Rotation Explanation

Dear Tracy,
I would like to know more about tire rotation. Specifically, I am wondering why is it important to rotate tires, how the tires are rotated, and how often should it be done. I sometimes wonder if services like tire rotation are really necessary or if auto shops try to sell them just to make a buck. Can you fill me in on the facts?
-Fred A.

Dear Fred,
Thank you for your questions about tire rotation! It can be frustrating to pay a mechanic your hard-earned dollars without really knowing what you are getting for the money. The key is to educate yourself with a basic understanding of car and tire care, then find a good and honest service technician you can consistently trust with your business.

Tire rotation is actually an important maintenance operation that will ultimately save you money by protecting your tire investment. Regular tire rotation also enhances driving safety. The reason that tire rotation is important lies in the different ways front and rear tires wear. Front tires are subject to much more pressure than rear tires, and therefore the tread wears more quickly on the front tires. Tire rotation is a way to balance out the wear, getting the most life out of all four tires, and making sure that all four tires have a safe amount of tread.

When your service technician rotates the tires on your vehicle, typically the front tires are exchanged with the rear tires. Usually the driver side tires stay on the driver side and the passenger side tires stay on that side, however with certain types of vehicles or tires this approach may vary. Your service manual will provide details on the proper tire rotation for your specific vehicle.

Generally, tire rotation is recommended every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Again, your service manual will provide you with the best maintenance schedule for your particular vehicle.