Why You Should Keep Your Tires Rotated

July 26th, 2021 by

Tire changing at car service

When’s the last time you had your tires rotated? This service involves switching the rear tires with the front tires, as well as changing sides. Most owner’s manuals recommend a tire rotation service for every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. While this may sound like an inessential service, a tire rotation is always required, especially if you want your tires to last.

Why Get Your Tires Rotated?

Doing this as recommended ensures that the tires wear evenly. This is important because when the treading of the front and rear tires differ, it can make the vehicle more difficult to control. Rotating your tires also helps the tires last and can prevent tread cupping. Also, some tire warranties require routine rotations to stay in good standing.

How to Rotate Your Tires?

Depending on your vehicle’s drivetrain, it can determine how your tires are rotated. For front-wheel-drive vehicles, switch the front tires with the rear tires. When moving the rear tires to the front, change them to opposite sides. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles are the opposite. The rear tires should switch to the front but stay on the same side. The front tires then move to the back of the car and switch sides.

All-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles should follow the same process as rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

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Step-by-Step Process

If you decide to rotate your tires at home, have ready a hard, flat, and level work area. You will also need a jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, a torque wrench, and a standard toolset. Remember to never get under the vehicle unless it is supported by a jack.

  1. Examine each tire for tread or sidewall damage.
  2. It is recommended to change tires after 6 to 10 years, so make sure you check the date code. Look for the last four digits of the DOT code. If you are unsure of what that is, here is an example: 3517, which means the tire was made in the 35th week of 2017.
  3. Next, use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts. This keeps the wheels properly mounted to the vehicle. The owner’s manual should list the tightening specifications.
  4. Check and/or adjust the air pressure. Using a quality gauge when the tires are cold will provide an accurate reading.

Some vehicles may have more specifications or issues. These concern dually trucks, five-tire rotation, studded winter tires, staggered wheels, tire pressure monitoring systems, and suspension, alignment, or inflation issues. You may want to check your owner’s manual, do more research, or see a professional if these issues occur. Our team at Mike Shaw Kia is eager to serve you!

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