How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires?

Tire_rotation

A good time to rotate your tires is when you get the oil changed, assuming you do that at least once a year and more often if you drive, say, more than 10,000 miles annually.

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that the tires be rotated on the same schedule as oil changes. In most cases that means every 7,500 miles or six months, though some have stretched the oil-change interval to 10,000 miles, such as on many Fords, Volkswagens and Toyotas. BMW allows up to 15,000 miles between oil changes, but that is too long to wait to rotate the tires.

Unless you drive fewer than about 7,500 miles per year, you should probably rotate tires every six months or so.

The tires mounted on the drive wheels of any vehicle perform extra duty because they apply the power to the pavement. On front-wheel-drive vehicles that is amplified by the weight of the engine and transmission, and because the front tires do most of the work in turns. Rotating the tires between front and rear a couple of times a year spreads out the burden so they wear evenly. Automakers that offer all-wheel-drive cars also recommend rotating tires. Subaru, for example, says to do it every 7,500 miles or 7.5 months, whichever comes first.

There are exceptions to these examples, particularly with performance models that may have different schedules for tire rotation. We suggest you follow the recommended schedule outlined in your owner's manual, but rotate the tires (and change the oil) at least once a year. You don't have to go to a car dealership to have this done, and many tire dealers and other repair shops will perform both jobs for about $30 total.

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By Rick Popely | May 6, 2013 | Comments (26)

Comments 

Clifton

But rotating them evens out he wear earning you will likely have to buy four new tires all at once..those of us on fixed incomes will often not rotate them and only have to buy two new front tires (assuming front wheel drive) two or three times before having to replace the rear tires that are not driving or turning...just along for the ride...

Steve

New tires go to the rear axle and worn times go to the front axle for safety reasons.

DL

@ Clifton,

Let me try to give you a concrete example:

You must be assuming that, if all four of your tires wear out in 5 years when you rotate them, wearing them out 2 at a time would allow you to get new ones every 2.5 years. This is not true. They will actually wear out faster if you do not rotate them.

Even if you assume that wear rate is completely constant regardless of the location of the tire, you are in a dangerous situation when you have a mix of new and worn tires. If you can afford to buy two new tires every "x" years for "y" dollars, then perhaps plan ahead and put money away so you will have saved up "2y" dollars by the time "2x" years have passed. Of course, this planning ahead thing is tough for many of us.

I would surely add this to our list of 'must know tips for car owners'. But as @Clifton said above - for those on a budget it would probably be best if they just need to buy two new tires. Although this is questionable. If you rotate on schedule then you will preserve all tires for longer and you don't have to spend money on new. However, at some point you will have to buy 4 new tires. If you don't rotate you will have to buy only two new tires, but sooner than when you rotate. So, it pretty much evens out - you will either drive the old tires longer and buy new all 4 at once after longer period of time or will buy only two and spend less money but sooner.

Ken L.

Rotating tires also cost money, unless you do it yourself. But in any case, it takes time that some people don't have. Btw, I am not advocating against it, but I can understand why some put it off.

J

Clifton,

I hope you also realize the tires have a limited usable life.
In other words, they may look new, but they may not be safe to use.

Please let us know where you drive so that we can avoid getting hit by you.

Tony

I can't believe what am I reading here. Yesterday I rotated tires on 1 of my cars. Took 15 minutes. I use 2 jacks.

On my other car, the tires came from local shop that sold me Michelins and with it a promise to rotate them for free every 5K miles.

Honestly, in my view, if you have time to go to the shop to rotate, you could save some by doing it yourself... unless the shop is across the street.

Highdesertcat

Tony, I used to rotate the tires on all my cars myself. Too much work!

Now I buy Michelins, Pirellis and Yokohamas from Discount Tire and they do all the rotating for me every 5000 miles, free of charge, in less than 15 minutes. Seriously!

In the case of new vehicles, going with the manufacturer's recommendation is the way to go.

IF you are a Discount Tire customer they don't charge you for a tire rotation. That was MY experience after I had bought a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee for my wife.

A good rule of thumb is to rotate the tires every 6,000 - 8,000 miles. The problem is that I don't know how to do it alone.

fl_tom

what about tires
with pressure
monitors? Doesn't
the position of the
tire have to be
reprogrammed?

Red

@Tony, A lot of us know how to do it but the places where we live/reside may make it impossible. I live in an apartment complex that is really hard on us if we're using up their parking spaces for any kind of car work... I own 1 jack and 2 jack stands. Still do my oil changes but don't want to spend the money on another jack and then more money on equipment to remove lug nuts (doing 4 tires by hand will really feel like a workout.) Some of us just don't have the resources. Easier for me to take it in to Sears Auto (every few months they offer a free tire rotation coupon on their website.)

Geoff

Hi all. I will NEVER rotate tyres. It can mask a wear problem, and if a tyre wears to a pattern in one location, the highs will wear more quickly when it is relocated. My unrotated tyres on a Nissan Patrol gave me 117000km. I have yet to see the evidence that they last longer when rotated. Maybe it's just a belief because someone said it!

Jo

Rotate your tires for the love of pete! And if you can't do it yourself or cannot afford to...which I'm sure you could if you stop hitting up the bar or McDonald's everyday then go to a place that has a tire warranty and they will do it free of service!

John Johnson

"Now I buy Michelins, Pirellis and Yokohamas from Discount Tire and they do all the rotating for me every 5000 miles, free of charge, in less than 15 minutes. Seriously!"

Discount Tire is not rotating your tires for free. You're paying for it when you purchase tires from them. You pay an extra $16 per tire, or $64 plus tax total, at the time of installation which includes lifetime rotation and balancing.

HJC3

DIY tire rotation NOT ME I take it to Walmart and for $10 they do it. I watched them do it and after they rotate tires they test drive it by doing a couple of figure 8's then they re- check torque on all nuts. you also get a report of tread depth info on all tires

Stevie Ray

For obvious reasons, I believe the auto tech's advice when they say that rotating the tires extends the longevity of the tire. They also recommend not taking "tyre" advice from anyone that can't spell TIRE...Just saying...

Rotating tires also cost money, unless you do it yourself. But in any case, it takes time that some people don't have. Btw, I am not advocating against it, but I can understand why some put it off

sandra

I always get my tires rotated every 6000 miles and oil changed every 3000 miles thanks to my cousin Jason who told me , a car is like a human body if you don't take care of it sadly it will die.I love my toyota Camry ;)

Mojayce

Best to my knowledge tyre rotation is done for two reasons. 1: Make the tyres wear out evenly (Safety )2: Make the tyre rotate both ways. (Extend the life of the tyre). I myself replace only front tyres at once, but I rotate them to side by side.

Janette

Hey Stevie Ray -- The spelling "tyre" is used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. So to them, it IS spelled correctly. Educate yourself...Just Saying.

Janette well played. A few things though--most oil changes are under 5k miles. I didn't realize I should rotate my tires that often, I rarely ever do anything less than 80 months

Grazer

These forums are always the same. Differences in opinions. I decide to rotate once a year type thing. If I over extend the rotation and there's anything wrong with the alignment I can pretty much kiss 2 tires goodbye. Most recommend rotating. Others say don't because they can't afford the cost of rotation and purchasing 4 tires at once. I can guarantee that if you don't rotate you will get less life or use age out of the 2 tires where power is applied. But the main purpose of rotation is performance and safety. You get much better control if you rotate. It's like driving a new truck

Eric

Wait, fellow commentors. Planning ahead? Saving money for future use? What is this common sense approach you speak of?

Most convenient time to rotate tires is during oil change...Great information...

George Mertzanis

When it comes to tire rotation why not seek the experts, the engineers, the manufacturers? I purchase at Discount Tire. They balance,rotate and what has not been addressed in this blog, they torque each lug nut to spec. They do this for free! As a torque expert, proper and even torque is vital for a proper ride, safety and yes tire wear.

EP

If you go to Discount Tire or other tire company, make sure you mark your tires. I took my car to Discount Tire and they put the right front tire on the left front and the left front tire on the right front which is totally wrong. So you have to check your tires after the work is completed.

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