How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires?

September 9th, 2021 by

Owning a vehicle comes with a lot of responsibilities, including everything from carrying automobile insurance to driving carefully to regular maintenance. Your vehicle depends on you to keep it running effectively. Checking and changing fluids, replacing parts that wear out, and watching your tire health are all parts of regular maintenance to keep your vehicle going. Overall tire health includes tire pressure and tire tread. Rotating your tires is an essential part of tire upkeep and safety, but how often should you rotate your tires?

Why Should You Rotate Your Tires?

Image of INFINITI wheel and tire

Image via Flickr by gadgetdude

There are several important reasons that you should regularly rotate your tires. Rotating your tires helps spread the wear and tear out more evenly across all your tires, thus increasing their tread life. Tires provide your vehicle with a different grip depending on their position under your vehicle, leading to more wear and tear on your tires. On a front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicle, the front tires take more of the friction and torque involved in braking, turning, and accelerating, thus causing more wear and tear on them.

Even tread wear keeps your tread depth more uniform on your tires, helping keep handling and traction more consistent for all four tires. This consistency improves braking and cornering performance and keeps your vehicle safer overall. If you have an all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle, having tires with even wear lowers the stresses on the drivetrain, reducing the wear and tear on the more expensive drive components.

How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires?

When you put brand-new tires on your vehicle, it’s important to rotate them after 5,000 miles because fresh, deep tire tread is more likely to wear unevenly. Once your tires have over 5,000 miles on them, you can plan to rotate them every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or every six months. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to find the manufacturer’s recommendation on tire rotation and follow that, but most vehicles fall into the 5,000 to 7,500 range.

How Do You Rotate Tires on a Vehicle?

Tire rotation involves having your tires removed, swapped to a new position, and then remounted on your vehicle. The rotation pattern used for your vehicle will depend on the type of tire you have and whether your vehicle has front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. Other factors include directional and non-directional tires, same size tires on front and rear, and if you have a full-sized spare that can also be rotated. Patterns include:

  • Rearward cross. The rear tires move to the front tire position on the same side while the front tires cross to the opposite side and are mounted on the rear.
  • X-pattern. Front and rear tires are swapped to the opposite side of the vehicle and moved from front to rear.
  • Forward cross. The front tires move to the rear tire position on the same side while the rear tires cross to the opposite side before being mounted on the front.
  • Front-to-rear. Tires are swapped from front to rear on the same side of the vehicle.
  • Side-to-side. Tires are moved from the left to the right side of the vehicle in the same front or rear position they started.

Uniform Size and Non-Directional

The rearward cross pattern is recommended for all-wheel, rear-wheel, and four-wheel drive vehicles, while the x-pattern is recommended for front-wheel drive and light-weight sedans and trucks. The forward cross pattern is the most common pattern for front-wheel drive vehicles.

Uniform Size, Non-Directional with Full-Size Spare

Again, the rearward cross is recommended for all-wheel, rear-wheel, and four-wheel drive with the rear tires moved to the front, the spare placed on the right rear axle, and the front tire moved diagonally back to the left side. The front right tire now becomes your spare tire. The forward cross will be used on front-wheel drive vehicles. You move the rear tires diagonally to the opposite sides, put the spare on the right rear axle, put the left front in the left rear position, and use the right front as your new spare.

High-Performance and Directional

The side-to-side pattern is used on vehicles with differently-sized high-performance tires on the front and rear axles. Because the tires are different sizes, you can’t swap the front and rear with each other. The front-to-rear pattern is used for directional tires with a tread pattern designed to rotate in one direction.

Can I Rotate My Own Tires?

While tire rotation is something that most vehicle owners can do as long as they can change a tire, it’s recommended that you have a trained professional complete this task. During a tire rotation, a mechanic will have the opportunity to inspect your tires, including inflating them to the proper tire pressure and assessing them for any damage. A skilled professional will also notice if your tires need to be balanced or aligned and can complete either of those tasks during a tire rotation as well.

Trust the Experts

The service center at Herrin-Gear INFINITI offers highly-skilled, certified INFINITI technicians to provide you with quality services such as tire rotation. Our technicians have years of experience plus extensive training and only use genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and advanced diagnostic tools. The Herrin-Gear INFINITI service center offers a wide variety of services to keep your vehicle and tires performing at their best for years to come.

Regular car maintenance, such as rotating your tires, saves you time and money while providing your vehicle with a longer lifespan. Performing routine maintenance is often faster than having to do a costly repair. The distinguished INFINITI service center technicians can provide you with an exceptional service experience. They will inspect, diagnose, and repair your vehicle quickly. Services offered include:

  • Oil changes.
  • Wiper blade replacement.
  • Brake inspections.
  • Brake replacement.
  • Air filter replacement.
  • Check engine light diagnostics.
  • Transmission flushes.
  • Wheel alignment.
  • Tire rotations.
  • Tire replacement.

Schedule your tire rotation or other service today at Herrin-Gear INFINITI and let our experts take care of your vehicle for you. We can be reached by phone at 866-996-4151 to get an estimate, answer any questions, or set up an appointment. You can also fill out our convenient online contact form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. The Herrin-Gear INFINITI team looks forward to working with you to keep your vehicle running as long as possible.

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