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Balance without rotate?

Just had my car serviced the other day. Nothing specific, just general maintenance, "take care of any recurring or required servicing, inspecting, etc." On the estimate, I was told to expect wheel rotation & balance as part of the work.

On the final invoice, it shows in one section, "wheel rotation not recommended" in the inspection results; and, since I have a mar on one of my rims, I can see that they were not, in fact, rotated. The bill, however, still reflected the full amount.

I asked about it, and was told that the full-Monty balance was done, just no rotation. I'd never heard of that before.

So, my questions:
  1. Does it make sense to do the one without the other? I've always heard of rotation (only), or rotate & balance (or, rotate/balance/align)--but not balance without rotation (nor align w/o rotate & balance)....
  2. I guess it makes sense that the charge would be the same: if the wheels all come off & go back on again, it shouldn't matter where they go on from a labor standpoint. Yes/no?
  3. No reset of the TPMS magic. Is that correct in my situation, or should a reset have been triggered?

AIUI, normal “rotation” is therefore just swapping rear to front, on each side.

I appear to be wearing the front tires faster than the rear (is that normal? turning effect, I assume?); but symmetrically all around. They gave measurements of each tire in three places, “inner,” “middle,” and “outer.” Both front tires were 4mm at all three points; both rear tires were 7mm at all points.

I would think the faster wear on the front would be a prime reason to rotate in the first place??

I guess I’m wondering if I’ve been ripped off—ie, charged for a service they didn’t actually do. What would be a reason for not swapping fronts to rear given the wheels are already off, newly balanced, and the fronts show normal wear but in excess of the rears?
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
2,730
1,624
Kentucky
You left it up to them to decide. Most fast cars wear more on the rear. They kept the tires on the same wheel. Next time, if you want front to rear rotation with a balance, specify. You are not being ripped off. Just accepting their recommendations as to what was needed. Removing the tires and balancing is the work. There shouldn't be any added charge as to which wheel to put where. It is just remounting a wheel on the car.
 
Thanks for the replies, but I think you guys are missing my point.

I have no problem paying for services received, and I indeed want them to do it properly. If I thought my opinion of what needed doing was better than a professional mechanic employed by Tesla, well, I'd just do it myself. I know I'm nobody's mechanic, hence I hire pros.

IF it's appropriate to balance wheels without rotating, fine--and, I absolutely "get" that the work is getting the wheels on & off, so where the wheels end up back on won't influence the cost. By the same token, I wonder why wouldn't you rotate, given that you've already taken all four wheels off?

That's my question. If there's a good reason for it, fine. I can't think of one (but, again, I'm nobody's mechanic), and neither can any of the car guys I know. Those "car guy" friends of mine all admit to zero Tesla experience, though, so they advised asking here.
 
I would think that all wheel drive cars, like my S, would wear the tires out evenly. I haven't measured it yet, but I sure will now! The only difference with the front to rear drives is that turning needs to be factored in, and I would think that the fronts should wear faster because of that. So, with nearly 30 thousand miles on my car, with tires never rotated or balanced or anything, should I notice more wear on the fronts, or the rears?
 
I would think that all wheel drive cars, like my S, would wear the tires out evenly. I haven't measured it yet, but I sure will now! The only difference with the front to rear drives is that turning needs to be factored in, and I would think that the fronts should wear faster because of that. So, with nearly 30 thousand miles on my car, with tires never rotated or balanced or anything, should I notice more wear on the fronts, or the rears?

Rears should wear faster.
 
My 2016 MS90D has consistently shown incredibly even wear front and rear. My service center told me several years ago when I had an annual prepaid maintenance plan that they if the wear was even all the way around, then they would not rotate as no need. Wasn't a problem with them not wanting to pull wheels off as the maintenance they were always doing required them to do that anyway.

What I see in the OP's initial post is showing that the front tires are worm much more, 4 mm left versus 7 mm on the rear.

My memory is in situations like this rotating the fronts to the rear are not recommended as traditionally you want the greater tread depth on the rears. Reason for that is in marginal traction situation, you don't want the front to grip but the rears to lose grip, back end come loose and come around on you. It's generally considered safer for the fronts to understeer as much less risk of losing control.

I'm wondering if that's what really went on in this case and the reason they declined moving the fronts to the rear. Now if that is the case, it would have been much better for them to just state that directly so you were not left with the nagging question of why.

Just my two cents worth.
 
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I only balance my tire one time for the duration of their life and that is the initial mount/balance. any time I rotate them or swap them out for the winter/summer tires I just take them off and swap them out and call it a day. Unless you had a weight fall off or it feels like its off balance there is no reason to rebalance a tire.

you say the fronts are wearing faster which makes no sense on a car and even less sense on an AWD car. the rears have a larger motor and more power is applied to them. And even if you're out road racing, (but since you mention not being mechanically inclined i would not expect this to be happening) which would cause more wear on the fronts it would also put more wear on the rears and it would equalize out and the rears would still wear faster than the fronts.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
8,848
17,160
California
Nope. They will rotate your tires from free no matter where you got them! This is how they earn your future business.
Not to mention your present business.

“Wow, we went to rotate your tires and the inside edges are really worn, need to be replaced.”

“We rotated your tires and found a big screw in one, in the unrepairaable area…”
 
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ATPMSD

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,451
1,367
Atlanta, GA
Not to mention your present business.

“Wow, we went to rotate your tires and the inside edges are really worn, need to be replaced.”

“We rotated your tires and found a big screw in one, in the unrepairaable area…”
I hope this is meant as a positive comment as these are good things to know. And if this is meant as a negative comment, all you need to do is look at the tires yourself. You can always drive away for a 2nd opinion.

BTW, Discount Tire does not do alignments, so I get an unbiased recommendation as to whether an alignment is needed.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
8,848
17,160
California
I hope this is meant as a positive comment as these are good things to know. And if this is meant as a negative comment, all you need to do is look at the tires yourself. You can always drive away for a 2nd opinion.

BTW, Discount Tire does not do alignments, so I get an unbiased recommendation as to whether an alignment is needed.
Oh totally. I love Discount/Americas tire. They’re the only place I go. It’s a great business decision for them and a huge convenience for me.
 
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