Let’s face it: rotating your tires is one of those tasks we hardly ever think about. We tend to change the oil in our car right on schedule because we know that not doing so can damage our engine. If we visit one of the many “quick oil change” businesses to change our oil, they might even recommend rotating your tires, and quite frankly, rotating your tires at every oil change is a good recommendation. Here’s a few reasons why you should never skip a tire rotation.
Long Term Wear Effect
When it comes to the long-term wear effect on your tires, the cornering and rolling forces on each of your tires are different. With a front wheel drive car, the power and most of the force is transmitted to the front tires. The rear tires pretty much just follow along like fixed wagon wheels. A rear-wheel drive car or truck sends power to the back tires while wear and tear from steering are handled by the front tires. All-wheel drive and four wheel drive vehicles have their own unique power, steering and cornering characteristics.
The point is, your right front tire is going to wear differently than your left rear tire, or for that matter, any of the other tires vary at each corner of the vehicle because of the force, friction and handling responsibilities of each tire position.
Solution? Tire Rotation
The solution to this problem is tire rotation. Tire rotation involves removing your wheels and tires from the car and putting them in a different position on the car. Your tire service center can take the time to re-balance the wheels and tires (if needed) while they have them off the car. This process of rotation and re-balancing evens out the wear patterns on each tire, giving them a longer functional life.
Generally speaking, you should have your tires rotated every 5-6,000 miles. But what if you don’t? Your tires and wheels will certainly stay on the car, rolling along for mile after mile without a rotation. Why bother to have them moved around?
One reason is, tires are expensive and failure to rotate them periodically is going to cause them to wear out faster, most times before they reach their expected useful life. If you keep applying the same force to your tire by leaving it, say, on the right front corner of the car, you will probably see deep tread damage in the typical wear pattern for that wheel position. You may see wear on the inside edge, the outside edge, feathering on your sidewalls, a cupped shape in the center of your tread or lumpy, chopped tread. All of these wear patterns can be prevented, or at least caught before they cause real damage with routine tire rotation.
Bad Wear Patterns Cannot be Fixed
Once a dip wear pattern develops it cannot be repaired or rotated to fix it. Unevenly worn tires can be dangerous, causing your vehicle to wander or pull to the side. The cornering limit, creating enough force in a corner to break traction, will be significantly reduced which translates to poor handling when going around a curve. At the very least, unevenly worn tires are noisy and make driving tedious. Only replacement will solve uneven wear issues and which can get expensive.
The Good News
Now, for the good news; tire rotation and balance is very inexpensive compared to replacing a tire (or tires) and does not take much time. Postle Tire Barn includes free, periodic rotation and balance with your new tire purchase.
Postle Tire Barn is a family owned and operated tire and automotive business in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We are located on Jug Factory Road behind McDonalds. Feel free to call us at 205-391-0062 with any questions, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.