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Windows 7: Should you have to pay for your tires to be balanced after rotating?

14 Feb 2012   #1

7 Ultimate 64 bit Service Pack 1
Should you have to pay for your tires to be balanced after rotating?

Today I brought my 2011 Toyota 4Runner into the dealer for the first free 5K mile service. All they were supposed to do is top up fluids and rotate the tires. The service agent asked me if I would like to have the tires balanced as well for an addition feee of $50. I declined and was pretty annoyed by it.

My understanding is that any tire rotation should come with a balancing and the dealer should not be nickel-and-diming me. Am I wrong? What is your experience?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

In my experience, those are 2 different services.

But--$50 for balancing is a rip-off, pure and simple. I hope your actual response was "Balance This!!!".

Charging that amount incurs nothing but ill will. Toyota is generally pretty savvy and I am wondering if this was strictly this dealer's idea rather than Toyota at large?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2012   #3
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Yes those two are charged separately. But for $50. I call it as overcharged.
You may compare it with this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Feb 2012   #4
The Howling Wolves

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

If you see wear on your tires from (over/under inflated), balanced or alignment should be done.
Most of the time tires are balanced when they are put on the car so rotation is all you really need to do.
Alignment is needed when you let go of the steering wheel and the car heads to the right or left.

I am no mechanic but have had no trouble with the Toyota dealer's here in our area.
Take mine to a privately owned shop where I can go in and watch what is going on and ask questions about my SUV.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium

I've done balancing before.
$50 is a total ripoff. Just a way of getting more money for basically nothing.
There is really nothing to it. The trick most places will use (assuming you have a way to see them when they are balancing them, and knowing what to look for) is that they will take off the weights that are already on the wheels, that way, there is no way for you to tell if they really needed balancing or not (likely not unless there's tons of miles on the tires already). Once they take the weights off, then they HAVE TO be balanced.

Be careful, even if they ask you if you want them to see IF they need to be balanced. Once they pull off one weight, they can just tell you "yes, they need balancing".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium

Also, with only 5k miles on it, they sure as hell better not need balancing already. If they do, then Toyota has a serious problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

It could be universal. I've never had a good deal from a Toyota service center but all the others are probably just as bad. Your (bad) deal sounds like a rip off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MWRed View Post
Also, with only 5k miles on it, they sure as hell better not need balancing already. If they do, then Toyota has a serious problem.
I have to agree with you on this. If the tires need balancing, Toyota screwed up big time makin' that car.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

I have been a Ford Master Mechanic in two Dealerships for over 40 years. You can't compare prices between Wally World and their employes with Certificed Mechanic at a Dealership. Location, Location. The price in N.Y.C and Leftover W. Virgina is going to be very different. Hell in N.Y.C. a Starbucks is almost $10.00 and a pack of cigarettes is $10.00. A service writer has no way of knowing that you only have 5000 mile from the last time you had your tires balanced unless you had it done there, they will have a record of it. When a waitress ask if you would like desert doesn't know you just had a half dozen dough nuts on the way to her place of work. I don't believe in re-balancing tires that show no signs of needing it and the customer isn't having a vibration problems. Go to a Dealer or any shop that has the proper equipment and ask for a Road Force Balance, please be sitting when you ask. The two Dealerships I worked in did compete with local prices of basic services but that is up to who ever is running the show. They do this to gain market share. If I had a service writer that didn't mention other services we offer, well lunch hour would of been their last lunch here. Same with the waitress that doesn't mention that we have some great pies today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Another option to consider and I did this on a TRD supercharged Toyota T100 with 31" tires. You must call around and find someone who still balances on the car then ask if they can shave the tires perfectly concentric and when done fill with nitrogen. Yes this will be expensive but zero rotation of tires and as long as any minor repair is done with chalking/marking the original tire to the rim and marking the wheel to it's lugs and it all goes back to those marks the balance will be intact. What this does is similar to the land speed record guys, a smooth vibration less spin up to amazing speeds and a rock solid feel in the wheel. It's a bit of a black art or lost art but you find someone who knows what their doing you'll never ever go back to the crap computer balance techniques. When you spin balance the tire/wheel/lugs and rotor together it's life altering !
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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