How to Do a Tire Rotation

Mechanic Removing Tire

As more car owners in Atlantic City are looking to take on certain car maintenance tasks in their home garage, some may wonder how to do a tire rotation. Unlike checking car oil, carrying out a tire rotation requires a lot of heavy lifting and the ability to follow a somewhat complex process. Often, tire rotation is best left to a professional service technician like those at the Atlantic Volkswagen service center. In the guide below, we’ll provide more insight into why tire rotation is important and the steps one would need to take to rotate tires successfully.

Why is Tire Rotation an Essential Maintenance Task?

A vehicle’s drivetrain and weight distribution, as well as the road conditions in Wildwood, can directly impact the tires. Typically, the front tires wear out at a faster rate than the rear tires. When the tires are rotated, the front tires are moved to the rear and the rear tires are moved to the front. This ensures an equal rate of wear, leading to more balanced handling and optimal traction. Tire rotation also prevents drivers from having to replace their tires prematurely.

When Should Tire Rotations Be Performed?

Vehicles with front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive should have a tire rotation every 5,000 – 7,500 miles. All-wheel drive vehicles should have their tires rotated more frequently, about every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. For an exact interval for your specific vehicle, refer to the maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual.

Tire Rotation Patterns

Depending on the drivetrain of a vehicle, the tires will need to be moved to specific positions when they’re rotated. This is called a tire rotation pattern:

  • FWD Tires: Move the front tires to the rear, keeping them on the same side they were on. When the rear tires move to the front, the rear right tire should go to the front left, and the rear left tire should move to the front right position.
  • RWD Tires: Move the rear tires to the front, keeping them on the same side they were on. When the front tires move to the rear, the front right tire should go to the rear left, and the front left tire should go to the rear right position.

How to Rotate Tires at Home

It’s usually safer, easier, and quicker to have your car’s tires rotated at a professional service center. Attempting the process at home involves somewhat heavy lifting and specific tools like a car jack, lug wrench, and car jack stands. Once the process is started, there’s a lot to keep track of and it could become overwhelming for a novice DIYer.

If you’re confident in your car maintenance know-how and are prepared to move forward, here is a brief overview of how to rotate tires at home to provide an idea of what to expect:

  1. Ensure the parking brake is engaged for your safety.
  2. Loosen the lug nuts on all four wheels, but don’t remove them entirely. This will allow you to unscrew them with greater ease once the tire is elevated.
  3. Using the car jack, lift up one wheel, then place a car jack stand beneath it for support.
  4. Remove the tires one by one, making sure you can easily reference their previous position.
  5. This is a good time to check the tire pressure of each tire and fill them if needed. Then, proceed with rotating the tires according to the rotation pattern for your drivetrain. When you put the tires back on their wheel mounts, screw the lug nuts back on by hand to the greatest extent possible.
  6. Carefully lower the car from the jack stands and finish tightening up the lug nuts with the lug nut wrench. Follow a diagonal star pattern when tightening the lug nuts to help them tighten evenly. If the tightening is uneven, the brake rotors may be susceptible to warping.

Schedule Tire Rotation in Egg Harbor Township

Feeling a little overwhelmed after learning how to rotate tires at home? You can schedule a tire rotation at our service center near Millville for professional, timely service. For more maintenance tips you can trust, check out our online service information center or contact us to start a conversation!

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