Every driver who is looking to save money on maintenance should learn about how to rotate tires. Tires should be rotated every 5K to 10K miles under normal driving conditions.
To rotate tires, you will need:
- Jack Stands
- Socket (deep well works the best) 3/4” or 19mm is the most common size.
- Torque Wrench
- Rubber Mallet
There are 5 tire rotation patterns that can be used when you rotate tires. The rearward cross, “X” pattern, and frontward cross are the traditional tire rotation patterns. The front to rear and side to side are for directional tires
- The Rearward Cross. This tire rotation pattern move the rear tires straight ahead and crosses the front to the rear.
- The “X” Pattern. This pattern for tire rotation crosses the front to the back and the back to the front. For example, the left rear becomes the right front and the left front becomes the right rear.
- The Frontward Cross. This pattern is the opposite of the rearward cross. The front tires move straight back and the rear tires cross to the front in this tire rotation pattern.
- Front to Rear. On the front to rear tire rotation pattern, the tires go from the front straight back to the rear and from the rear straight to the front.
- Side to Side. For this pattern, it is just like it sounds. The left side goes to the right side and the right side to the left on both the front and the rear. (This pattern is used for directional tires on a vehicle that has different tires sizes on the front and rear.)
One you have decided which pattern to use to rotate your tires it is time to begin.
- To start your tire rotation, jack up your car and place on jack stands if needed. This will be determined by the tire rotation pattern needed for your car.
- One the car is securely lifted, use the torque wrench and socket to remove the lug nuts.
- Pull the tire off the car. You may need to use a rudder mallet to break the tire free.
- Once all tires are removed, rotate them to their new position.
- Mount tires on the car. Place lug nuts on loosely and hand tighten. Then use the torque wrench and tighten each lug nut going in a star pattern with the amount of torque specified for your vehicle.
- Lower the vehicle on the jack stands and jack.
You have just completed a tire rotation. You will want to recheck the torque on the lug nuts after driving the vehicle between 50 and 100 miles. This will ensure the lug nuts are secure.
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