What are tire rotations ?

Tire rotation is the process of swapping the back tires with the front tires regularly. The principle of tire rotation is based on the idea that it could extend the life of tires. While majority of tire manufacturers explain to their customers not to rotate tires, most car owners continue to do so. Some car shops include tire rotation as a free service.

While the front and back tires both work the same, they receive different levels of wear and tear. The front tires perform a variety of tasks, such as responding to steering and providing traction, which both result in friction that would cause gradual tread loss. Generally, front tires experience more abuse that back tires during car movement. To avoid wearing down the front tires faster than the back tires, regular tire rotations are needed.

The interval of tire rotation can be confusing; some people suggest rotating tires after 7,000 to 10,000 kilometers, while others believe it should be done every other oil change. Some experts recommend rebalancing of tires or front-end alignment every time tire rotation is done.

While car service shops typically provide these services, basic knowledge on handling jacks can allow you perform tire rotation on your own. The secret is to keep track of the original location and new destination of each tire. If you have a hydraulic lift or jackstand, simply jack up the car evenly. Once the car is lifted securely, the left front tire should be removed using a lug wrench. A spare tire or the left rear tire should be moved to the front position, while the front left tire should be placed on the rear left end. Make sure to lock all lug nuts before proceeding to the right tires. After checking if the lug nuts are secured, you can now test-drive for security before using the car for normal driving. If the car tends to pull in one direction, your tires may need balancing or realignment.

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