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How Often Should I Rotate My Tires?

CC image Wikipedia.orgAside from the brakes, your tires are arguably one of the most important parts of your car because they are tasked with keeping you safe while on the road.  Many people often overlook simple tire maintenance, opting for other routine fixes like oil changes, brake checks, etc.  While those steps are essential in prolonging the life of your vehicle, proper tire maintenance can increase your gas mileage, extend the life of your tires, and prevent flats.  Below, we’ll explain how often you should rotate your tires.

Why we rotate

This may be common knowledge to some, but did you know that tire rotation has nothing to do with rotating the tire around an axle?  Tire rotation means you take all four tires off the car and put them on a different axle.

Some tires will wear down quicker depending on your type of vehicle.  Because your car often bears the majority of the weight in the front, your front tires can wear down twice as quickly as your back tires.  In order to compensate for the uneven wear, mechanics will swap your rear tires with your front tires.  Your trusty mechanic may also swap tires from the left side to the right and vice versa because one side may be subjected to more stress.

What if I skip regular tire rotation?

You could be putting yourself in danger if you neglect to rotate your tires.  Your car could begin to pull to one direction if one tire is significantly more worn down than the others, and it can also increase your chances of popping a tire at high speeds.

Also, you may be hitting the gas pump more frequently if you fail to regularly rotate your tires.  The more evenly dispersed the tire wear is, the smoother the car will run.  The less friction or pull caused by a vehicle, the less work it takes to run, which in turn saves you gas.

When should I rotate?

Although it will depend on your specific vehicle, most owners’ manuals suggest that you should rotate your tires every 3,000-10,000 miles.  Since you should get your oil changed every 3,000-7,000 miles, a good rule of thumb is to get your tires rotated every other time you change your oil.

Some places may even offer the service as part of their oil change package.  Most auto shops will at least check your tires during an oil change and recommend a rotation if they notice a different in tread wear.  A standard tire rotation usually costs between $20-$30, making it a cheap tune-up that shouldn’t be skipped.

Related source:  AOL Autos

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