Your vehicle’s tires are built to last you tens of thousands of miles of drive time, but only if you give them the proper care (and this includes knowing how often you should rotate your tires). Sticking to a regular rotation schedule can keep your vehicle safe and in proper working order throughout the life of your tires. Yet as important and painless as the task is, it’s one aspect that too many vehicle owners seem to forget. In fact, a lot of drivers don’t pay any attention at all to their tires until it’s too late and the damage caused by forgetting to rotate is irreversible.
Generally, tires should be rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. For most automobiles, this falls in line roughly with your oil change schedule (although some vehicles are designed to go longer between oil changes). If you’re a regular driver and prefer to think outside the odometer, consider taking your vehicle in for a tire rotation every six months or so.
Why Should You Rotate Your Tires?
In general, tire rotation is required for the simple reason that tires wear down differently depending on where they are located on the vehicle. For example, tires in the front generally sustain wear quicker than tires on the rear. In addition, wheels that are powered by the engine are prone to faster wear than those that are not. This means that front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive, and all-wheel-drive vehicles all sustain different wear patterns. And with that, each type of vehicle will require a different type of tire rotation such as unidirectional, cross, or five-tire (your tire technician will be able to know which rotation is right for your vehicle).
But why should you care about wear patterns on your tires? It comes down to three key aspects:
Uneven tire wear may cause your vehicle to vibrate or pull to the left or right which can make operating your vehicle more stressful and more dangerous. When your tires are balanced, your vehicle is able to perform as it should and you can enjoy a smoother and more comfortable ride.
Not to mention, balanced and regularly rotated tires can help your vehicle in terms of fuel efficiency, which leads us to our next point.
Yes, you can actually save gas money by having your tires rotated regularly. Uneven tires can add excess strain to your engine which will cause your vehicle to burn through gas at a faster rate. In addition, tires are a major investment for your vehicle and if you don’t take care of them per the manufacturer’s specifications (and that includes regular rotations) they’re not going to last you nearly as long as they would otherwise.
That’s right, the most important reason to rotate your tires is also the most obvious. When your vehicle pulls or shakes, or if a tire becomes severely worn, you are putting yourself and your fellow motorists in danger when you get behind the wheel. Play it safe and take the precautions necessary to always keep your vehicle and your vehicle’s tires in proper working order.
No matter what you drive or what you spend on tires, your vehicle is not immune to regular tire rotations. Keeping your tires in check is key to prolonging their life and ensuring your vehicle stays safe and performs at its best. If you take your vehicle to a reputable tire technician, tire rotations usually don’t take more than a few minutes and can be done at the same time as your oil change for added convenience. Knowing how often you should rotate tires (and actually doing it) is one of the most important things you can do to ensure optimal performance and longevity from your tires.