One of the easiest auto maintenance practices is tire rotation. When this tire rotation is properly done, the lifespan of your tires can be extended. It doesn’t stop at that alone, it can as well help you improve your fuel mileage and that the handling of your car is steady and predictable.
Tire rotations deals with the way you move the tires to different locations around the car so that they wear evenly.
If you decided to leave your tires fixed in the same position for years, some tires would wear out faster than others. The treads in some tires would wear unevenly. The reason of this uneven wear is simple. The weight of the car is not evenly distributed on the four tires at all times.
The tires at the front would always wear out faster because the engine being the heaviest single thing in a car is usually at the front. It means the front tires carry more weight than the back tires.
The front tires also take care of all the steering duties. When you apply your car brakes, the weight of the car will always shift forward. Think about how often you brake while cornering, and you’ll begin to understand why front tires almost always wear out faster than rear tires.
Improper alignment is another cause of uneven wearing out of the tires. When the tires are improperly aligned, some of the tires will end to drag and wear poorly.
Worn out car suspension can also constitute to the wearing out of tires because the worn-out suspension can alter the weight distribution, especially when cornering.
Tires that are improperly inflated too can cause uneven wearing out of tires.
Once you start rotating your tires regularly, uneven wearing of the tires would be avoided because each tire experiences a variety of wear pattern over time, and wears out at the same rate.
Your car’s owner’s manual should tell you how frequently tire rotation is recommended. Schedules range from every 3,000 to 7,000 miles. As a rough estimate, rotating your tires every other time you change your oil should keep them wearing evenly.
The exact rotation pattern depends on the vehicle and the tires themselves. Again, the owner’s manual should describe the recommended pattern for particular car. The standard pattern is to move the front tires straight to the rear, and move the rear tires to the front, but cross them over (so that the right rear ends up on the left front). The reverse pattern (rear to front, front to rear with a crossover) is also common. The exact pattern isn’t really that important as long as you’re consistent each time you rotate the tires. Just make sure every tire spends some time at each corner of the car.
If your vehicle has different size tires on the front and rear, obviously you can’t switch them. In such a case, simply move rights to the left and vice versa. If you have a full-size spare tire (that is, a real tire, not a small “wheelbarrow” spare), you should include the spare in the rotation so all five tires wear evenly. Follow the normal rotation pattern, but put the spare at the right rear corner. Whichever tire would have gone to the right rear goes in the trunk and becomes the new spare.