Tire Rotation: How Should You Rotate Tires?

Tire rotation is (and always has been) an important part of vehicle maintenance. Over time, this almost always results in balanced traction and handling. So what is Tire rotation? Tire rotation is the regular movement of a vehicle’s tires in a fixed direction, from front to back and left to right, and it plays an important role in tire alignment. Another thing that needs to be considered is tires may also need to be replaced during the warranty period. Tires should be rotated to ensure optimum wear even if the vehicle is properly aligned. In addition, rotation can prevent uneven wear at all wheel positions of the vehicle.

Tire rotation after



Importance of Tire Rotation and Balance

Tire rotation and balance is an important part of routine tire maintenance for several reasons. First, rotating tires regularly wears all four tires evenly and extend the tire’s life. For example, the front tires of front-wheel-drive vehicles wear differently because more torque and friction are needed when cornering, accelerating, and braking.


How Should You  Rotate the Tires?


Tires Rotation Scheme

This is all well and good, but tire rotation is not what it was a few decades ago. In the old days, most vehicles had identical wheels and tires on all four corners and a separate spare wheel like a road wheel. Nowadays there are space savers, and every model comes with different sizes of wheel, that is why the rotation process is different. If the tires are all same in size and shape, the rotation pattern could be directional in the form of front wheel drive or rear wheel drive. But if the sizes are different, tires will be equipped with different offsets, here we will recommend the 5-way tire rotation that will be discussed further in this article.


Maintaining Correct Alignment

Tire rotation and alignment is an important factor to consider. Improperly aligned vehicle wheels can cause uneven tire wear, leading to premature tire replacement. Improperly aligned wheels can also indicate other mechanical problems that affect tire performance. In this case, choosing a workshop that uses accurate computer equipment is advisable, and asking for a printed report of the wheel angles is recommended.


Check the Balance

Unbalanced tires and wheels not only cause unpleasant vibrations. They can also cause uneven wear, reducing driving comfort and faster tire changes. Stores selling electronic tire monitors can help in this case.


Directional and Non-directional Pattern

Many tires are directional and only provide traction if they rotate in the same direction. Directional tires can often improve grip and reduce tread wear through better tire rotation patterns. They can also absorb water from contact patches. Cars fitted with directional tires cannot turn sideways. If the tire starts on the left side, it stays on the left side.


Rotational Methods

The Tire and Wheel Association recommends three rotation methods suitable for most vehicles:


Four-Tire Rotation

Different sized rims and directional tires, or different front and rear directional tires and bias-ply tires, must be disassembled, reassembled, and balanced to ensure tire rotation.


Five-Tire Rotation

If the spare wheel is the correct size (not a temporary spare) and you want to rotate tires, place it in the correct rear position. Then mount the right rear tire on the spare wheel. Changing tires is an important part of (occasional) vehicle maintenance. If the right wheel and tire rotate around a fixed axis, they will wear evenly.


Six-Tire Rotation (Dually Trucks)

Tire rotation pattern of the two rear wheels looks like two triangles, one on the driver’s side and one on the passenger’s side. On the left and right sides, place the outer double module in the inner position, the inner double module in the drive position, and the double drive module in the outer double position. If different types and tires are mounted on the front and rear axles, use only the rotation pattern and rotate the axle left and right, not forward or backward.


Winter Tires/Snow Tire Change

Tires with dull elements should be replaced regularly to ensure they perform at their best and last as long as possible during the winter. Rotation helps wear all four tires evenly during their life, balancing grip and handling and allowing the driver to use all four sets of tires longer.


Best Tire Rotation Pattern

There are no strict rules on how and when to change tires, but there are some suggestions: firstly, tires should be rotating. Directional tires, for example, are designed to give maximum grip at the front, but to maximize grip at the rear, compromises have to be made. The biggest disadvantage of directional tires is that they cannot be rotated left or right in the car without removing the tire from the rim, rotating it 180 degrees and then putting it back on.


Some service manuals for older cars recommend turning the spare wheel to allow the tire to relax. The problem with this recommendation is that many modern spare wheels are not designed for long-term use. They are small, light and often have a shallow tread depth.

If you are looking for wheels that can give you long term use with better tire rotation, you can check Wheelshome collections here.

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