HOW TO ROTATE TIRES YOURSELF
Many drivers in Waterford Township like to work on their cars at home, and it can even be fun learning experience with the family. Preventing uneven wear of your tires by rotating them on a regular basis will improve traction and extend the life of your tires, and with the road conditions of Metro Detroit, anything can help! Learn how to rotate your own tires with the help of John Bowman Chevrolet, Inc. service team!
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WHY DO I HAVE TO ROTATE MY TIRES?
Tire rotation is necessary because tires and wheels don’t wear evenly across the vehicle. The wheels on the front axle are used for turning, which wears the edges of them down sooner. The rear axle’s wheels maintain contact with the pavement, and don’t wear as fast. Rotating the tires will even out the effect that turning has on the front wheels. Without rotating your tires, they will wear down at different rates and will have to be replaced sooner. Neglecting this maintenance can be costly!
HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO ROTATE MY TIRES?
If your car is a front or rear wheel drive vehicle, you’ll want to rotate the tires about every 5,000 miles to 7,500 miles, often at the same time frame you’ll need an oil change. Since all tires are actively engaged on AWD and 4WD vehicles, they need rotated at 3,000-5,000 miles because they wear faster. The owner’s manual will have more information on specifics.
WHICH DIRECTION DO I ROTATE MY TIRES IN?
The tire rotation pattern that you use for your vehicle will vary depending on whether you’re driving with Front Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive, or Four Wheel Drive / All Wheel Drive. If your spare tire is full size, instead of a donut, adding it into the rotation can save you many miles before your tires need replacing.
- FWD Tires: With front wheel drive cars, move the front tires to the back in the same position (driver (left) and passenger (right) side tires stay on the same side). The rear tires switch sides when brought to the front, so the rear left side tire will become the front right side tire.
- RWD/AWD/4WD Tires: With RWD vehicles, the rear tires are moved to the front of the car on the same sides, and when you move the front tires to the back, switch the left and right positions.
If your spare tire is the same size as your regular tires, and not labeled for temporary use only, you can work it into the rotation. Do not rotate a donut spare tire.
- For a front wheel drive vehicle with full-size spare, the left front tire moves to the back in the same position, and the right front tire moves to the position of the spare. The two rear wheels switch positions as noted above, left to right, and right to left. The spare takes the place of the right rear wheel.
- For a RWD/AWD/4WD vehicle with full-size spare, the two rear wheels move to the front in the same right/left position, and the driver side left replaces the spare. The spare goes to the right rear, and the right front moves to the left rear position.
HOW TO ROTATE YOUR TIRES
For doing your own home tire rotation, you’ll need a car jack, lug nut wrench, and jack stands. A hydraulic floor jack is a lot easier to use than the small scissor jack from your trunk. Only lift the vehicle from solid points, such as the frame. The manual will note specific locations to use the jack on your vehicle.
- With the car still on the ground, engage the parking brake and loosen every lug nut on all four wheels. Don’t remove them yet, though, because you don’t want the wheels to come off yet. When the car is elevated, simply unscrewing the lug nuts makes the wheel removal process much easier.
- Find the right location underneath your car to place the jack. Often there’s a notch to make locating it easier. You want to lift the car from the sturdy frame, not from a weaker point.
- Lift one wheel with the car jack and place the jack stand underneath, also in a safe and solid location. Remove the jack, leaving the jack stand in place, so the wheel remains elevated.
- Noting which direction you’re rotating your wheels in, lift the side of the car that the lifted wheel will be replacing. Place the other jack stand underneath that side, and remove the floor jack.
- Remove both wheels and see if the tire wearing is uneven. If there are bulges, cuts in the tire, or if something doesn’t look right, take the tire to our Clarkston service bay for an inspection or to replace your tire. Inflate both tires to the correct tire pressure.
- The first tire back on the vehicle, following the pattern of rotation for your type of vehicle. Be sure that the tread pattern and tire rotation directions are correct. Putting a tire on backwards can cause problems.
- Screw on the lug nuts for the wheel, but don’t tighten them completely.
- Put the floor jack back under the wheel you just rotated, lift the vehicle slightly, remove the jack stand, and lower that side of the vehicle.
- Note which tire is getting rotated next and lift that wheel, repeating the process until each tire is checked for problems and is correctly rotated into its new position.
- Lower your vehicle completely to the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Tighten them evenly, working diagonally from each of them, in a star pattern. If lug nuts aren’t tightened evenly, it can cause the brake rotor to warp.
GET ASSISTANCE WITH TIRE ROTATION AT John Bowman Chevrolet, Inc.
If you hear road noise from your tires after rotating them, or notice anything different about driving, think safety first and schedule an appointment with John Bowman Chevrolet, Inc. service team so we can check and balance your tires. Our Clarkston area dealership has trained technicians ready to help with any service-related need, and visit our service specials page to snag a deal!