Why do I need to rotate tires? Don’t they rotate all the time as they roll down the road when we take our cars for a spin?
Tires tend to wear unevenly as we use them which is why taking your tires for a regular tire rotation service is important. The repositioning of tires preserves balanced handling and traction which promotes even tread wear. Additionally, rotating your car tires may also be required to keep your tires covered under warranty.
Here’s everything you need to know about Tire Rotation.
What is a tire rotation?
It means periodically changing the position of each of the tires on your vehicles. You should schedule your tire rotation service as per the recommendations of your car manufacturer, or every 5,000 miles.
Why tire rotation is important?
As mentioned in the intro, tire rotation promotes even tire wear which also means, your tire tread life is maximized.
Allow us to explain the science behind this,
Each specific position on your vehicle requires a different give from each tire, for example, tires on the front of a front-wheel-drive vehicle will take a larger proportion of the torque and friction that’s needed for turning, accelerating, and braking—and can lead to more, or less, wear on the tire. This is the reason why it is especially important to have new tires rotated by 5,000 miles because fresh tire tread is susceptible to uneven wear.
Tire rotation keeps the tread depth on your tires uniform. This helps keep the traction and handling of your tires consistent, which improves cornering and braking performance—overall improving its safety.
Lastly, if your car has all-wheel-drive, evenly worn tires lower the stresses on the drivetrain, reducing wear on expensive drive components.
What tire rotation pattern should I utilize?
The tire rotation pattern will depend on the type of tire you’re using.
- If your car is front, rear, all, or four-wheel drive
- If your tires are directional or non-directional
- If your tires are the same size on the front and read of your car or not
For tires that are of uniform size and non-directional
1. Rearward Cross
For vehicles that are 4-wheel, all-wheel, or rear-wheel drive, the rearward cross pattern is recommended.
For front-wheel drive vehicles such as light-weight trucks and sedans, all tires are moved diagonally x-pattern is recommended.
3. Forward cross
For front-wheel drive vehicles, the forward cross pattern is recommended. this is the commonly used pattern.
For tires that are of uniform size and non-directional with a full-size spare tire.
1. Rearward Cross (REAR-WHEEL OR 4-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES):
Both rear axle tires move directly forward to the front axle while the spare tire moves to the right side of the rear axle. The right front tire moves diagonally back to the left side of the rear axle while the left front tire becomes your new spare tire.
2. Forward Cross (FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES):
Rear tires are moved diagonally to opposite sides on the front axle while the right front tire becomes the new spare tire. The spare tire is positioned on the right side of the rear axle while the left tire on the front axle is moved directly back into the left rear position.
For high performance and directional tires:
For differently-sized performance tires on the front and rear axles, side to side pattern is recommended.
For directional tires, the front-to-back pattern is recommended.