All vehicle owners have probably done, or at least heard of, tyre rotation. However, not many truly understand it and only a few know when or how often it should be done. Some vehicle owners often overlook this important part of car maintenance due to a lack of information and guidance. Consequently, these cars with unrotated tyres wear faster, costing its owner more money and endangering the lives of the people riding them. In this article, we will learn more about proper tyre rotation by reading the answers to the frequent tyre rotation questions that most vehicle owners ask.
1. Why is tyre rotation important?
Tyre rotation means regularly changing the position of the tyres on a vehicle. All tyres, front and rear, perform different functions on a vehicle. The front ones steer and work heavier when turning. They also put the engine power down on front-wheel-drive cars. On the other hand, rears mostly take lesser loads, even on rear-wheel-drive cars. Because of their differences in function, front and rear tyres do not wear evenly. By periodically refitting the tyres to different positions, you can ensure road safety, even tyre wear, and extend the lifespan of all your tyres. Furthermore, tyre rotation is one of the easiest and most cost-effective maintenance tasks you can perform on your car.
2. Is there a mileage interval that I should follow?
Rotating tyres is generally recommended every 7,500 to 10,000 miles, depending on your driving style and mileage. This means that you will need to rotate your tyres more frequently if you usually drive aggressively, use performance tyres, or have above-average mileage. It is also good to rotate tyres at every oil change, which is normally at about 10,000 miles. By rotating your tyres after changing oils, you can incorporate two service jobs at the same time and avoid forgetting to do it. However, if you’re rotating a newly bought set of tyres, your rotation schedule will depend on your warranty.
3. Does my car warranty affect my tyre rotation schedule?
The general mileage suggestions mentioned earlier will not apply if a new set of tyres has just recently been mounted. New tyres come with a conditional warranty from their manufacturer. It states that the particular intervals of tyre rotation must be done, ranging from 4,000 to 8,000 miles. Tyre makers require proper documentation of tyre rotation services. Be sure to carefully read the treadwear portion of the warranty information provided by the tyre manufacturer.
4. How does snow tyre usage affect my rotation schedule?
People who live in northern regions understand the importance of using snow tyres in winter. They make driving through slick and icy roads less difficult and prevent vehicular accidents in the cold season. And, winter and regular tyres are swapped semi-annually, both get lesser mileage than if they are used throughout the year. As a result, your tyre rotation schedule will also be different.
The best thing to do is to rotate your tyres when it’s time to remount them. This way will be easy to remember and you won’t have to keep removing tyres or paying the tyre shop. With a permanent marker, label each tyre with its location, Left Front (LF), Right Front (RF), Left Rear (LR), and Right Rear (RR). Do this for both sets of regular and winter tyres. By doing this, you get to use both sets longer and you will always be driving efficiently even in the worst weather conditions.
5. Should I rotate my tyres or take them to a shop?
With the proper knowledge and tools, rotating tyres is a task you can accomplish by yourself. All you will need is four jack stands, a floor jack, and a torque wrench. However, if you don’t even know how to operate those tools, it’s best to take your car to the professionals. You can go to your dealership, your trusted car repair shop or anyone who can perform tyre rotation near you. Some will perform this as part of their service while others will charge some, but not a lot of money. Tyres rotated by experts ensure a chance to have tyre pressure, brakes, and suspension checked
6. Are spares included in the rotation?
Full-size spare tyres that match the other road tyres are best included in the rotation schedule. It helps maximise the life expectancy of your tyres by at least 20%. However, if you are using space saver spares or temporary spares, they shouldn’t be included in the rotation. These spares are designed to be smaller and lighter than the regular ones, intended only for limited use. Temporary spares should only be used in emergencies and replaced as soon as your usual regular tyres are useable again.
7. Should I also check the tyre pressure when rotating tyres?
Regularly checking your tyre pressures ensures better handling, fuel efficiency, vehicle alignment, and overall safety. It will be a great idea to inspect it during tyre rotation. The more frequently you check tyre pressures, the more you can guarantee optimal tyre performance. But, much more than that, checking tyre pressures during rotation is important to ensure that all 4 tyres will have the correct pressure for their location. Most modern cars require different tyre pressures for their fronts and rears. The pressures for all 4 tyres need to be checked, then adjusted or reset according to where they will be moved. Be sure to know your vehicle’s tyre pressure needs if you plan on doing a DIY rotation.
8. Is there a rotation pattern that must be followed?
Generally, tyre manufacturers recommend a rotation pattern where tyres are moved from front to rear and rear to front, with a set of tyres also crossing over from left to right and right to left. However, the suggested pattern has subtle differences whether the vehicle is FWD/RWD/AWD. If it’s the first time you are rotating tyres, it’s better to do it at your dealership or a reliable tyre shop. From there, you can learn how to do it by yourself the next time. Nevertheless, simply rotating the tyres front-to-rear will still be better than not having a rotation at all. You can check your tyres for unusual wear and let them guide you in picking a specific rotation pattern.
9. Are there tyres that should not be rotated or rotated in a more specific way?
Though most tyres can be rotated, some should not be included or might need special attention. Firstly, rotation of staggered tyres, tyres with larger rears, from front to rear or vice versa is impossible. They probably won’t fit and your vehicle would be harder to control. For staggered tyres, it’s best to rotate them left-to-right, leaving fronts in fronts and rears on the rear.
Secondly, asymmetric tyres with different tread patterns from left to right will also need special attention. Asymmetric tyres must be mounted in a certain way, where the outside of the tyre tread is on the outside of the wheel. Properly mounted asymmetric tyres can follow common rotation patterns as regular tyres.
Lastly, unidirectional tyres which revolve only in the direction, should not be cross-rotated. They must always remain on the same side of the vehicle and revolve only in the direction indicated by the arrow on their sidewall. When purchasing unidirectional tyres, two will indicate a clockwise direction, and two will indicate counter-clockwise which means that they will not work properly if cross-rotated. However, it will be acceptable to rotate them front-to-rear.
With the details on tyre rotation mentioned-above, we hope you’ll have a better idea of how to do it properly. Remember that it is an essential part of car maintenance that will help maximise the lifespan of your tyres and reduces the chances of you getting into vehicular trouble and accidents. It might take some effort and money, but it’s part of being a responsible car owner that will save you more money through time and give you better peace of mind.
If you want to know more about tyre rotation or looking to buy a new set of tyres, Tyres Now is here to help you. We have the necessary knowledge and expertise to recommend you the most suitable tyres and car accessories that will satisfy your needs. Browse through our website and check out our wide range of products and services or call us today on +61 3 9303 7116.