How Long Can You Drive on Unbalanced Tires?

Many car owners understand that moving around on unbalanced tires is not safe. However, sometimes one might get himself/herself to such situations unknowingly. Yes, you can drive, but you will be endangering your life and whoever’s in the car.

I thought you should know that safe driving needs drivers to consider others and themselves. Therefore, if you realize your vehicle’s tires are wearing down, get them to the nearest automotive to be inspected. If you are not sure if the tires require balancing, replacement, or rotation, be observant to spot the symptoms of unbalanced tires.

After noticing some symptoms of unbalanced tires, it’s the right time to go for balance.

Symptoms of unbalanced tiresunbalanced tires

When the tire’s tread is little or completely worn out, gripping the road perfectly could be a problem. This happens mostly in snowy and rainy conditions. This art will make your vehicle more susceptible to skidding and hydroplaning during emergency brakes.

Under- or over-inflated and cracked tires are another problem that can expose your vehicle to safety risks. They are more likely to a blowout. Once the tire wears down, it will start showing some cracks over time. These issues, if not addressed early, that tire may blowout while driving.

Therefore, it may expose you to accidental risks; tire burst, yet you’re at the middle of the road and high speed. It will be a massacre; it’s risky, and I am sure no driver would wish to get him/herself into such.

Meanwhile, if your vehicle’s tires are under-or over-inflated, they are at high risk of premature wear. This issue increases the chances of blowouts. There are other tire issues that most car owners overlook, but they can cause more harm to your vehicle’s performance, interfering with your safety.

Remember, your car becomes unbalanced once one of the tire’s weights isn’t distributed evenly around the axle/wheel. Thus, instead of offering a consistent and smooth ride, the tires can let you down even on well-paved roads. This unexpected bouncing exposes you to multiple problems, compromising the tire’s structural integrity.

This statement implies that you can ride on unbalanced tires, but not for extended distances. Drive the car to the mechanic and get it checked.

What are the effects of unbalanced tires on your vehicle?What are the effects of unbalanced tires on your vehicle

There are some reasons car manufacturers recommend tire balancing after a replacement. Driving on unbalanced tires is associated with many problems and is unsafe. Some of these problems are;

Uneven tread wear: uniform tread wire is one of the advantages of having your vehicle’s tires balanced. However, this happens if you ensure they are kept properly inflated, making all four tires in the same working condition.

If the tires are unbalanced, certain tire places will start wearing out quicker than other parts.

Vibration and noise

There will be reduced chances of vibration once your vehicle’s four tires are correctly balanced. But, if you drive on unbalanced tires, vibration will increase in your car.

Too much fuel consumption

Moving around on tires that are not balanced could cause the cost of the fuel to rise. The faster the car goes, the more the unbalanced tires will interfere with the vehicle’s overall performance, decreasing fuel efficiency.

Long-term vehicle damage

Driving on balanced tires can protect some parts of your vehicle. Conversely, moving around with unbalanced tires may damage different components of your car. It enhances undue stress on the car’s shocks, wheel assembly, and bearings.

Suppose your vehicle’s tires are not balanced, no need to worry anymore. There’s always a way out to this problem to ensure the tires are balanced without affecting your journey. Car technicians will check foreign materials and damage in car wheel and tire assemblies.

They then fix the wheels properly on the hubs, tightening the lug nuts. Assessment is done once they are done to ensure the tires are properly set. This gives you a chance to drive safely one more on the road.

Indicators of unbalanced tiresIndicators of unbalanced tires

The act of tires transiting from balanced to unbalanced is likely to occur over time, and it might be difficult to spot the issue by visual inspection. Besides, some of these traits are related to some other factors like uneven tread wear.

Below are some of the common symptoms that should help you understand when the right time for tire balancing is.

Persistent vibration in the vehicle’s chassis

If your vehicle constantly vibrates on the road, its tread might be uneven or unbalanced. To curb such an issue, you need to ensure the tires are balanced, sometimes even rotated. However, if the treads are completely worn out or misshapen, replacement is the best solution.

Once your tires are rotated, replaced, or balanced and you still experience constant vibration while driving, the brake system is the issue. Worn-out brake rotators or pads can affect your car, making it vibrate. Besides, other problems still can lead to vibration like suspension issues and defective axles.

Louder road noises than before

If your vehicle’s tires have worn-out treads, you might experience noise driving. More so, tire damage and improper maintenance may trigger louder road noises than before while driving on various roads.

Therefore, if you realize such noises, have the vehicle checked out immediately. Doing so will allow you to identify other related issues or other tire complications amounting to the problem.

Damage vehicle’s wheel assemblies or chassis

These issues arise when you engage in a road accident and continue driving with damaged chassis or wheel assemblies. These components play a vital role in enhancing your safety drive on the road. Therefore, you need to ensure the vehicle’s wheel assemblies and chassis get repaired after engaging in an accident.

Doing you will still help you diagnose other issues that could otherwise affect your car’s overall performance.

You strike hard objects

Many car owners tend to overlook this issue since it looks minor. Hitting a curb is not a big deal; wrong. After hitting a hard object or a curb in your vehicle, find a safe place aside from the road and check it for any damage.

However, if you’re unable to spot any problem, you might still get your vehicle checked by automotive experts.

How long can I drive on my unbalanced tires?How long can I drive on my unbalanced tires

Before you think of driving on unbalanced tires, think first about the risks from the above discussion. Driving on unbalanced tires should not be gauged in years. It would help if you had the issue fixed immediately after inspection. Going on such tires is dangerous and will annoy you due to a lot of noise and vibration in the road’s vehicle.

Therefore, balancing your tires is necessary not only for your safety but also for that of the car. Remember, you can drive on such tires, but not for an extended period; drive only when is the only way out. Or else, the tires will vibrate louder and shake on the road. If you can bear these, then go on and drive.

Moving around with unbalanced tires is not recommended for even a month. Plan to seek the help of automotive professionals and get the issue fixed on time. Failure to do that will force you to replace the whole set of tires, which might be expensive. I am sure no driver would wish to get there.

you might be interested to read: Is tire rotation necessary?

Frequently asked questions:

  • How can I know that my vehicle’s tires are unbalanced?

Regular wear and quick run make the tires unbalanced. It’s possible to realize manufacturing imperfections occasionally. An imbalance may occur when one of the tires is heavier than the other three. Hopefully, you know the symptoms of imbalanced tires; get the problem fixed before hitting the road again.

  • What is the noise for unbalanced tires?

Most of the time, you will start hearing wump wump noise from the vehicle’s tires. So immediately after hearing such a sound, it’s advisable to take your car to the nearest automotive. It is a clear indication that your car tires need balancing to prevent uneven wearing out.

  • Can imbalanced tires affect the braking system?

Unbalanced tire problems are associated with a lot of challenges without even touching the brake system. However, vibration while braking is a different problem that arises as a result of warped brake rotors. Has the car checked for a faster diagnosis?

  • Can I fix the unbalanced tire problem personally?

Yes. But it depends on available tools and skills with you. Owning such devices might be too expensive for other car owners. Hence, take the car to your favorite automotive for inspection.


Maneuvering around with unbalanced tires is unsafe and can expose you and other people in the car to danger. You don’t have to keep on postponing tire balancing, especially after you already know it’s the issue. Therefore, the period you can drive on unbalanced tires depends on how much you care about yourself and your loved ones.

More so, driving on such tires may affect your car’s other components, spending more for repair. This article contains a lot of informative knowledge to help you diagnose unbalanced tire issues and fix them.