Tire Rotation Service in Louisville, KY
A tire rotation is one of many essential maintenance services that you should invest in regularly. Each position on your vehicle is different, and your tires will wear differently depending on where they’re placed. Leaving your tires in the same spot for too long can cause serious damage and compromise your safety on the road. Learn more about what a tire rotation entails, why you need one, and when to schedule this service so you can get the safest, smoothest ride possible from your vehicle.
What Is a Tire Rotation?
A tire rotation is the process of removing a vehicle’s tires and placing them back in different positions. Your mechanic may move the tires from one side of the vehicle to the other, from the front to the back, or both. Rotating the tires helps them to wear evenly.
The Tire Rotation Process
Rotating the tires is a fairly simple process when you have the right equipment. While you could slowly and painstakingly rotate your tires yourself, it’s best to take your vehicle to a professional with a lift to save time and effort. The tire rotation process includes:
- Removing the tires and wheels.
- Inspecting the tires for wear or damage.
- Resetting the air pressure monitors on the tires.
- Replacing the tires in a new position.
There are three primary rotation patterns used. A seasoned mechanic can assess your tire condition and vehicle type to determine which pattern is best. There are some general guidelines that help streamline this choice.
Rearward Cross Rotation
The rearward cross rotation is a common choice for many vehicles. With this type of rotation, the rear tires move to the front of the car while staying on the same side as before. The front tires move to opposite sides on the rear axle, so your front right tire becomes your back left tire, while the back left tire moves straight forward to the front left position.
If you have a full-size spare tire, this comes into play during the rotation as well. The spare tire takes the place of the front right tire. The other tires move as they would in a standard rearward cross rotation, and the left front tire becomes your new spare.
A rearward cross rotation works for vehicles that are four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive.
Forward Cross Rotation
The forward cross pattern is the opposite of the rearward cross rotation. The tires on the front move straight back while the back tires come forward and move to the opposite sides of the vehicle. Thus, the front right tire will move back to become the rear right tire, while the rear right tire takes the front left tire position.
If you have a spare tire, this takes the place of the right rear tire. The right front tire becomes the new spare.
A forward cross rotation is another popular choice for front-wheel drive vehicles. This is the standard option if the vehicle has a spare tire.
The X-pattern rotation is one of the easiest to visualize. With this type of rotation, every tire moves diagonally across the vehicle. The front right and back left tires swap places, while the front left and back right tire exchange positions.
An X-pattern tire rotation is the popular choice for front-wheel drive vehicles, particularly if they do not have a spare tire.
A side-to-side rotation is simple and straightforward, with the front right and left tires switching places and the rear right and left tires changing spots. The tires stay on the same axle and do not move front to back.
Side-to-side rotation is best for vehicles that are high performance with differently-sized tires.
A front-to-back rotation keeps the tires on the same side of the vehicle but moves them from one axle to another. Thus, the rear right tire and front right tire change places, while the left front tire and left back tire switch spots.
A front-to-back rotation is best for vehicles that are using directional tires.
How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires?
In general, you should plan to rotate your tires every six months or after 6,000 miles. If you have brand new tires on your vehicle, schedule your first rotation after just 5,000 miles. New tires have a deeper tread that’s more susceptible to wear. This means that they’re more likely to fall victim to an uneven wear pattern. Scheduling an early tire rotation can help you promote even wear on the tires, which will extend their lifespan and help you get the most out of your investment.
What Happens If You Don’t Rotate Your Tires?
A tire rotation is easy to overlook. As long as the car is driving, you may assume that everything is fine where your tires are concerned. However, failure to rotate the tires can cause the tread to wear unevenly. This shortens the tire’s lifespan and puts you at a greater risk for hazards like:
- Low traction on snow and ice.
- Heat buildup.
According to Consumer Reports, fully half of vehicles on the road have half-worn tread on at least one tire, and 10% of drivers have at least one bald tire. Rotating your tires will help you avoid some of these issues. It will also give your mechanic a chance to alert you if one of your tires is in dangerous shape and needs to be replaced.
Are Tire Rotation and Balancing the Same Thing?
Tire rotation and tire balancing are two different things, but mechanics often provide these services together because they complement one another well. Tire balancing involves measuring and adjusting the tire’s weight distribution. This helps it roll smoothly and wear evenly. Balancing your tires when you have them rotated will help you get the best results from your tire rotation.
If you’re due for a tire rotation or other maintenance service, our service center at Oxmoor Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is equipped to meet your needs. You can even schedule your service online for speed and convenience.