Tire Rotation: How And Why To Rotate Your TiresWhy rotate your tires regularly to maintain safety and tire upkeep? Rotating your tires is also required in order to maintain your warranty. Continue reading to learn more about tire rotation, the importance of tire rotation patterns, and which pattern is best for your vehicle.

What is Tire Rotation?

Rotating your tires means changing the positions of all the tires on your car. Your vehicle manufacturer recommends that you rotate your tires every 5,000 miles or as often as possible. This will be for many people what it means when your vehicle gets its oil changed. Rotating your tires regularly gives you the opportunity to inspect them visually for damage, check their pressure, balance them if they’re vibrating, and check their tread depth.

Why is Tire Rotation So Important?

Tire rotation is important for your regular tire care. The first is that your tires will wear evenly over all four tires. This maximizes their life expectancy. Because each position on your vehicle requires different give from each tire, (for example, the tires at the front of a front-wheel-drive vehicle will require a greater amount of torque and friction for turning, acceleration, and braking), this can cause more or less wear to the tire. Because deep, new tire tread is more vulnerable to uneven wear, it is important to rotate your tires every 5,000 miles.

Second, even treadwear helps to keep the tread depth of your tires consistent, which can improve traction and handle across all four tires. This will increase cornering and brake performance, and make your car safer to drive overall. If your vehicle is all-wheel-drive then evenly worn tires reduce the stress on the drivetrain and can help to reduce wear on costly components.

What Tire Rotation Pattern Should I Use?

The tire rotation pattern that’s best for your vehicle will depend on the type of tire you’re using, whether your vehicle is front, rear, all, or four-wheel drive, whether your tires are directional or non-directional, whether or not your tires are the same size on the front and rear of your vehicle, and whether you have a full-size spare that can be rotated through as well, unlike a temporary spare. Let’s take a look at tire rotation patterns recommended by the standardizing body of the tire industry, The Tire and Rim Association, Inc., for all of these possibilities.

Uniform Size Tires and Non-Directional Tires:

The rearward cross pattern is recommended for vehicles with 4-wheel, all-wheel, or rear-wheel drive. The rear tires are moved to the forward wheel and kept on the same side as the vehicle, while the front tires are moved onto the opposite side of the rear axle. All tires can be moved diagonally to front-wheel-drive vehicles, such as sedans and light-weight trucks. This allows tires to be switched between the axles.

Forward Cross

This is the most popular front-wheel-drive vehicle configuration. The rear tires of the front axle are moved backward, while the front tires are moved diagonally to the other side. For tires that are of uniform size and non-directional with a full-size tire spare tire. To ensure that your tires have the same tread wear, rotate the full-size spare tire with the rest. This is particularly important for 4-wheel-drive vehicles, as even slight differences in tire size can cause strain to the drivetrain.

Rearward Cross (rear-wheel or all-wheel drive)

The rear tires of both rear axles move forward towards the front axle, while the spare tire moves to its right. Your spare tire is the left-hand front tire. The right front tire moves diagonally backward to the left side.

Forward Cross (front-wheel drive vehicles):

The rear tires are moved diagonally on the front axle to the opposite ends, while the right front tire is used as the spare tire. The spare tire will be positioned on the right side, while the left front tire will be moved back to the left rear.

High-Performance Directional Tire – Side to side 

All tires can be switched with the same-sized tire partner, and all remain on the same axle. The rear tires are switched to the opposite side, while the front tires do the exact same.

Front to Back (for directional tire)

All tires can be moved from one axle or another, but they remain on the same side. The rear left tire on the front is moved to the left of the rear axle, while the rear left tire gets repositioned on its left side. For more information on getting your tires properly rotated, call us today!