Regularly scheduled tire rotation is an important service that is among those recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Rotating tires is a critical maintenance step because it extends the life of your tires and greatly increases your safety on the road. Additionally, many tire mileage warranties require rotation to keep the warranty valid.
Tire rotation service should be scheduled per the recommendations specified in your owner’s manual. Rotation involves the periodic repositioning of tires to promote more even tread wear. Performed at the scheduled times, tire rotation will preserve balanced handling and traction, and promote even tread wear. Tire rotation can also result in performance advantages.
Tire Rotation Pattern is Also Important
Rotation pattern is important because in most cases, the tires on the front axle need to accomplish very different things than the tires on the rear axle. Conditions encountered on a front-wheel drive vehicle are considerably different than those of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Tire wear effects on a performance vehicle are typically more severe than what you would see on a family sedan. Each individual wheel position can create different wear rates and different types of tire wear.
According to TireIndustry.org, the typical rule for tire rotation is to cross the free rolling axle. This means that on a front-wheel drive vehicle, the front tires should be rotated straight back to the rear and the rear tires should be crossed to the front. In the case of a rear-wheel drive vehicle the opposite applies. Front tires are crossed to the back while the rear tires are rotated straight to the front. A “double x” pattern is used with four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, so the right front and left rear tires switch positions, as do the left front and right rear.
Tires are a substantial investment. It pays to take care of them. Properly inflated tires that are serviced on a regular basis with proper tire rotation can be expected to deliver optimal tread life, as well as excellent performance and value.