Tire rotation is the process of moving the wheels and tires of a vehicle from one position to another. The main function of tire rotation is to ensure even tire wear, thus extending the useful life of your tires. Rotating your tires helps them wear more evenly, helping you save money in the long run because you won’t need new tires as often. Here are a few things you should know about tire rotation.
Why do I need to rotate my tires?
Tires mounted on the drive wheels (Front wheel, rear wheel) of any vehicle perform extra duty because they apply power to the pavement. For front wheel vehicles, that is amplified by the weight of the engine and transmission. Rotating your tires spreads out the burden so they wear evenly. If you never rotate your tires, you will develop uneven tread wear. By rotating your tires not only will your tread be even, but you will also experience increased fuel economy and better overall performance. Additionally, if you fail to rotate your tires regularly, you risk blowout or tire failure. Tread also keeps your vehicle from hydroplaning or losing traction. Tire rotation ensures the general safety of your vehicle and passengers.
Signs You May Need To Rotate Your Tires
It is best to follow a regular schedule for tire rotation, no matter if you have front, rear, or all-wheel drive. However, there are a few physical indicators of when you should get your tires rotated.
- Uneven Tire Wear
This is the most common sign that you may need your tires rotated. You can check this by measuring the tread depth in multiple spots on each tire. If the measurements are drastically different, then it is time for a tire rotation. You can also check for tread feathering; When the tread ribs are worn lower/smoother on one side and higher/sharper on the other.
- Uneven front to rear tread wear
While each general tire can wear unevenly, the front and rear tires can also wear differently. When rotating your tires, switch them between the front and rear positions to help even out the wear.
- Tire noise and vibration
When tires wear unevenly, you may notice increased road noise and vibrations. Vibrations can be felt in other parts of the car, so make sure you check your tires when inspecting for the problem.
How often should I rotate my tires?
It is generally recommended to rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or every six months. Move your tires from front to back to even out wear and extend tire life. Another good time to rotate your tires is when you get an oil change or every other oil change depending on how long you go between changes. Always check with your vehicle manufacturer for the recommended tire rotation schedule.