Everyone who owns a car should know that their tyres need to be rotated every so often. Even though this is such an important part of taking care of a car, many people don’t know how to rotate their tyres, why they should, or even what it means.
Every 7,500 miles, you should change your car’s tyres. So, the tyres won’t wear down on just one side. Different tyres wear down at different rates, and the car you drive may affect how fast your tyres wear down.
Now that you know that rotating your tyres is an important part of keeping your car in good shape, you should learn how, when, and why you should do it. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this task!
Is It Necessary To Rotate Your Tires?
Before we talk about when and how to rotate your tyres, we should talk about why you should.
When you know why something needs to be done, you’ll be more motivated to do it and you’ll know what it does for you, whether you’re rotating tyres or doing something completely different.
When you get your oil changed, tyre rotation is often included in the price. It is something that the mechanics do, usually without being told to. This can be annoying at times, and it makes people wonder if they need to do it at all.
Tire rotation is important for more than one reason, but the main one is to make your tyres last longer.
The tread on your tyres will wear down as you drive on roads, rough surfaces, and in different kinds of weather. Even though this is normal, not every tyre wears out at the same rate.
How fast they wear out depends a lot on which axle they are on. Most of the time, the front tyres have to deal with more friction, so they wear out faster. If you make sharp turns to the right but soft turns to the left, the right tyres will wear out faster.
Rotating your tyres helps even out the wear on them so that they all wear out at the same time and need to be replaced at the same time. During a tyre rotation, the tyres will be moved from back to front, front to back, right to left, or left to right.
This is done so that each tyre gets a chance to do the most work.
What Happens If You Don’t Rotate Your Tires?
If you don’t rotate your tyres, you could get into an accident because of them.
Accidents like these can happen when you slide on ice, hydroplane, get too hot, or have a higher chance of blowing out your tyres.
About a quarter of all accidents involving tyres happen because one or more tyres don’t have enough tread depth.
How Much Longer Do Tires Last If You Rotate Them?
Rotating your tyres is not only good for safety, but it will also help you buy tyres less often.
It’s not clear how much longer your tyres will last, but you’ll only have to buy new ones half as often. If you buy 4 new tyres after a long time, instead of 2, you’ll only have to buy 2 new ones after a short time.
How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires
Now that you know why it’s important to rotate your tyres, let’s talk about when you should do it. There’s no one time when you have to rotate your tyres. Instead, it’s more like a schedule, since you have to do it every so often.
Some people follow the rule that you should change your tyres every 6 months. This isn’t always the best way to figure out when to rotate your tyres because different people use their tyres in different amounts every 6 months.
Most people drive enough miles on their tyres in this amount of time for them to need to be rotated. The rule of thumb that you should rotate your tyres every 6 months is based on the more accurate way to do it.
Every 6,000 to 8,000 miles is a good time to get your tyres rotated. This will help you do it at the right time. This will happen about every 6 months for people who drive their cars on paved streets an average amount.
People who use their cars a lot, a little, or on unpaved roads should keep a closer eye on how many miles they’ve driven since the last time they had their tyres rotated.
Even though these are general guidelines for when to rotate your tyres, each car is different. Check your owner’s manual to find out how many miles you should drive before you need to change your tyres.
Some cars need a tyre rotation much sooner than 10,000 miles, while others don’t need one until that far.
Can You Rotate Your Tires Too Much?
You can’t really go wrong if you rotate your tyres before it’s usually time to do so. If you do it on a regular schedule, rotating your tyres “too often” isn’t really a problem.
The worst thing that will happen is that you will have to do more work or pay more often for mechanics to do it.
Tire rotation is a good idea, but there comes a point when it’s too late. You should switch them out on a pretty set schedule. This will keep you from wearing out two tyres faster than the other two.
If you wait too long to rotate your tyres and don’t do it again in the same amount of time, one set of tyres will wear down too much and it will be hard to get the other two to the same point.
This makes the ride rougher and makes it more likely that you will get into an accident because of your tyres.
How to Rotate Your Own Tires
Now that you know when and why you should rotate your tyres, it’s time to talk about how to do it.
People often think that because rotating tyres is something mechanics do, they can’t do it themselves. However, that is not true.
Tire rotation is a pretty easy thing to do, and anyone can learn how to do it. Rotating your tyres is not that hard, and we will show you how to do it from home.
Before you even start, you should make sure you have everything you need to do the job.
You’ll need to:
A jack to lift your car off the ground so you can take the tyre off the axle without the car falling to the floor. To rotate the tyres, you will need to lift all four of them off the ground.
A lug wrench (or torque wrench) to take off all of the tyre lug nuts. So, you can take the tyres off the axles and switch them around.
You will need four safety stands to keep the car off the ground while you change the tyres. If you don’t have four, you won’t be able to rotate the tyres safely.
After making sure you have everything you need to rotate your tyres, you can start the process.
The first step in rotating your tyres is to lift your car up so that all four tyres are off the ground and your car is safely supported by the safety stands.
To do this, lift the front of the car with your jack, whether it’s a hydraulic jack or a scissor jack. When the car is high enough that two of your safety stands can fit under it. Turn the safety stands up until they touch the car, and then lower the jack slowly.
Do the same thing on the back of the car and put the other two safety stands in the right places. Now that your car is off the ground, give it a shake so that if anything is loose, it will fall on the tyres and not the undercarriage.
Now that you have safely lifted your car off the ground, take off all of the tyres. Use your lug wrench to take off each tire’s lug nuts. Take the tyre off of the axle and put it back on the ground where it was.
Make sure you know which set of lug nuts goes with which tyre. Instead of taking them off in a circle, take them off in a star shape to put less pressure on each one and the axle.
The process can be different when it comes to putting the tyres in the right places. Check your car’s owner’s manual to find out what kind of rotation your car is supposed to have. This depends on the transmission.
There are 4 different ways to rotate tyres, and it’s important to do the right one.
1. Rear-wheel drive Rotation Pattern
When rotating the tyres on a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the two back tyres go straight to the front, with the rear left becoming the front left and the rear right becoming the front right.
The two front tyres should switch sides and be put at the back, so that the front left tyre becomes the back right tyre and the front right tyre becomes the back left tyre.
2. FWD Tire Rotation Patterns
With a front-wheel-drive car, you move the two front tyres straight to the axles at the back without crossing them. Still, left is left and right is right.
You will move the two back tyres to the front axle on the other side. The right will become the left, and the left will become the right.
3. Directional Tire Rotation Patterns
It is much easier to remember how directional tyres turn than whether they are rear or front wheel drive. The two front tyres move to the two axles in the back, and the two back tyres move to the axles in the front.
Since there is no crossing, the lefts and rights stay on the same sides; left is still left and right is still right.
4. AWD Tire Rotation Patterns
Lastly, if you have an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive car, you just cross the tyres and move them to the opposite axles.
The left front tyre goes to the right back, and the right front tyre goes to the left back. The left rear tyre goes to the right front axle, and the right rear tyre goes to the left front axle.
If you want to get the benefits of rotating your tyres, you must always do the same rotation.
You could also have a mechanic do it when you get your oil changed or as a separate job. This way, you won’t have to buy the tools or take the time to do the work.
It’s a lot easier and cheaper than doing it yourself, depending on how often you get it done and how much your local mechanic charges.
Tip: If you want to learn more, check out my article on tyre wear for AWD vehicles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do You Need An Alignment After Each Tire Rotation?
No, you do not. The alignment of the tyres doesn’t change when you rotate them, but it does when you change them.
Is It Okay To Rotate Tires Every 10,000 Miles?
This should be fine, depending on the type of car you have and where you drive it. But if you want more specific information, you should probably talk to a professional or look in your manual.
How much does it cost to rotate tires?
It costs about $10 to $20 per rotation, so the whole thing will cost between $40 and $80.
How long does it take to rotate tires?
To change tyres takes about an hour. If you do it yourself for the first time, it will take 90 minutes to two hours.