The Six Month Rule for Tire Rotation

How often do you get your tires rotated? Did you know that tire rotation extends the life of your tires? Let’s take a look at when it’s time to get tires rotated.

According to an article at, “Tire Rotation”

tires“Tire rotation is an important maintenance duty that extends the life of your tires and ensures safe driving. We’ll take a look at this simple but effective procedure.

Whether you plan on doing the job yourself or having it performed by a certified mechanic, it’s important to know why we rotate our tires.

Front And Rear Tires Wear Differently 
Think about it. All that parallel parking. All those three-point turns. With each turn of the steering wheel, pressure is brought to bear on the front tires. (This is even more accentuated in front-wheel-drive cars, where the front wheels also supply the main motive power for the vehicle.) Resistance causes friction, which in turn produces heat. The result? The front tires wear quicker than the rears. Because of this, it’s necessary to rotate the tires front-to-rear several times during their life cycle to 1) equalize tread wear and 2) maximize the life of the tires. This is what we refer to when we say “rotate the tires.” Rotating generally does not refer to either of the following actions:

  • Exchanging tires on the same axle — for example, swapping the rear tires left to right
  • Criss-crossing tires — moving a tire from the passenger’s side rear to the driver’s side front

There’s a good reason for this. Tires develop wear patterns as they age. Some of these patterns are tied to the suspension system and the alignment. That’s why we keep the tires on the same side of the car.

If your car has staggered wheels — the front and rear tires are two different sizes, such as with the Chrysler Crossfire — you can still swap the tires side-to-side, but not front to back. If your tires are unidirectional (specific to one side of the car) or asymmetrical (the tread pattern changes from the inside of the tire to the outside), you can rotate them front to back but not side to side. And if you happen to have staggered wheels that are also unidirectional or asymmetrical, you cannot rotate your tires at all! But that’s rarely the case.” To read the entire article click here.

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