Vibration of the chassis is the primary sign of unbalanced tires and the severity of the vibration depends on the degree of unbalance.
Unbalanced tires can create a small hum, a slight shake or a significant vibration that makes driving the vehicle unpleasant. Steering wheel and seat vibration is a frequent sign of unbalanced tires. This type of vibration is distinct and gives information about which tire is unbalanced. When the front tires are unbalanced, the vibration is experienced in the driver's hands through the steering wheel. When the rear tires are unbalanced, passengers feel shaking in the seats.
Excessive wear on the tires occurs when the tires are unbalanced. Unbalanced tires cause increased stress on a specific area of the tire. These stresses combine with the uneven motion to cause vibration, which leads to excessive wear and a greater risk of deflation. Increased fuel consumption is also a result of tires being unbalanced. The amount of the increase in consumption depends on the degree of unbalance.