Tyre rotation can be beneficial in several ways. When done at the recommended times, it can preserve balanced handling and traction and even out tyre wear. Tyre rotation can even provide performance advantages.
Tyre rotation helps even out tyre wear by allowing each tyre to serve in as many of the vehicle’s wheel positions as possible. Remember, tyre rotation can’t correct wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.
Many tyre mileage warranties require tyre rotation to keep the warranty valid. When should tyres be rotated? We recommend that tyres be rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles even if they don't show signs of wear. Tyre rotation can often be done with oil change intervals while the vehicle is off the ground. This can also be a good time to have your tyres rebalanced. It's also a good time to inspect the tyres for any damage, remove stones or debris from the tyre treads, check for uneven wear by checking the tyre tread depth and of course, checking your tyre pressure.
While vehicles are typically equipped with four tyres, usually the tyres on the front axle need to accomplish very different tasks than the tyres on the rear axle. The tasks encountered on a front-wheel drive vehicle are considerably different than those of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Tyre wear experienced on a performance vehicle will usually be more severe than that of a family sedan. Each wheel position can cause different wear rates and different types of tyre wear. It is an advantage when all four tyres wear together because as wear reduces a tyre’s tread depth, it allows all four tyres to respond to the driver’s input more quickly, maintains the handling and helps increase the tyre’s cornering traction.
When your tyres wear out together, you can get a new set of tyres without being forced to buy pairs. If you replace tyres in sets of four, you will maintain the original handling balance. In addition, our suppliers constantly introduce new tyres, each of which improves upon their past product’s performance. If you replace your tyres in sets of four, it allows you to experience today’s technology, instead of being forced to match yesterday’s.
What tyre rotation pattern should be followed? The first being the "Rearward Cross" (Figure A); the second being the "Forward Cross" (Figure C); and the third is the "X-Pattern" (Figure B). The X-Pattern can be used as an alternative to A or C.
Today’s performance tyre and wheel trends have provided the need for two additional tyre rotation patterns.
The "Front-to-Rear" (Figure D) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with the same size directional wheels and/or directional tyres.
A "Side-to-Side" (Figure E) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with different sized non-directional tyres and wheels on the front axle compared to the rear axle.
If the last two rotation patterns do not provide even wear, dismounting, mounting and rebalancing will be necessary to rotate the tyres.
Vehicles that use different sized directional wheels and tyres, and/or wheels with different front and rear offsets with directional tyres will require dismounting, mounting and rebalancing to rotate tyres.
While many vehicles are equipped with temporary spares that cannot be included in a tyre rotation program, if the vehicle’s four wheels and tyres on the ground match the spare wheel and tyre (if non-directional and not branded "for temporary use"), they should be included in the tyre rotation pattern. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre rotation procedures, or if not available, insert the spare in the right rear position at every rotation. Place the tyre that would have gone to the right rear in the boot as the spare until the next tyre rotation.
On front-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tyres in a forward cross pattern (Figure F)
On rear-wheel or four-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tyres in a rearward cross pattern (Figure G)
Five tyre rotation results in equally distributed use that will help maintain equivalent tread depths on all five tyres throughout their life. When applied to many four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, this is required to prevent driveline damage if a flat tyre forces a new spare to be put into service with partially worn tyres on the other three wheel positions.