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Rotating Your Tires

Rotating Your Tires
Photo: iStockphoto

Vehicle maintenance is so important for extending the life of your vehicle. Even if you lease your vehicle for the minimum 36 months, you still need to perform maintenance to keep the vehicle running well.

We've already covered many types of vehicle maintenance:

In our next segment, we focus on tire rotation and try to answer some common questions.

Why should you rotate your tires regularly?

Your tires are the legs of your vehicle - without them, you're not going anywhere! With a front wheel drive car, your front wheels are responsible for almost all of the braking, and carry most of the weight. As a result, front tires wear out about twice as fast as the rear tires. So rotating your front tires to the back and your back tires to the front can definitely help in extending their life.

Did you know that keeping your tires on the same side is important?

The wear patterns that develop on tires can be tied to the suspension or the alignment of the vehicle. So rotating from side to side means that you could potentially be putting some excess strain and wear on your tires. The other reason is that most tires manufactured today are directional tires. This means that they are meant to move primarily in one direction - therefore, switching them side to side, or criss-crossing (moving front driver to rear passenger) means that they will be moving in the opposite direction and can cause premature wear. Of course, this all depends on your tire manufacturer specifications and what type of drive train you have: front, rear, 4x4, AWD, and so on. If you are rotating the tires yourself and you are not sure, a good rule of thumb is to rotate from front to back.

How often should you rotate your tires?

Anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 km, depending on the type of vehicle and the conditions you drive in. You should consult your owner's manual for a recommended maintenance schedule. A nice reminder is to switch them at every second oil change if you can, if you change your oil regularly, of course – which you should be! See our PumpTalk Post on Oil Changes for why it’s so important. 

Now that your tires are off for a rotation, it might be a good time to perform a brake inspection. Read our PumpTalk Post "All About Brakes" for more details.

Are you diligent with your tire rotations? Do you rotate them yourself or let a professional handle it?

- Julie S.

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