Tire rotation is an essential part of regular car maintenance. If you don’t rotate your tires on schedule, they can wear down faster, and they won’t provide the even traction you need to stay safe on the road.
Maximize control over your vehicle’s handling and ask your mechanic to rotate your tires at your oil change appointment. If you don’t remember the last time you had a tire rotation, now’s the time.
Why Is it Necessary?
Depending on the positioning of your tires and the quality of your car’s suspension system, your vehicle’s tires will wear at different rates. Tire wear is also dependent on how you drive.
Once tires wear down, hydroplaning is a real threat. In rainy or snowy weather, you want to be able to depend on your car’s ability to navigate a dangerous roadway. This ability has nothing to do with the vehicle’s engine — it’s all about the tires. If they have no traction, you can get into trouble.
How Often Is it Required?
You’ll probably hear different from every mechanic you ask, but in general, plan on getting a tire rotation every 5,000 miles — this is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recommendation. Check your owner’s manual in case it’s different for your make and model.
If you get an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, just make sure you rotate your tires at the same time, or at every other visit.
How Is it Done?
A tire rotation doesn’t take much time, and it doesn’t require a specialist. The one piece of equipment it does require is a car lift. It’s not a job you can do on your own in the garage, unless you dabble in auto mechanics.
Tire rotation doesn’t follow the same pattern for every vehicle. If you have a four- or rear-wheel drive car, the back tires should be moved to the front. The front tires should be moved diagonally to the rear.
On front-wheel drive cars, the tire rotation pattern is reversed. The front tires are moved to the back and the back tires are switched diagonally to the front.
Are Your Tires Wearing Unevenly?
You don’t have to be a mechanic to diagnose uneven tire tread wear. You might start to feel a subtle change in vibration when you hold the steering wheel. When you run your hand along the surface your tires, you might feel feathering. This is when one side of the tread is worn smooth and the other side is sharp and high.
Besides a tire rotation, consider repairing an out-of-sync alignment and making sure your tires are always fully inflated. Trust the mechanics at State Automotive in Midvale, Utah, to advise you on all issues related to tire maintenance, and get a tire rotation at your next service visit.