It is a known fact that rotating your tires on a regular basis can help them last longer and perform better. So, if you’re looking for a way to be safe while still saving money, check out this article on how to rotate tires and why it is so important.
Automobiles necessitate continual maintenance. Oil changes and tire rotations should be done at regular intervals as part of your vehicle’s maintenance. Understanding what tire rotation is, how it’s done, and why it’s important will enable you to take the best care possible of your automobile, increasing its road life and making it safer to drive.
Regular rotation is also necessary for cars with multiple rear wheels. The two most typical rotation patterns for 6-wheeled vehicles are shown here. Check your owner’s handbook, however, to determine whether there is a recommended rotation strategy.
Know the WHAT and WHY before the HOW
Before we get down to the details on how to rotate tires, you need to be aware of two things; what tire rotation actually is and why you should do it.
I will also clear any misconceptions you may have regarding the subject.
What Is Tire Rotation?
Tire rotation is the process of shifting your car’s tires from one position to another. The front tires are usually transferred to the back of the car during a tire rotation, and the back tires are put on the front. The tires may also switch sides, with the right-hand tires going to the left side of the vehicle and the left-hand tires shifting to the right.
You must rotate your tires to get the most out of them. Tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles (10,000 to 12,000 km) or as recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle, whichever comes first.
This applies to all cars. When rotating tires with directional tread patterns, pay attention to the arrows imprinted on the sidewalls that indicate the direction the tire should spin. Check your vehicle’s owner’s handbook for any manufacturer suggestions. Tire wear should be checked on a monthly basis.
It is critical to maintain the right rotation direction. Some Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) may fail to detect that a tire has been relocated on your vehicle. Check to see whether your TPMS system has to be reset in order to accurately detect the position of each tire on your car. This information may be found in your vehicle’s owner’s handbook or at your local dealer.
Determine if rotated tires require tire inflation adjustment, because tire pressure in the front and rear positions may differ from the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications according to the actual load on that wheel position. Some cars may have different-sized tires placed on the front vs back axles, and these differing tires have rotation constraints.
Why Should You Rotate Your Tires?
Rotating your tires is a good idea for a variety of reasons. Tires wear more evenly when they are moved from one area to another. The amount of pressure and friction a tire encounters depends on its location on a vehicle. When an automobile has front-wheel drive, the front tires are subjected to the most friction. Rear-wheel drive vehicles’ tires wear out faster than front-wheel drive vehicles’ tires.
Rotating your tires for even wear improves your car’s handling and extends the life of your tires. The tread on your tire will wear down if you never move it from the front right side of your car.
In rainy weather, a lack of tread can make the tire and the car more prone to slippage. A tire that experiences more wear and tear than its peers will wear out faster and require replacement sooner.
Another motive to rotate your tires is that failing to do so may violate your manufacturer’s warranty.
Now that you know the what and why let’s jump to the how of tire rotation.
How to Rotate Tires: 4 Tire Rotation Patterns
There are several tire rotation patterns available, and the one that is best for your automobile is determined by the model of the car you have and the kind of tires you use. Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive vehicles are available, with directional or non-directional tires.
Nondirectional tires can be turned in any direction, but directional tires are designed to be turned in one direction based on their tread pattern. Your tires might also be staggered, which means that the front and back tires are different diameters.
For non-directional tires that are the same size in the front and back of the car, three different tire rotation patterns can be used. Your front tires will travel to the back on the same side if your car is front-wheel drive. The back tires will shift to the front but on the other side of the vehicle. The right rear tire will shift to the left front and the left rear tire to the right front.
Another tire rotation alternative for front-wheel drive cars with non-directional tires of the same size is to rotate the front tires to the opposite sides on the back and the rear tires to the opposite sides on the front.
The standard tire rotation pattern on a four-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive automobile or truck with similar-size, non-directional tires takes the rear wheels to the front on the same side, while the front tires travel to the opposite sides on the back of the vehicle.
For directional tires, the rotational patterns are different. They must be on the same side of the car because they are only supposed to turn in one direction. A directional tire on the car’s right front can travel to the right-back, whereas a directional tire on the left front can move to the left-back.
The presence or absence of a full-sized spare tire can also influence the tire rotation pattern. If your vehicle has a full-sized spare, you may wish to incorporate it into the rotation pattern to ensure that all of the tires wear evenly.
Things to Keep In Mind while Rotating Tires
Tires of Different Size or Diameter
If the front and back tires on your car are different sizes, they should be kept in the front or rear of the vehicle. During tire rotation, a nondirectional rear tire with a different size than the front tire will swap places with the other tire on the opposite side of the automobile.
Tires with different diameters in the front and back can swap sides during tire rotation, but they must be removed from the wheels and remounted before they can move to their new locations.
Frequency of Tire Rotation
Although the frequency with which you rotate your tires depends on how often you drive and the drivetrain in your car, a good rule of thumb is to do so every 6 months or 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Fortunately for many drivers, oil changes are also advised at this time, making the two procedures easy to combine.
Skipping Tire Rotation Can be Risky
It’s risky to skip tire rotations, and it’s usually not worth it. When you don’t rotate the tires of your car on a regular basis, they’re more prone to failure or cause other issues with your vehicle’s handling. Your best option is to avoid it altogether and rotate your tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Some Final Tips
Although you must pay for vehicle maintenance, the good news is that most maintenance procedures, such as an oil change and tire rotation, end up saving you money in the long term by preventing your vehicle from breaking down and causing substantial damage.
So you see, rotating tires is actually very beneficial for your tires and car. I hope the article has helped you with the concept of Tire rotation and how to rotate tires on your own.
My name is Nick, and I am a car mechanic from Wichita, Kansas. And I drive a 1967 Chevrolet Impala.