Just like your engine, the tires on your car need to be serviced periodically if you want to extend their service life. According to tire experts, tire rotation is essential tire care that should be performed at regular intervals. Laid out below are a few reasons why tire rotation is so important to the overall health of your car.
What Is Tire Rotation?
Tire rotation is the repositioning of all four tires at regular intervals to promote even tread wear. There are several tire rotation patterns like rearward cross, forward cross, X-cross, side-to-side, and front-to-rear. The rearward cross tire rotation pattern is recommended for four-wheel drive vehicles and rear-wheel drive vehicles.
The forward cross rotation pattern is recommended for front-wheel drive vehicles. Front to back tire rotation is ideal for vehicles with directional tires. Side-to-side tire rotation is ideal for vehicles that have different size performance tires at the front and rear axles.
A Couple of Reasons to Rotate Your Tires
- New tires come with a warranty. According to the tire warranty, the manufacturer guarantees that the treads will not wear out before certain miles. If the tread wears evenly before the assured mileage, the tire manufacturer would offer free replacement. However, if the tread wear is uneven, the tire warranty does not apply. In simple words, if you don’t rotate new tires, the uneven tread wear could void the tire warranty.
- Tires at different positions experience different loads and pressures, which cause uneven wear. For example, the tires fitted on drivetrain end up doing more work as they have to put down the power to the pavement. If your vehicle is a front-wheel drive, the front tires have to bear additional pressure during turns. All this causes uneven wear. Tire rotation allows you to achieve even wear and maximize tread life.
How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires?
Uneven tire wear is caused by a few different things like problems in suspension, improper wheel alignment, as well as under and overinflation. You need to inspect the wear of your tires at regular intervals.
If you notice uneven wear on your tires, you need to take your tires in for a rotation as soon as possible. In general, tire rotation is recommended every 6 months or every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. If you drive less than 7,500 miles in a year, you can get away with rotating your tires every seven-and-a-half months.
Tire Rotation Patterns Explained
- Forward Cross: Front tires are switched to the rear position on the same side. The rear tires are moved to the opposite corners of the front axle.
- Rearward Cross: Rear tires are switched to the front position on the same side. The front tires are moved to the opposite side of the rear axle.
- X-Cross: Both front tires move to the opposite side of the rear axle. Also, both rear tires move to the opposite side of the front axle.
- Side-to-Side: Tires move to the opposite side of the same axle.
- Front-to-Rear: Front tires move to the rear axle on the same side and vice versa.
Regular tire rotation is essential to improve performance and extend the life of your tires. If you like saving money and driving safely, you should follow the tire rotation recommendations mentioned in your owner’s manual.