How to Rotate Your Tires

Mechanics - Rotate Tires

Tire rotation is one of those things that needs to get taken care of every 5,000 to 7,500 miles in order to ensure your tires wear evenly. Without rotation, your front tires wear out prematurely due to the constant strain of turning and bearing the heavy weight of your vehicle’s front end. Meanwhile, your back tires, which typically carry far less weight, can develop odd wear patterns as well. Most auto mechanics will rotate your tires for a minimal fee, but it’s actually something that you can do on your own that doesn’t require any expertise.

Here’s what you’ll need to rotate your tires.

  • Four jack stands.
  • A car jack and crow bar.
  • A torque wrench.
  • A bit of elbow grease and some spare time.

Now follow the instructions below to rotate your tires.

  • Remove your hubcaps or any decorative center caps from your rims.
  • Loosen the lug nuts of your left front tire, then raise your vehicle using your car jack.
  • Remove the tire and set it aside. A good idea is to use a piece of chalk to mark each tire so you don’t forget from what location each came from.
  • Put the jack stand in place underneath your vehicle and lower the car jack so that your vehicle is resting securely on the stand. Move to the next tire and repeat the process. As a rule, always begin with either your front tires or your rear tires.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on which direction to rotate your tires. The traditional method is to move your front tires to the back, and your back tires to the rear – but some manufacturers recommend crossing your front tires when moving them to the rear. In some vehicles that have directional rims, it may not be possible to do a cross-rotation pattern, so be sure to check this before.
  • One by one, reinstall your tires, tightening the lug nuts only as far as you can by hand.
  • Use your car jack to raise your vehicle high enough to remove the car jacks, one at a time, and follow the traditional method of lowering your tire halfway so that you can tighten your lug nuts firmly before lowering the full weight of your car onto them.
  • Repeat the process until all four jack stands have been removed and all four of your tires have been reinstalled safely.
  • Use a torque wrench to tighten your lug nuts to your car manufacturer’s specifications. Some cars require tighter torque than others, and over tightening your lug nuts can make them impossible to remove in the future. If you don’t own a torque wrench, swing by your closest auto mechanic and ask them to check your torque for you. It only takes a few seconds, and most mechanics will be willing to do it at no charge.
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If you have a full-sized spare tire and the size matches those on your vehicle, you may be able to rotate your spare into the mix. Again, refer to your user’s manual to see if this is possible. Your user’s manual will also show you your manufacturer’s recommended rotation pattern for rotating the spare tire in. If you ever have any questions, pick up the phone and call your local auto mechanic. Likewise, if you want to have a professional handle it, start with Openbay. Compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button. Openbay is car repair for today’s world.

 Source: eHow