Why should I rotate my tires?
If you never rotate your tires, the fronts will last about 10,000 to 20,000 miles and the rears will last 50,000 to 80,000 miles. The reason we rotate tires is to even out the wear and properly done, all the tires will be worn out at the same time. It's also a great excuse to inspect your brakes on a regular basis.
It is important to rotate your tires to even out the wear. The front tires will wear the outside edge because the tire leans over when you turn a corner. Slight outside edge wear that appears to be the same on both front tires is no reason to be alarmed. If you find one of the front tires has significantly more wear than the other, then there is cause for alarm. The rear tires just follow the fronts so their wear is minimal.
It is very important to rotate your tires every 6,000 to 7,500 miles. Three things should occur during a tire rotation. First, all the tires should be properly inflated. Second, the tires should be rotated. Third, a physical inspection of the brakes should be made while the tires are off. It makes no sense to pay to have your brakes checked, then 3 months later pay to have your tires rotated.
A lot has been written about the proper way to rotate tires. The biggest portion of the discussion is whether or not it is OK to change the direction of the rotation of the tire. If a tire is moved to the other side of the car, the direction of rotation has been changed. Years ago that was a no-no but now many tire makers recommend the crisscross way.
Different tire manufacturers may suggest different ways and if you want to be entirely correct, check with the maker of your tires.
In my opinion, you may rotate straight forward and straight back or you can crisscross the fronts and\or the backs before you rotate. At our shop we rotate our customers tires a variety of ways depending on the wear pattern on their tires.
If the tire is scalloped and causing a whine or hum at higher speeds, we will change the direction of rotation to help even out the wear.
Make sure to check your spare at least once a year. A four tire rotation should cost $10-20 dollars. Watch for coupons in the newspapers that allow you to have your tires rotated for free or for 99 cents.
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