Tire rotation is one of those items on the vehicle maintenance checklist that can commonly be overlooked altogether, or at the very least, postponed for indefinite periods of time. But regularly scheduled tire rotation is more important with regard to the life of your tires – and even to the life of your vehicle – than you are probably aware of. Sure, you know that you should rotate your tires regularly, but did you know that by not rotating your tires, you could be causing actual, physical damage, and even creating an unsafe driving environment for you and your family? These are risks which are simply unnecessary, as they can be easily avoided with proper tire rotation. So, why is tire rotation so important? And what are the risks – really – to you, your family, and your vehicle when tire rotation is neglected for long periods of time? The following questions and answers will help you to understand the importance of regular tire rotation.
Why is Tire Rotation Necessary?
Regular tire rotation very simply keeps the natural wear of your tires evenly distributed across each tire individually, as well as throughout the entire set. Failure to rotate your tires at the recommended intervals can lead to uneven wear, which is associated with a number of expensive, and some potentially hazardous consequences, such as:
• Significantly shorter tire life, over all.
• Tire bulging, cupping, and uneven tread wear.
These undesirable tire conditions can lead to structural and mechanical damage to your vehicle, as well, which can be not only expensive to fix, but also downright dangerous.
How Does Tire Rotation Prevent These Problems?
Tire rotation prevents premature tire wear and potential vehicle damage by simply keeping your wheels in balance, which keeps your entire vehicle in better, more stable condition.
How Often Should Tires Be Rotated?
The answer to this question varies from one vehicle manufacturer’s make and model to the next, but as a general rule, tires should be rotated regularly every 7,000 – 10,000 miles throughout the life of your tires. Consult your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations, as well as consulting your tire manufacturer for the most accurate answer to this question as it concerns your vehicle in particular.
What is the Most Proper Method of Tire Rotation?
Again, there seems to be some discrepancy in the standard answer to this question. Some mechanics and tire installers agree that tires should simply be switched from front to back at regular tire rotation intervals, while others believe that tires wear more evenly when tires are rotated in an “x” formation, crossing over from front to back and side to side. Both methods are effective in promoting evenly distributed wear patterns on most types of tires, and both methods are certainly better than not rotating your tires at all, but for specific information on the best tire rotation pattern for your own vehicle it again becomes advisable to go “straight to the source,” and consult your vehicle owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations.
Tire rotation isn’t difficult, nor is it time consuming. It is most definitely, however, a vital part of your vehicle maintenance plan, as well as a critical factor in extending the life of your tires.
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