6/3/2022 - 9:00 AM

Virtually every vehicle manufacturer, tire manufacturer and tire dealer recommends that you rotate your vehicle's tires periodically so that they will wear evenly and last longer. But is tire rotation really necessary?

Apparently there are many motorists out there who don't think so, as tire rotation is one of the more neglected routine maintenance items. You can often even spot vehicles that are in need of tire rotation while out on the road. They are the vehicles whose front wheels are nearly pitch black from brake dust. The reason for this is that the front brakes are larger than the rear brakes on most vehicles (front-wheel drive vehicles) and they do 75 percent or more of the braking. Thus, they generate more brake pad dust, which in turn gets all over the wheels.

Whether your vehicle has front-wheel, rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive, your tires will benefit from a change of scenery from time to time. The weight and workload the tires carry is unevenly distributed which makes them wear unevenly.

A majority of vehicles on the road are front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive which operate in front-wheel drive most of the time. On these types of vehicles, the front tires carry an extraordinary load.

First of all, the front tires carry far more weight than the rear tires because the engine and transmission are typically mounted over the front axle. When you apply the brakes, more weight shifts forward which adds to the load. The front tires also endure uneven wear and tear from powering and steering the vehicle. They also bear the brunt of cornering forces when weight shifts to the outside of a turn. By contrast, the rear tires on a front-wheel drive vehicle are mostly just along for the ride!

Rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles spread more of the load to the rear tires because they drive the vehicle. However, the front tires still carry a significant burden from steering and from the weight of the engine and transmission.

Tire wear and tear can also indicate other problems or issues with your vehicle. For example, if the shoulders are worn more on your tires, it could be an indication of a misalignment or worn suspension parts. If the outer edges of your tires are worn more, it could indicate your tires are underinflated. Conversely, if the inner part of your tires are worn more, it could indicate your tires are overinflated.

How frequently tires should be rotated depends on the vehicle and the manufacturer's recommendations, which can typically be found inside the vehicle's owner's manual. A good rule of thumb is to rotate them at least as often as you change the oil. So if most mechanics tell you to change your vehicle's oil every 6,000 miles and you typically drive around 12,000 miles per year, you should rotate your tires twice a year.

The tire rotation pattern also depends on the vehicle. For most front-wheel drive vehicles, a typical pattern is to move the front tires to the rear on the same side and crisscross the rear tires to the front. The pattern might be different for rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles and will also be different on vehicles that have directional tires or different size tires in the front and rear.

With directional tires, for example, the tires have to stay on the same side and only move between the front and back. If the front and rear tires are of different sizes, they are rotated to the other side of the same axle.

If your tires are in need of rotating or if you're unsure about rotating your tires, our MONICATTI AUTO SERVICE CENTER can assist you. Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment TODAY!

(NOTE: Information loosely taken from a similar article on Cars.com)