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Tire Rotation Tips

 

 

Tire rotation or rotating tires is the the practice of moving automobile wheels and tires from one position on the car to another, to ensure even tire wear. Tire wear becomes uneven for any number of reasons. Even tire wear is necessary to maintain consistent performance in the vehicle and to extend the overall life of a set of tires.

The weight on the front and rear axles of your car is different, which causes uneven wear. With most cars being front-engine cars, the front axle usually carries the majority of the weight.  For rear wheel drive vehicles, the weight distribution between front and back is near 50:50. Front wheel drive vehicles also have the differential in front, adding to the weight, with a typical weight distribution of no better than 60:40. The result of this is that the front tires wear out at almost twice the rate of the rear tires, particularly when you factor in the included stress that braking adds to the front tires. Therefore, tire rotation for front-wheel drive vehicles is even more of a necessity.

Automobile manufacturers recommend tire rotation frequency and pattern.  Depending on the vehicle, tire rotation may be recommended every 8,000 miles. The rotation pattern is typically moving the back wheels to the front, and the front to the back, but crossing them when moving to the back.
The current school of thought recommends keeping the best tires on the rear wheels of the vehicle, whether it is front, or rear wheel drive. The logic is that, if the rear wheels lose grip before the front wheels, an “oversteer” situation will occur, which is harder to control than an “understeer” situation. The intuitive idea that the front steering/driving tires need to be the best quality is not actually the case.