Rotating Your Tires
Everyone knows they have to check the air pressure and wear of their tires—but what about rotating your tires? Here are some tire rotation tips so you’re not completely in the dark on the subject.
In addition to getting your winter tires put on in the fall and all-seasons in the spring, you should rotate your tires regularly, following the methods recommended for your vehicle’s tires. This will ensure your tires wear evenly and last longer, and often means you won’t be forced to buy your tires in pairs.
When to rotate your tires
You keep your eye on the dashboard—or the sticker in the corner of your windshield—to make sure you get your oil changed every 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres, depending on the vehicle. While you’re at it, why not switch your tires around—just to make sure they wear evenly. When you buy a new set of four tires—summer or winter—it’s always best to rotate them after approximately 5,000 kilometres, and every 8,000 kilometres thereafter.
Conventional and asymmetrical and directional—oh my!
Tires can’t be rotated just any old way. A specialized shop will be able to tell you the recommended rotation pattern at a glance. In fact, the pattern depends on the type of tread you have. Conventional treads are reversible and found on all kinds of tires. It is recommended that conventional tires be rotated in an X pattern; in other words, by switching the front left tire with the back right tire.
Directional tires have treads that only roll in one direction. You must therefore only swap a front tire with a rear tire that is on the same side. Asymmetrical tires should also be rotated front-to-rear as they have an inside and an outside. If you want to rotate your tires due to extreme wear, you can also change the rims, but we recommend you consult a technician as this is a sign of improperly aligned tires.
Luxury and sports cars
In some rare cases, like luxury and sports cars, the tires have split fitments, which means the front and rear tires are of different sizes; what’s more, they’re often directional and asymmetrical. There are even cars on which each tire has a pre-determined position, making rotation not a choice.
Of all the car resolutions you make, be sure to think of preventing uneven wear of your tires. Tire rotation is easy enough and only takes a few minutes. Some people even do it by themselves at home. Otherwise, ask your technician to rotate them for you the next time you go in for an oil change.