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When to rotate tires?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Cindy Denning, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. Cindy Denning

    Cindy Denning

    Apr 9, 2004
    When is the best time to rotate tires? How many miles before it's time for a rotation? I bought new tires for my truck 2 years ago and they have had 2 trips to Atlanta and Charleston. No problems but I know you do have to get that done.Thanks in advance.
  2. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    If the tires wear evenly there's really no need to rotate. Very important however is to inspect them every month.Check pressure ,wear, and damage.Abnormal wear can mean out of aligned front end or similar problems.Difference in wear between center and edge of tread means incorrect pressure.Low pressure can not only cause excessive tire wear but can greatly effect handling.When you get down near 1/16" of tread it's time for new tires.
    Cindy Denning likes this.
  3. Gollnick

    Gollnick Musical Director

    Mar 22, 1999

    You can rotate tires as often as you want to. You can't hurt them by "over rotating."

    While it's theoretically an easy task, most people don't have the facilities to actually do it, so it's usually a trip to the shop which costs at least a few bucks.

    As Mr. Mete points out, if your vehicle is properly aligned, rotation is not strictly necessary. This is especially true if your car has directional-tires, tires made to rotate in only one direction. These tires typically have an arrow on the sidewall indicating which way they should rotate. More and more cars are using directional tires.
    Cindy Denning likes this.
  4. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    The problem with spotting uneven wear on your tires as signs you need an alignment is that you already have uneven wear and have shortened the life of your tires.

    If you keep your vehicle properly aligned and rotate your tires frequently, they will last much longer. The question becomes do I have the time to do this and how do I do it cost effectively.

    In my case, I use the Firestone factory store. I paid extra to have free lifetime balancing and rotation and bought the lifetime alignment. In my case, the initial cost was a little high but, over the two years I've owned this set of tires I think I have pretty much broken even. The hard long life rubber in these tire isn't as sticky as what I am used to so, over time with hard braking and/or chatter from rough roads in Arizona, the tire slips on the rim which takes it out of balance. Four tires that have slipped ~1/8th will make your ride rough. The problem is that it doesn't happen all at once so, you generally don't notice it until it is really bad.

    With alignment, tire wear and whether the car tracks straight on a flat road is good way to gauge whether you need an alignment. The problem I have is that the roads are so rough my car will never track straight. Between pot holes, tire wear depressions from trucks, and just the surface itself which rolls from one side to other make this sort of check worthless. With the lifetime alignment, all I have to worry about is the length time I must wait at the store to get the job done. So, when I I hit a piece of road debris, or fall into a water (Monsoon) filled pot hole, I have have my alignment checked and corrected as necessary.
    Cindy Denning likes this.
  5. Cindy Denning

    Cindy Denning

    Apr 9, 2004
    I do have the arrows on the tires like Gollnick is talking about, I do keep up with the oil changes not getting overdue...aren't the people that check your oil suppose to suggest it to you? PSI pounds I haven't checked all summer and when I'm running down the interstate I think maybe I'd better back off. No problems with a bumpy ride at all, just a fear of a blow out.
  6. DaveH


    Dec 2, 1999
    We rotate ours every oil change, usually 10K miles. (diesel) In our old car we'd buy new tires at approximately the time we needed a timing belt change, every 60K to 80K miles.
    Cindy Denning likes this.
  7. mwerner


    Apr 23, 2002
    Way back in the 70s when I was driving Beetles, I had a great maintenance book called "How to Keep Your Bug Alive". The author was very opinionated, and would not explain how to adjust the automatic choke. He instructed you to disable it so it wouldn't hurt the engine. (over-rich fuel when the engine was cold washed oil from the cylinder walls-his opinion)

    Anyway, he was convinced that rotating tires was a plot to sell more tires. He maintained that the tires would "take a set" and then wear as well as possible from that point. If you moved 'em around, they just wore faster.

    One of those things that "sounds right", but I have no idea if it's true or not. Seems to me that modern tires provide very good service life if not abused.
    Cindy Denning likes this.
  8. ronsec

    ronsec Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2002
    I used to have them rotated way back when. I never rotate them now and haven't noticed any decrease in service life. I figure if the tires are wearing OK and I have no vibrations at high speeds, leave well enough alone. YMMV. :)
  9. A.W.U.K.


    Sep 27, 2002
    I used to deal with a tyre garage owner with a lifetimes experience in the business. He told me that radial tyres should NEVER be swapped from one side to the other. They adapt to rotate in one direction and frequently fail if turned round. I had several blow-outs before heeding his advice and none since. Swapping front to rear should be OK.

  10. DaveH


    Dec 2, 1999
    If you have a moderatly high HP or torque front wheel drive, the front will wear very noticeably faster then the rears.
  11. Win Heger

    Win Heger Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2000
    Rotate them every other oil change, say 7000 miles. If you drive a FWD or a 4WD you will definetly get more life from them. If you are out of alignment moving them to the rear should increase their life. Not rotating tires is not a good thing.

    I've got over twenty years in the tire business and I get exceptional wear by rotating and maintaining correct tire pressure.

  12. Blades


    Oct 5, 1998
    At work we recommend rotating every other oil change, and check your air pressure every month, if not more often.
    The best deal is what Sid mentioned. If you have a "Mastercare Bridgestone/Firestone" store, you can get the lifetime alignment. I'm not sure what an alignment runs in your area, but they are around $50-80 here. After 3 or 4 alignments at Firestone, it has paid for itself. Back when I worked at Firestone(years ago) I had customers that would get an alignment almost every oil change. They would drop the car off friday, pick it up sunday afternoon. Just an idea.

    Is anyone putting nitrogen in their tires yet?? Just wondering.

  13. SIFU1A


    May 12, 2001
    rotating the tires does make them wear better imho. also balance, front end alignment, and inflation pressure all play a role.

    cant do it all all cars though my vette has diff size front and rear so no rotation, fixing to have to buy some new rears, P285-40ZR17 EMT (run flat tires) goodyears, they run about $550 each, think about that next time ya gripe about a $100 tire lol.
  14. maximus otter

    maximus otter

    Jul 20, 2002

    Fit the revolutionary Aircheckers!

    This amazing “NEW” device eliminates the guesswork of determining the correct tyre pressure for your car. Proper inflation of your tyres helps reduce the risk of poor handling, blowouts, and accidents while improving fuel economy and tyre life. These easy-to-install replacement valve caps constantly monitor your cars tyre pressure with clear, bright colour indicators.

    Tyre Pressure Safety Caps are available from (26-70 psi) made for a full range of cars, vans, motorcycles as well as light trucks and are accurate to within 1 psi. Fit the Tyre Pressure Monitor to your car or motorcycle and travel with confidence in your tyre pressures

    The chrome caps simply go over the tyre valve stem, replacing existing dust caps and will display green when the tyre pressure is adequate, yellow if up to 4psi under inflated, and red when 8psi or more under inflated.


    maximus otter
    Cindy Denning likes this.
  15. uncle Alan

    uncle Alan

    Jul 11, 2004

    I was a manufacturers rep. in the '60's selling a wide spectrum of aftermarket auto items. One of the air-handler companies added this device to their line as an impulse,product identity item . They were carded & there were only about 3 psi sizes then. Believe I sold them to warehouses for about 10 cents per in hundred lots & from there to the W-D & to the jobber . Dealer was about 60 cents & retail [yes there WAS a retail price ] for a buck. They were popular with savvy car owners & were a door opener for me to expand my lines. Mine were black with a white insert that stayed flush with the cap a when pressure was okay. We had longer ones to extend through fancy hubcaps,an added option then.

    I remember idiot lights in Hudson Terraplanes in the '30's & Hudson had step-down floors in their vehicles just after WWII . Studebaker had overdrives on some models in the early '30's. Recycled ideas.
    And the list could go on........

    Uncle [Dayum I'm old ] Alan :yawn:
  16. thatmguy

    thatmguy Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    My tires rotate every time I drive somewhere.... :p

    It is amazing what a little preventive maintenance will do for the wallet...

    More $$ for sharp points things and things that go bang... :cool:
  17. Thomason

    Thomason Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2002
    Dont forget to replace the air in your tires with fresh air every 1000 miles ;)
  18. Cindy Denning

    Cindy Denning

    Apr 9, 2004
    You have to do that? I have got to get the PSI gadjet that Maximus showed, that is cool! I didn't realize you really needed a tire rotation that often but will heed every word I read here. I appreciate your advice. :) :) :)
  19. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Platinum Member

    Oct 9, 1998
    That reminds me! It's time to change the air in my head. :D
    Danbo likes this.
  20. Cutshaw

    Cutshaw Moderator Moderator

    Aug 15, 2004
    Do remember, if you have an AWD vehicle (AWD, not 4WD), then rotate FREQUENTLY and UNIFORMLY. You want the tires to have virtually duplicate levels of wear. The AWD system engages based on the hubs rotating at the same speed. If the tires develop different levels of wear (I don't know... maybe a few MM to a CM) then the AWD system starts to prematurely engage b/c it thinks it senses slippage. This is a good way to wear out a viscous coupling. Big bucks.

    I've got an AWD Subaru and Toyota Van. Rotating tires and maintaining duplicate tire diameters is particularly important.

    Good luck!

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