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How to Rotate Your Car's Tires

Picture of How to Rotate Your Car's Tires
Tire rotation is an important part of ensuring your vehicle is performing as well as it ought to, and it isn't terribly difficult. The entire process doesn't take more than an hour, and the tools you need most likely came with your car!
 
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Step 1: Things You Ought to Know

Picture of Things You Ought to Know
Why should I rotate my car's tires?

Rotating your tires regularly (yearly) ensures that they will wear at a similar rate, ensuring that your car handles like it should. A car with uneven tire wear may handle erratically, especially in poor road conditions, and can make emergency maneuvers unnecessarily dangerous.


Why shouldn't I rotate my car's tires?

In some cases, tire rotation is unnecessary or even inadvisable. If your tires are equally worn front and back, you probably don't need to bother. Also, if your car uses different-sized tires in the front and rear (common in high-end rear-wheel drive vehicles), tire rotation can drastically and negatively impact your car's handling.


Is there a pattern I should follow?

Yes. The pattern in which you rotate your tires is entirely dependent on which wheels are driven on your car. For a front-wheel-drive car, the front tires should move straight back, with the rears moving diagonally across the car. Rear-wheel drive is just the opposite. For 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles, all four tires should move diagonally across the car. This ensures that tire wear is as consistent as possible, even if you tend to turn one direction more than the other.

The car used in the illustrations is front-wheel-drive.
The_Tom1 year ago
Why is it different for fwd and rwd? i was always taught that you could do either one of those but never switch between the two on the same vehicle(well not while you are using the same set of tires)
It is different due to the use of the modified x pattern. Drive wheel stay on the same side and move forward or backwards to the other location, and free wheels move diagonal
yea but why?
The reason is that all four wheels visit all four positions. Say you rotate the wheels in the modified x pattern on a rear wheel drive vehicle. The front left goes to the right rear. The next rotation, it goes from the right rear to the right front, and on the next it moves to the rear left, and has gone to each position on the vehicle. With normal conditions, all four wheels should receive similar wear after four rotations. On front wheel drive it is the same but reversed based on the above rules
i understand why we rotate tires, and why we rotate tires the way we do. what i wanted to know is why FWD cars would change differently compared to RWD cars...
You can also use the front to back method, with wheels staying on the same side of vehicle, but changing position, or the full x with all wheels moving diagonal. The modified x is preferred because the wheels go to every position on the vehicle
randofo3 years ago
This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work.

Thanks!
Irresponsible Robot (author)  randofo3 years ago
There we go, that should do it.
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