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“Tire Rotation” All about tire wear and tear

By on October 1, 2012

The rotation of your vehicle’s tires is very important for proper maintenance of the tires themselves and the overall safety of the car. You should understand the reasons for rotating the tires whether you would like to do the process yourself or have a mechanic do it for you.

Understand that there is a difference between the front and rear tires. The front tires experience pressure in a variety of ways, such as during turning of the steering wheel, three-point turn, and parallel parking. The situation is even more prominent in front-wheel drive cars. This means that the front wheels tend to wear faster than the rear ones.

Rotating the car wheels helps to maximize their lives and equalize tread wear. The wheels need to be rotated several times from front to rear.

Here are what tire rotation does not mean.

Criss-crossing the tires by exchanging the one at the driver’s side with the one at the rear on the passenger’s side.

Swapping tires on the same axle by exchanging the corresponding rear and front tires.

It is important to keep a tire on the same side of the vehicle because it will develop wear patterns that are related to the alignment and suspension system.

If the sizes of the front wheels are different from those at the rear, you can swap the tires from side to side only but not back to front. Unidirectional wheels, on the other hand (those that are specific to a given side of the car), can be rotated from front to back, not side to side. The same is true of asymmetrical wheels (where the pattern of the tread changes from the inner part to the outer part. You will hardly have to deal with wheels that are both staggered and either asymmetrical or unidirectional.

As a rule of thumb, you should rotate your tires after running for between 5000 and 10,000 miles. Your owner’s manual will give you details specific to your car.

You will need to use a torque wrench in order to rotate the wheels to avoid damaging alloy wheels by over-tightening. You will refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended torque for your vehicle.

Always inspect the wear indicators built into the tread patterns to inspect the wheels before rotating them. The indicators are in the form of little bumps that are particularly located on the ridge of the wheels. If the tread is too close to the wear indicators, you should start budgeting for new wheels.

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