How Often to Rotate Your Tires

How often should you rotate your tires? This is a common question for many first-time car owners.

Tires are never perfectly aligned or evenly worn. Front tires will usually be more worn than the back, but your rear tires will wear faster when the car is in rear-wheel drive.

Swapping your tires' positions on the vehicle will keep them safe from blowouts and damage from potholes and rough terrain, as well as allow them to last a lot longer.

Start by looking at your car's owner manual. Inside, you'll find a recommended tire rotation pattern and the appropriate time intervals for rotation. Rotation is more of a necessity for cars that have driven less than 10,000 miles, but should be continued for cars of all ages. If you want to be extra cautious, rotate your tires at every oil change.

How to Rotate Tires

Before you rotate your tires, look at the treat on them. If they are worn near the wear indicator, you should remember that you will need to replace them in the near future.

Using a floor jack, locate the car manufacturer's recommended jacking point. Using a lug wrench, loosen the lug nuts on all of the wheels and jack up the car. Remove the lug nuts and store them in a safe place.

Remove a front tire and a rear tire and switch them. Fasten the lug nuts as tightly as you can with your hand. Using the jack, allow the car to slowly move back to the ground. Then use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the specification in the owner's manual.  

While it is fairly easy to perform this tire rotation on your own, many people will find it easier to have a mechanic do it. The mechanic will also probably have discount tires for sale if you need them. Just be sure to provide them with the rotation pattern information from the owner's manual. 

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