Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Life Lessons - Tire Balancing

There are many things I have learned in life, the hard way, and I thought I would use my stupid mistakes as examples to help all of you, in this new series I've aptly titled, Life Lessons.

This is the first in the series: Tire Balancing

I think that asking if you want a newly mounted tire "balanced" for an additional cost is some sort of mechanics' practical joke.

I learned this lesson in my early 20s while getting a new tire at a used tired place.

I was wrong. Even though I only had $50 to my name, I REALLY did want to spend that extra money, but I was working under the assumption that tires are actually round by nature.  They're not. I think they might be triangular, or hexagonal, but they sure as hell aren't naturally round, which I learned, as my car rocked and wobbled as I drove it away from the shop, fifteen dollars richer, but substantially less comfortable.
I'm surprised they weren't openly laughing at me when I came back a few days later to report there was something wrong with the tire they sold me.

Zed: Well, you said you didn't want it balanced!
Me: Right, because I didn't realize that "balancing" was a secret code word for AN ACTUAL WORKING TIRE!
And then I paid $15 to get my tire made in to a circle.

So here's your lesson:
You want your new tire balanced. It's worth the money. Only an asshole gives you the option to drive away on a triangular tire.


  1. And any asshole who charges you extra to make something you've already paid for useable is a mega-asshole of the upper echelon of assholes.

  2. I've never paid to have a new tire balanced... even when I've mounted craptastic 'used' tires.

    Those guys were dicks.

  3. Do they balance spare tires? I have one around my midriff that I'd pay $15 to have removed.

  4. The worst thing is when your car starts acting like a dog shitting a bone at 70mph! Get them balanced and tracked! Tracking wheels might be another post for you :-)

  5. I was under the impression that they always balanced the tire when they gave me a new one. If they are charging me extra for it they don't tell me and just throw it in with the overall price so I am none the wiser. I am alright with that as long as it was necessary and everything works in the end.

  6. Bah, mechanics. Always trying to screw you out of one thing or another. I'm surprised he didn't up the price on your second visit.

  7. That mechanic really is a dick! It sucks that that happened to you, but at least you got a good post out of it!

  8. I can't wait for more life lessons. I feel smarter already.

  9. "Your mechanic is a dick"


    You make everything better.

  10. I've never had a tire changed by a mechanic. It's always been my father, and he's free.


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