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Why Do I Need to Get My Tires Rotated?

Your tires are two things:

  1. They’re essential to your vehicle's function and safety
  2. They’re expensive!

For these reasons, it's a very good idea to take care of your tires. Not only is tire maintenance about safety, it will also save you money. We recommend tire rotations (more on that below) and regular tire air pressure checks (it's a good idea to check your tire pressure every time you fill up for gas) to maximize tire life and safety.

What's A Tire Rotation?

Every few thousand miles, your tires need to be moved from one position on the vehicle to another. Generally, tires are rotated in the following fashion:


The right rear tire is moved to the left front. The left rear tire is moved to the right front. The front tires slide back to the rear.

The point of this exercise is to promote even tire wear. Tires will wear differently on drive (powered wheels) than they do on non-drive wheels. They're also going to wear differently depending on what side of the vehicle they're on. By moving them from left to right and front to back, the tread wears more consistently on each tire, and the life of the set is prolonged.

Another benefit of tire rotation (besides prolonging tire life)? Uneven tire tread wear can be hard to spot. A casual visual check of your tires might show that the tread is thick, as it's hard to see the inside edge of your tires (the tire edge facing away from the outside) are wearing. Rotations help you keep a better eye on tread life, as a casual visual check will be more reliable.

When To Get Tires Rotated

It’s impossible to pinpoint a mileage when your tires need to be rotated. Usually, by the time you notice that your tires are wearing unevenly, it's too late. Most dealerships recommend rotating tires every time you have your engine oil changed (or perhaps every other oil change). This frequency is for new vehicles, however, so older vehicle owners may opt for a rotation at each oil change.

Tire rotations are a good idea - make sure to request one the next time you get your vehicle serviced.

Written by Jason Lancaster