How often should I rotate my tires?
Posted on February 21,13 by carcarewoodbury
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6,000-8,000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear. To make this worse, tire manufacturer warranties include stipulations indicating the tire rotation frequency required for the warranty to be valid.
The main reason for tire rotation is that tires wear unevenly. Here’s what is happening:
By design, the weight on the front and rear axles differs which causes uneven wear. With the majority of cars being front-engine cars, the front axle typically bears more of the weight. For rear wheel drive vehicles, the weight distribution between front and back approaches 50:50. Front wheel drive vehicles also have the differential in front, adding to the weight, with a typical weight distribution of no better than 60:40. This means, all else being equal, the front tires wear out at almost twice the rate of the rear wheels, especially when factoring the additional stress that braking puts on the front tires. Thus, tire rotation needs to occur more frequently for front-wheel drive vehicles.
Turning the vehicle causes uneven tire wear. The outside, front tire is worn disproportionately. For instance, cloverleaf interchanges and parking ramps turn right, causing the left front tire to be worn faster than the right front. Furthermore, right turns are tighter than left turns, also causing more tire wear. Conversely, the sidewalls on the right tire tends to be bumped and rubbed against the curb while parking the vehicle, causing asymmetric sidewall wear.
Mechanical problems in the vehicle may also cause uneven tire wear. The wheels need to be aligned with each other and the vehicle. The wheel that is out of alignment will tend to be dragged along by the other wheels, causing uneven wear in that tire. If a tire is under or over-inflated, it will wear differently than the other tires on the vehicle.
If a tire has worn out evenly across the tread well before its estimated mileage limit, it may qualify for replacement under the manufacturer tread-life warranty. You must show proof of purchase and proof that the tires were rotated properly at the recommended intervals. In this situation, the manufacturer pro-rates the cost of the new tire based on the percentage of remaining tread on the old tire and the price of the replacement tire.
Car Care offers free tire rotations for the life of the tires when tires are purchased at our shop. We recommend rotating tires at every other oil change to maximize the performance and life of the tires. We can recommend the best tires for your vehicle and your driving requirements.
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