Why Tire Rotation Should Not Be Ignored

close up of car tire

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, rotating the tires is extremely important for several reasons. Take the time to rotate the tires when the manufacturer recommends, and reap benefits that can save you money, frustration, and time in the long run.

When to Rotate the Tires

Tire rotation doesn’t have to be difficult, but many people just don’t want to deal with it. The time it takes can eat into everyday life, but that time is an investment of sorts. The tires on your car or truck will last much longer if you take the time to rotate them every five to eight thousand miles.

This rotation schedule means that you should get a rotation every other oil change. If you have the car in for an oil change anyway, the technician working on your car can rotate the tires while the car is on the lift.

Extend the Tire Life

Rotating the tires affects tire life by breaking tire wear cycles. If the car is a front-wheel drive, for instance, the rear tires should get moved to the front and the front tires to the rear to keep the best tires on the front of the car. The front tires wear faster because they are the drive and steering tires but if they are rotated as they should be, you can get the maximum wear from all of the tires.

The same is the case with rear-wheel-drive cars. The front and rear tires should change positions and the tires should also change sides of the car. The right rear would move to the front left and the left rear to the front right. Check the owner’s manual for your car for the recommended pattern or consult the technician at the tire shop about the best rotation to get the most out of the tire.

Ride and Handling

Tire tread wear can affect the ride and handling of the car in good or bad ways. If the tread is cupping or wearing to one side of the tire, that wear can change the way the tire handles bumps or slopes on the road. You will be able to feel this in the steering in most cases; a car the pulls to one side or the other can be a handful to drive.

If you drive long distances, fighting poor handling can be exhausting. A tire that wears on one edge and not the other can also quickly become out of balance and produce vibrations through the driveline. The vibration may be felt in the car and in the steering, making the ride very uncomfortable for people in the car.

Rotation Exceptions

With any rule comes exceptions; tire rotation is no different. The first exception to the rotation rules comes into play with cars that have directional tires on them. Direction tires can be rotated but they have to be done in a very specific manner and for the most part, they don’t benefit as much from rotation as standard tires.

Because the tread can only go one direction on these tires, they can only move from the front to back or back to front, but they need to stay on the same side of the car. This limits the benefits of rotating the tires. If you have directional tires on your car, ask the dealer about how and when they need to be rotated, if at all.

Truck tires can also sometimes be an exception because the tires may not be the same on the front and the rear of the truck. Load ratings and tread patterns can differ and on three quarter and one-ton trucks with dual rear tires, rotation is not always practical.

BRAKEMax is here to help you with your tire needs. Give us a call or come by and we can help you determine when to rotate the tires on your car, truck, or SUV. Our experienced technicians can quickly and efficiently handle all your tire needs and help you extend the life of the tires on your vehicle.

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