Tire Rotation 101: A Guide for Curious Car Owners

As someone who is mindful of proper car maintenance, you are bound to ask at some point: When should I rotate my tires? Your tires are a lot like shoes for your vehicle, and just like the shoes on your feet, your tires will wear in different ways according to the weight distribution of the vehicle, the typical terrain, and the driving habits of the driver. This uneven wear can cause a lot of problems for your vehicle if the tires are not properly rotated. Here is a short guide to what you need to know about tire rotation. 

What causes the tires to wear?

There are multiple factors that cause your tires to wear. Of course, weight distribution and driving habits are a major factor, but there are many other things. Some of the most common reasons for uneven tire wear include:

  • Sudden braking
  • Improper tire pressure
  • The vehicle is front-wheel drive
  • A heavier weight distribution in the front or back of the car

You can do a lot to prevent uneven tire wear by knowing what you do to cause problems. For example, if you travel at a high rate of speed and suddenly brake a lot or take curves quickly, it can cause excessive wearing in certain spots. 

When should your tires be rotated?

Most car manufacturers do recommend that you follow a tire-rotation schedule just like you follow a schedule to change your oil. In most cases, tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. An easy way to remember this is by remembering to have the tires rotated about every other time you have your oil changed. However, if you notice signs of uneven wearing, such as excessive humming on the road or visible discrepancies, it is best to have the tires rotated sooner. 

Why is rotating your tires so important?

Not rotating your tires as recommended is going to mean replacing your tires more often than you would normally have to. Say for example your vehicle is slightly heavier on the front and you have a left front tire there is wearing significantly faster than the rest. This tire is going to develop deep tread wear that the others will not have. To a point, wear can be balanced out by swapping the location of the tires, but once deep tread wear has occurred, this tire can prove to be problematic no matter where it is on the vehicle. Additionally, not rotating your tires can:

  • Create problems with breaks wearing inconsistently
  • Cause stress on the suspension system of your car
  • Lessen steering and traction capabilities on the roadway
  • Make your vehicle louder when you are driving
  • Compromise the smoothness of the ride you experience

The more you know about properly maintaining your tires, the longer they will last on your vehicle, especially where tire rotation is concerned. If you would like to know more about tire rotation, reach out to Cars 911 for professional advice.