Every 3,000-5,000 miles, you tires should be rotated. For most drivers, that number has been exceeded significantly, and their tires may be suffering because of it. No, we don’t mean rotated like they do when you drive down the road, we mean having the tires moved from their current positions (front/rear/driver/passenger), to a different position. Check out the graphic below to see how your vehicle’s tires should be rotated.
When a vehicle’s tires are rotated, it helps in the tires wearing in a more even pattern, prolonging the life of the tire set. In addition, many tire manufacturers require regular tire rotation to keep a warranty valid.
Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive, or tires that are on the vehicle, tires will wear over time. Because each axle experiences different forces as your drive, brake, hit bumps, etc. different tire positions will wear differently. In rear-wheel drive vehicles, the rear wheels will experience more force since they are receiving power when you accelerate. The inverse applies for front-wheel drive vehicles.
If tires wear unevenly, or are not rotated regularly, it may result in needed to replace one or two tires before you’d normally need to replace the entire set. Uneven wear can also affect the handling and performance of your vehicle, especially while turning and braking. An unevenly worn tire is much more susceptible to separating as well, which can be a severe safety risk, as well as doing damage to your vehicle.
Whether you have family or a friend who can do it for you, or you choose to go to a local automotive shop, regularly rotating your tires will help to evenly distribute tire wear. By distributing the wear evenly across your entire set, you are not only prolonging the life of your tires, but are also ensuring that each tire will perform in unison with the others. Uneven wear can cause low spots, bald spots, and low treads that can ultimately affect the performance and traction of your tires, especially in wet or icy conditions. For the best results and even wear, rotate your tires every 3,000-5,000 miles, or whenever you are due for an oil change. Many shops and repair centers will offer a combo deal, and it takes one more thing off your vehicle “to-do” list.