How to Rotate Tires

You can probably figure out how to rotate tires, if you know how to change a tire. Rotating your tires regularly is a good way to extend the life of your tires and helps to keep them operating safely. Front tires wear down much more quickly than rear tires, meaning if you don't rotate them, you'll end up having to replace one set of tires much sooner than necessary. Plus, it isn't safe to drive on tires that are worn quite differently.

You should rotate your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles or so. You could just have this done when you get your oil changed, especially if you go to a discount tire store with a service bay. Still, it's just as easy to do on your own. While you have the tires off, check them out to see whether they need to be replaced. Tires have tread patterns which can help you identify whether they need to be replaced. To replace this cheaply, try your local tire discounter. Keep in mind that American tires are generally cheaper than foreign tires.

With your car in park, put the parking brake on and turn the car off. It's a good idea to block the tires opposite the side you're working on so that the car doesn't roll while you're working on it. You can probably buy blocks at a tire discounter or auto parts store.

Now it's time to jack up your car. Your car probably came with a jack, although this is really meant for a quick tire change and not a full-out rotation. A floor jack, which you can get at an auto parts store, is ideal for tire rotation. Place it under your car's frame near the jacking point (which you can probably find in your user manual).

Loosen the lug nuts on your tires before you actually jack up the car. If you raise the car before you loosen the lug nuts, the tires will spin while you try to undo the lug nuts. Now you can raise the car.

Once the car is in the air, finish removing the lug nuts and take the tires off the car. You'll put the front tire on the rear axle on the same side of the car and the rear tire on the front axle on the same side of the car. Mount the tires, putting the lug nuts on by hand. Then lower the car slowly and tighten the lug nuts using a wrench.

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