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View Full Version : y'all can tell me if I should have my head examined (tire rotation/balance)


Kaz
12-08-2003, 01:14 PM
Pulling before or after a rotation is a sign of an alignment problem. Pulling after a rotation means one of the tires is worn funny. Generally that happens when the alignment is screwy (it could also mean uneven tire pressures).

A lot of people find that the rear tires wear a lot quicker than the fronts, so if that's the case, doing a F/R rotation may get you significantly more miles out of the set. If this isn't happening to you, there won't be much savings to be had.

BlackChrome
12-08-2003, 01:20 PM
I don't think 325s are staggered. Anyway, it's a good idea to rotate tires once in a while to prolong the tire life. If no rotation has been done, the rear tires are most likely to wear out faster than the front ones. Remember, this only applies to non-staggered cars.

As for alignment, I like to get one done everytime I get new tires. Or, when I feel the car pulls to one side while driving on a flat road. But this is only from my personal experience. :)

car_for_mom
12-08-2003, 01:27 PM
I trust the judgement of the vast majority of the guys (and a "shout out" to the women of Bimmerfest - Roadstergal, Roadsterwench, JPGurl, BimmerMlis, Sabrina, and I apologize to any others I didn't mention! :angel: )

I went ahead and told the Service Adviser to rotate and balance Karl Bimmer's tires as well as do an alignment - it's been a year, I do a lot of driving (29,500+ miles in one year!). However, this isn't covered by the New Car warranty, so I'll be giving up some $375 'dead presidents'.

However, I'd noticed a slight pulling to the left, and when I consider that a new set o'tires is something like $500-600 by the time the balance, alignment and 'rendering unto Mr. Schwartzenegger' is done - it seemed like a good investment; I had a tire guy tell me that rotating the tires could add about 10% to the life :dunno:

Don't be afraid to tell me what you think... ;)

doeboy
12-08-2003, 01:33 PM
Do you have a staggered setup? (i.e., rear rims/tires wider than front)

If so, you shouldn't rotate them. Balancing I can understand but a local tire shop that has decent equipement should be able to balance the tire for you for WAY cheaper than that.

If you are into learning how, rotating the tires is very simple to do (if you know how to change a wheel for a flat tire, you can do this). All you need is a jack and some jack stands, a breaker bar, torque wrench, and 17mm socket.

You learned to change your oil, this should be no problem for you. :thumbup:

HW
12-08-2003, 01:35 PM
alignment? :confused: was your car pulling to one side or wheel was crooked when you were going straight? :dunno: the manual says not to rotate but does not give a reason why. understood if the setup was staggered but the reason is not apparent for the non-staggered.

The Roadstergal
12-08-2003, 01:50 PM
I'm not quite understanding - it was pulling after the rotation/balance, or it has started pulling and you're considering a rotation/balance?

Easy things to just run out and check are to make sure your pressures are the same in both fronts and in both rears, and to make sure all of your nuts are torqued evenly (I have yet to go to a tire place that doesn't overtorque :mad: ).

car_for_mom
12-08-2003, 02:51 PM
The Service Advisor suggested that this should be done once a year...my tires are all the same size, P205 55 R16, 35psi in the front, 42 in the rear, and I check them every two weeks...

I just started to notice the slight pulling, and you could be correct in that it might have been when the wheel was crooked :dunno:

CBlkM3
12-08-2003, 05:54 PM
IMO, if you care about economics and not performance, then rotate frequently (assuming non-staggered setup); otherwise, align when a) you are getting new tires, b) the car was pulling or handling oddly, and c) you can see some tell-tale tire-wear indicating poor alignment.

Justification:
For performance reasons, I would want to know when a specific wheel has a problem (this may be an indication of bigger problem), and not rotate all my tires through it and thereby mask a potential issue; however, for the economicly minded, you _may_ see an increase in tire life.

Again, IMO, tire rotation is a scam when you have to pay for it, and a service if you want it and get it for free.

Plaz
12-08-2003, 05:58 PM
align when a) you are getting new tires

I've never heard that a full alignment is required when getting new tires. New shocks or springs, sure, but new tires?

:dunno:

CBlkM3
12-08-2003, 06:01 PM
I've never heard that a full alignment is required when getting new tires. New shocks or springs, sure, but new tires?

:dunno:

That was an AND, as in a) new tires, AND b) odd handling, AND c) indicative tire-wear = alignment.

Plaz
12-08-2003, 06:07 PM
That was an AND, as in a) new tires, AND b) odd handling, AND c) indicative tire-wear = alignment.

Ahhh, yes, I see. I misunderstood. Makes sense.

brave1heart
12-08-2003, 06:57 PM
I went ahead and told the Service Adviser to rotate and balance Karl Bimmer's tires as well as do an alignment - it's been a year, I do a lot of driving (29,500+ miles in one year!). However, this isn't covered by the New Car warranty, so I'll be giving up some $375 'dead presidents'.


You're wasting your money, bud. Alignment is ~ $100 and tire rotation should not be more than $30 tops. If you paid $375 for this, you're getting royally screwed by the dealer.