Everything You Need to Know About Tire Rotation

Rotating your car's tires may not seem like a big deal compared other common car maintenance tasks, but it's actually hugely important for your overall safety.

Some recurring car maintenance tasks are almost second nature to us, like changing your oil. Other items on you car to-do list, however, aren’t as obvious, even through they’re crucial to taking care of your vehicle. There’s ongoing maintenance for your tires as well. That includes regularly checking the tire pressure, as well as rotating your tires. That later task, rotating your tires, isn’t something most drivers think about very often. Still, it’s one of those critical car care chores that can make driving safer and make your tires last longer.

What Is a Tire Rotation?

Tire rotation is pretty simple. First, the front end and back end tires must be swapped. Next, the left and right sides should be swapped, in order to keep all sides even. This system means that the back left tire would end up at the front right side of the car.

When to Rotate Tires

A good baseline for how often to rotate your tires is to have it done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. But check your car’s manual which should let you know the exact amount of miles recommended for your car’s tire rotation. You can do it when you get your oil changed, which should occur with a similar frequency. And if that seems excessive, consider why you should have your tires rotated.

Why Should You Have Your Tires Rotated?

Tire rotations need to happen frequently to ensure that your tires are wearing evenly. Over time, your different tires are exposed to specific angles of the road, which causes uneven wear on the treads. If they aren’t rotated, your car could eventually drive unevenly altogether. This is especially important for balanced handling. If your car’s tires have different levels of tread (typically the back will have more than the front), than you are going to experience difficulty in an emergency situation (like wet or frozen roads).

Tires can also experience tire cupping, which happens when there’s uneven wear and tear on the tire’s surface. It’s pretty easy to spot; if your tire has uneven patterning and smoother surfaces, that’s an easy sign of tire cupping. Tire cupping can cause noises and rumbling sounds that aren’t pleasant to listen to while driving. Consistent tire rotation, however, can avoid this annoyance.

How Much Does it Cost to Have Tires Rotated?

Tire rotations typically cost $20 to $50 depending on where you go and what kind of services you add on to the job. Some shops will provide free tire rotation if you purchased the tires there but be sure to see if they offer free tire rotation before buying tires.

You can rotate your own tires to save some money, but you will need a few tools and a safe spot to do it.

Not only does rotating your tires keep you safe and keep your tires even, but it also could mean saving some money. Checking your tires regularly and giving them the rotation needed will extend the longevity of your tires, saving you money in the long run.