Tire Rotation Guide

What Is Tire Rotation?

One of the most common aspects of vehicle maintenance is tire rotation because it not only extends the life of the tires but affects the handling and safety of the vehicle.

Rotating the tires of a vehicle refers to the act of removing the tires from one wheel and switching them to the other side of the vehicle. That is because tires wear down more on certain sides and wear down unevenly.

By rotating the tires, it allows parts of the tire that has not been worn down to be rotated out with a portion of the tire that has been worn down. This helps your tires wear down at a balanced rate and helps ensure you get the most value out of them as you can.

When To Rotate Tires

The tires of a vehicle can wear down differently depending on the type of vehicle you have and the type of terrain you are driving on. The basic rule of thumb when it comes to tire rotation is to rotate them whenever you change your oil or about every 12,000 to 16,000 kilometers.

Many vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota and Ford use synthetic oil which is longer lasting than conventional oil. You can still rotate the tires when you get an oil change.

If you aren’t planning to rotate your tires when you get an oil change, you should look at the tires themselves. If you see any silver wire exposed inside the rubber of the tire then it’s time for a rotation and perhaps even new tires. Another general rule is to rotate your tires every six months unless you drive less than 12,000 kilometers in a twelve-month period.

One reason you might find yourself needing to rotate tires is that the tires are not properly inflated, which can also cause them to wear out unevenly.

Why is Tire Rotation Necessary?

It is in the vehicle owner’s best interest to rotate tires for a number of reasons, and they can be quickly rotated when you take your vehicle in for an oil change.

First, a tire that is wearing out unevenly can cause the vehicle to pull to one side or the other. Aside from being annoying, a vehicle pulling to one side can be dangerous, especially at high speeds or on slippery surfaces.

Another reason you want to rotate your tires is because of tread cupping which happens to tires when they become worn. You can counter this by simply having the tires rotated.

A third reason you want to rotate your vehicle’s tires is that it will help you get the most value out of the tires that you can. Tires are expensive and you don’t want to only get half of the life your tires have to offer by wearing them down on one side to the point you can no longer use them.

By rotating them, you can switch the part of your tires that contacts the road the most with the fresh side of the tires giving them more grip and a longer life.

Front-Wheel-Drive vs. Rear-Wheel-Drive

It actually matters significantly whether your vehicle is a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel-drive since the drive train is configured differently on each. For a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the tires will wear out more quickly in the front rather than the rear because the power of the engine is being sent through the front wheels, and they are making the necessary contact with the road to pull the rest of the vehicle along.

If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle then the rear tires will wear out more quickly. Just like front-wheel-drive vehicles, the tires that are being used to drive the car forward or backward by the engine will wear down more quickly since they are subject to the most friction. A rear-wheel-drive vehicle’s rear tires will wear out more quickly than the front wheels and this is where tire rotation comes in.

Common Signs It’s Time To Rotate

You may have noticed when you were driving that your vehicle is vibrating. Vibration is the most obvious sign that it is time for a tire rotation because the wheels are not making even contact with the surface of the road. It becomes most obvious at over 70 kilometers per hour or more. While it isn’t the only possible cause of vibration, it is safe to say it is the most common.