What is tire rotation?
Tire rotation is the process of moving each tire to a different wheel on the vehicle to ensure that all parts of each tire wear down evenly over time. A level tire tread promotes consistent traction on the road and minimizes the risk of a blowout. You get a safer, easier-handling vehicle while maximizing tire life -- if you rotate your tires regularly.
Why do tires wear down unevenly? Each wheel position places different stresses on its tire. The steering system, drivetrain, and sun exposure -- all these factors influence tire wear. There are even tire rotation patterns specific to each drivetrain, directional vs. non-directional tires, and whether you have a full-sized spare tire as part of your rotation. Stick to your rotation pattern and all your tires will get equal time in each stress point.
Is this tire rotation lesson making your head spin? Don’t worry. Your Midas technician will know the best tire rotation pattern for your vehicle.
Are tire rotation and balancing the same thing?
Tire rotation and tire balancing are two different services that are often performed together. Tire rotation involves moving tires from one wheel to another to promote even tread wear. Balancing a tire involves removing the tire to measure and optimize its weight distribution so it rolls smoothly and wears down evenly. Tire rotation is an ideal opportunity to balance your tires while they are off your vehicle. Since both services promote even tire wear and are often done at the same time, it’s easy to see how these services are sometimes mistaken for each other (Learn more about tire balancing.)
How often should you rotate your tires?
Unless your owner’s manual provides a different schedule, rotate your tires at least once a year or every 6,000-8,000 miles -- whichever comes first. For many newer vehicles, this tire rotation schedule conveniently matches the common oil change interval of 7,500 miles. If you work your vehicle hard with high-performance driving, towing, or off-road adventures, you may want to rotate your tires more often. The tire experts at Midas can help you monitor how quickly your tire treads are wearing down.
How long does tire rotation take?
Tire rotation takes about 15 minutes as a standalone service. But tire rotation often includes extra services like tire pressure check, visual inspection for damage, and even checking tire balance and wheel alignment. These additional services take more time.