When you purchase new tires, you need to have them mounted and balanced. So, how much does it cost to mount and balance tires? Is it something you need to budget for in advance, or could it just be a drop in the hat compared to the price of new tires?
These are questions you deserve answers to, which we take care of with this guide. Not only will we show you the average cost, but we will also explain tire mounting and balancing. As professionals, we can also break down the cost based on various factors. Finally, we tell you where to get this tire service and we will answer some FAQs.
What Is the Average Cost to Mount and Balance Tires?
Expect to pay between $15 and $100 for the tire for mounting and balancing. Some establishments include this service in the price of the tires, making it easier to budget. However, several factors can affect the price, so it’s important to call around for estimates.
As an example, a small sedan tire on a steel wheel is going to cost much less to mount and balance than a low-profile or beefy tire that can’t be put on a standard balancing machine. Read below for more factors that play into the cost.
What Is Tire Mounting and Balancing?
Tire mounting is another way of explaining how new tires are put on your wheels and installed on the car. It can be done in your home garage if you have the right equipment. Here are the steps to mounting a tire:
- A socket and breaker bar is used to remove the wheels.
- A pneumatic or hydraulic tire changing machine takes off the old tire from the rim.
- The new tire is levered on with a variety of tools.
- A new valve stem is also included.
- The tire is blown up to the recommended PSI.
- Tires are balanced (discussed more in a minute).
- The wheel and tire combination is put back on the hub.
- Wheel nuts are spun on and torqued to the appropriate specs.
At step number six in the directions above, tire balancing occurred. This process ensures that the wheel turns straight and is not wobbling as it travels down the road. The tire shouldn’t rock back and forth because of the weight of the wheel. If it does, balancing must occur.
Professional mechanics use special equipment to check the weight and add to it where needed. The wheel balancer will show the mechanics where to add weight for precise calibration. Most people aren’t capable of balancing a tire at home.
RELATED: How Much Does a Tire Rotation Cost?
Factors Affecting The Tire Mount And Balancing Cost
We wish the cost was clear-cut, so you would know exactly what to expect. Yet, there are several factors that must be considered.
Let’s take a look at what affects the cost.
1. Tire Size
It’s generally less expensive to get a small set of tires mounted and balanced versus a larger set. Not only are the smaller tires and rims easier to work with, but they fit the machinery better.
Additionally, balancing larger tires on rims can take up more time. Not only that, but the labor is more intensive, with employees needing to lift the heavy tires and rims.
With a generic set of tires on steel rims, you’ll pay a minimal amount for mounting and balancing. These configurations are a dime a dozen, making it easy for tire shops to work on them.
On the other hand, if you have an unusual configuration, more care will be needed to mount and balance. The technicians may not be able to get the wheels on the standard tire balancer, requiring more effort.
Where you live has a profound effect on how much money you spend on auto services. On the east or west coast, you’ll usually spend more money than areas towards the middle of the country. The same can be said about what part of the state you are in.
Additionally, the establishment you use to mount and balance your tires will change the price. We’ll review a few of your top choices in a minute.
4. Labor Rates
It’s important to call around and find out what local labor rates are. You want to know the average, so you can decide if a tire shop is charging you too much.
Beware of any shop with inflated labor rates for no apparent reason. On the other hand, you should also be wary of any that have exceptionally low labor rates.
RELATED: Mechanic Labor Rates Per Hour
5. Additional Parts Required
As with any repair job, if extra parts are needed, you can expect to pay more. For example, expect to pay for every valve stem you need on top of what’s included in the bill. You may also need to recalibrate the TPMS, which can cost more.
Some shops include all of the parts in the price of the job, while others itemize it out. That’s why it’s important to get estimates upfront.
Where Should You Go Get Tires Mounted And Balanced?
There are many places available to get tires mounted and balanced, with many of them offering nationwide locations. While prices may vary, here are a few examples of tire shops and the estimated cost for mounting and balancing.
If you have a Walmart auto care center in your area, you can get the tires mounted and balanced while you shop. According to the website, tire mounting costs $11 per tire.
Balancing is listed as a separate service on the website, costing $14 for the lifetime of the tire. This also includes lifetime rotations. However, several online commenters have suggested that local Walmart stores may offer special tire mounting packages that combine prices. You need to check with your local store to see what’s available.
The mounting and balancing price depends on what type of tire you purchase. For example, on the Discount Tire website, we punched in a set of 15-inch Michelin Defender tires and got an installation price of $88 for all four. That’s a little higher than normal, but it includes a lot of perks.
Installation of these tires includes all of the parts, such as a rubber valve stem or a TPMS rebuild kit. It also includes tire maintenance for its life, so there’s no more cost for rotation, rebalancing, flat repair or air checks. In the long run, you can save a lot of money going this route.
The fees at National Tire and Battery are also variable. It appears the costs are similar to those at Discount Tire.
Again, the fee includes other perks. With your mount and balance, you also receive a road hazard warranty, lifetime balances and rotation, along with special pricing on alignment programs.
If you are a member of Costco, you can take advantage of flat-rate pricing for any set of tires. Costco currently charges $18.99 per tire.
With that fee, you get free balancing for life, lifetime rotations, flat repair, air pressure checks and a new rubber valve stem. You also get a road hazard warranty with the purchase of your tires.
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Local Tire Shop
On many levels, the local tire shop will give you the best price. Many mom-and-pop shops include the mounting and balancing with the cost of the tires.
It’s great to support local businesses, but you will miss out on a perk with this choice. If something happens to your tires while you are traveling, you will have to pay for service from someone else. At least if you go to a bigger establishment, you may be able to find another one while on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does tire mounting include balancing?
Most tire shops combine tire mounting and balancing into one service. Additionally, you can find special perks with this bundled package, such as a road hazard warranty, flat tire repair and free rotations. Ask your local shop what’s available and shop around to get the best deal.
How much does it cost to mount four tires?
You may spend between $15 and $100 to mount and balance four tires. If you strictly need mounting, the cost may be lower. For example, Walmart estimates the cost of $11 per tire for mounting alone. However, it’s not wise to mount tires without them also being balanced.
How much does it cost to balance all four tires?
You may spend between $15 and $100 for mounting and balancing tires. If you only want to get balancing services, the cost could be lower. Additionally, some establishments offer free lifetime balancing after you pay for the first mount and balance service.
Can I mount and balance my own tires?
It’s not difficult to mount tires, but they won’t be balanced without specialized equipment. You would want to have the necessary tools and the expertise to ensure the job was done right. If it’s not balanced properly, you could have trouble handling your vehicle, which could lead to an accident.
Should you buy all four tires at once?
You don’t need to replace all four tires unless they are all worn and ready to be swapped out. However, you should always replace the two matching tires at the same time. These should have equal amounts of tread for a well-balanced and comfortable ride. However, some all-wheel drive vehicles need to have all four tires replaced at once.
After you purchase new tires, you need to have them mounted and balanced. With so many locations to choose from, it’s easy to find somewhere to get the job done quickly. The best part is that the tire service doesn’t normally cost that much, so it shouldn’t break the bank. After you’ve just invested in new tires, you want to know that you don’t need to spend a lot more.
As with anything, we always recommend getting quotes. Call around and get the estimates for the tires, as well as mounting and balancing. Don’t simply look at the price alone, but see what’s included with the service. While some places may cost more, you can get additional perks that make it a good value.