how often to rotate tires

How Often To Rotate Tires


Everyone wishes to ensure that their cars function optimally. While a lot of attention is often paid to the servicing of vehicles, tires are often neglected. Have you ever noticed your car not having a smooth run and having excessive bumps along the way? This signals that your tires have worn out.

People seldom seem to realize how vital it is to rotate car tires timely. Failure to do so can affect your car performance and your journey. How often the car tires should be rotated depends on various factors. Let us elaborate more about rotating car tires.

Why is it important to rotate car tires?

The tire rotation is meant to even out the wearing of the tires. This leads to an extension in the longevity of tires’ life. You wouldn’t have to invest money ever so often in replacing the tire if you rotate your car tires timely.

It is critical to even the tire wire if balanced handling is to be ensured. You might lose control of the car due to the uneven wearing of tires, leading to dangerous accidents. If you do not rotate car tires on time, one side of the tires will have less tread compared to the other side, making maneuvering challenging.

In some cases, if the cars with alignment issues might cause wear patterns on the tires if they are not rotated regularly. This significantly shortens their lifespan. Tire rotation can also prevent the production of high noise levels and vibration that often occurs due to unusual wear patterns.

If your tires had a warranty, but the reason for their damage is the failure to rotate them regularly, the warranty wouldn’t be of any use.

Therefore, if you want to prevent money wastage and continue to have a smooth drive, rotating car tires is vital.

How often should car tires be rotated?

Rotating car tires implies that you move the tires from one position to another on the vehicle. For instance, the front tires are relegated to the rear while the rear ones are brought to the front during a typical tire rotation. Often the sides of the tires are changed as well.

The tires can be rotated in various patterns. It is advisable to follow the instructions laid out in your vehicle’s manual for the purpose.

How often the car tires should be rotated varies, depending on the type of vehicle. You should follow the guidelines in the user’s manual. However, it is usually advised to rotate car tires after it has traveled for 5000 to 7500 miles. You might find some exceptions to this as well.

The wearing of tires is also affected by the location of the car and its drive terrain. Let us give you a few examples of how you can rotate the car tires.

Front-Wheel Drive

Front tires of vehicles with front-wheel drive wear quickly compared to the rear ones. This is because it is the front tires that steer the car and are responsible for transferring power to the road.

Therefore, if you want to rotate car tires of a front-wheel-drive vehicle, you need to move the front tires to the rear. However, as the rear tires are transferred to the front, their sides should be switched. Thus, you will place the tire initially in the rear right on the front left now.

This video will guide you on how you can rotate car tires of a front-wheel-drive;

Rear-Wheel Drive

These vehicles usually have balanced wear. This is because while the front tires are responsible for steering, it is the rear ones that deliver power to the road. This division ensures that the wear is much more balanced compared to front-wheel-drive vehicles.

However, this does not imply that you do not rotate the tires at all. The front and rear tires perform different functions and thus have varying wear patterns. Therefore, it is essential to rotate these tires as well.

In this case, the pattern of rotation advised is slightly different. This time, the sides of the front tires should be switched instead of the rear ones. Thus, the rear tires should be brought to the front but on the same side. On the other hand, the front left tire will be moved to the rear right, and so on.

This video should be of help if you are confused on how to rotate your car tires

All-Wheel Drive

Rotating tires is perhaps most crucial in all-wheel-drive vehicles. This is because these usually have drastic variations in tread depth, which can lead to an exertion of excessive strain on terrains. The tires of these vehicles have to be rotated more often compared to others. Furthermore, in these vehicles, it is the front tires that wear more rapidly.

It is essential to keep an eye on the tread wear variance while determining when the tires should be rotated. Ensure that the variation does not exceed beyond 2/32 of an inch. This will guide you on how frequently you should rotate the tires.

The pattern to be followed is the same as real-wheel-drive vehicles. Thus, the rear tires will be moved to the front, on the same side, while the side of the front tires will be switched as they are shifted to the rear end.

Here is a video to make things clearer;

Some points to remember while you rotate car tires

It is necessary that you take your car to a mechanic every time you feel that the tires have to be rotated. This would prove to be quite costly. It is quite possible to rotate car tires on your own. However, there are some things you should keep in mind.

Before rotating the tires, ensure that you examine each one of them thoroughly for possible damage. Both the outer and inner sidewalls should be checked. You can replace the tires timely in case of any problem.

Start by checking the date code. The condition of tires deteriorates with time. After a certain period, they become unsafe. It is usually recommended that tires older than six years should not be used, even as a spare. In some cases, the limit might be ten years. The DOT code can determine the age of the tire. The last four digits indicate the manufacturing period of the tire.

The lug nuts should be tightened using a torque wrench. This ensures that the wheels get mounted on the vehicle properly. If the tightening is not adequate, the lug nuts can become loose, and the wheels can separate while driving, leading to accidents.

Excessive tightening can lead to brake rotor warping. This would lead to vibration as you stop driving and increase the stopping distance. Furthermore, if the lug nuts are too right, you wouldn’t be able to remove them with ease using a short wrench if your tire flattens. Take a look at your owner’s manual to find out the advisable tightening specifications for your vehicle.

Make sure to check the air pressure while rotating the tires. Ensure that a quality gauge is used for the purpose. You will get accurate readings when the tires are cold. Adjust the air pressure if required before placing the tires in their new position.


When it comes to driving, no chances should be taken. You need to ensure that your car is in optimal condition to keep the risks of accidents minimal. Wearing of car tires can have detrimental consequences. Therefore, ensure that you rotate car tires timely and as per the guidelines of your owner’s manual.

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