As you probably know, tires have an essential role in keeping you in control. Tires cushion the weight of your car, grip the road through rain or shine and help you stop when it matters most. That's why it's important to keep your tires in the best possible shape. One simple way you can maintain your tires is by rotating them regularly.
Why Rotate Your Tires?The front and rear tires on your car wear differently. Your front tires carry more of your car's weight, which causes front tires to wear down faster than the rear ones. Also, making turns wears the front tires at different rates. For instance, in the U.S., we generally take left turns faster than we do right turns. This puts more load on the right front tire, which results in the right tire wearing faster than the left. After thousands of miles of driving, uneven tread wear is bound to happen.
When you rotate your tires from one position to another, you equalize these natural wear patterns. Tire rotation helps give you a smoother, safer ride. Plus, you extend the life of your tires, which saves you money in the long run.
How Often Should You Rotate Tires?Check your owner's manual first for the recommended tire rotation schedule for your vehicle. We recommend rotating them every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, even if they don't show signs of wear. An easy way to remember is to do it whenever you change your oil.
Tools NeededNeed a lift? Pep Boys has all of the ramps, car jacks, car dollies and engine hoists and stands you need to support your vehicle and help you rotate your tires.
Rotation Pattern: Directional or Non-Directional TiresBefore you start loosening the lug nuts, you need to know what pattern you are going to use to rotate your tires. The way you rotate your tires depends on whether your car has directional or non-directional tires.
Rotating Your Tires: Step-by-Step
- Engage the parking brake for your safety.
- Loosen the lug nuts on all your wheels. You don't want to take them completely off yet; loosening them now will make unscrewing them when the car is elevated much easier.
- Lift up one wheel with the car jack and place the jack stand underneath it. If you have only one or two jack stands, you'll need to plan how you're going to proceed with lowering and raising your car. (Because you have fewer stands, you'll also spend more time lowering and raising your car in order to switch them out.)
- Remove the tires and rotate them according to the appropriate pattern for your tire type. When you place a tire back onto the wheel mount, screw the lug nuts on by hand as far as you can.
- Lower the car from the jack stands. Take the lug wrench and tighten the nuts even more. It's best to work the lug nuts diagonally from one to another, in a star pattern. This ensures even tightening. Tightening the lug nuts unevenly can warp the brake rotor.
- And that's it! Repeat these steps after 3,000 to 5,000 miles.