You may think that your tires wear out evenly as time passes but they certainly do not. Due to uneven weight distribution, the tire, if left unchecked could become faulty in some time. Tire care is an essential part of car maintenance for an average driver.
With tire rotation, you can make your tires last longer along with getting a better driving experience.
Tire Rotation Time Required:
Tire rotation on average takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
This time may increase or decrease depending on the size of your tires, availability of tools and technicians, or the service station’s performance.
The actual service itself takes about 15 minutes, where most time is spent waiting for the availability of tech and mechanics.
That is why most service providers quote a time of 45 minutes or 1 hour for this and they hope to do it before this time.
So, if you are running into a service station that offers appointments and bookings it may take relatively less time than usual.
How much does it cost?
Tire maintenance is essential for your vehicle. It is among the most neglected services.
You may be thinking that it is avoided due to its cost, however, that is not the case.
Among other maintenance and fixes, tire rotation is relatively quite cheap.
You also don’t have to get it done very often. In most cases, it cost anywhere between 10 to 20 dollars.
Read the whole article on the cost of tire rotation.
Tire Rotation Patterns
For front-wheel drive, the tires are swapped in a forward cross pattern or x-pattern.
For rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive, the tires should be rotated in a rearward cross pattern.
With directional treads, you should never rotate your tires in a diagonal pattern. Meaning the tires should be rotated from front to back or from one side to the other.
When it comes to cars using performance tires the tires on the same axle should be rotated.
Why do you need tire rotation?
The distribution of weight on axels and tires is not the same. Some get more stress than others due to the car’s design and use.
With such uneven load distribution, the tires wear out in patches and uneven patterns which reduces their life.
Due to this, you may also encounter vibrations which is always a discomfort for most drivers.
Uneven tires also consume more fuel leading to performance issues.
All these problems can be avoided if you take your car for tire rotations at the suggested interval.
It not only adds up years to your tire’s life, but it also helps in maintaining the suspension and balance of your car.
Is tire balancing and rotation the same thing?
No, many people mistakenly take two of these different maintenances as the same one and may disregard one for the other.
In the case of a tire rotation, the tires are removed, and the positions are switched.
But when it comes to tire balancing a specific machine is used to check the weight of the tire and is used to balance them.
How should you know that your tires need rotation?
Due to the uneven wearing and weight distribution of tires, you may experience some changes while driving your car.
Some of the signs might be telling you that you should get your tires rotated.
Mileage and time
It is suggested that you should rotate your tires every 5000 miles, or after a period of 6 months.
This is especially the case when the tires are new.
You may notice that your tires are wearing in patches, or you may call it uneven wearing.
These signs indicate that your tires are not balanced and require rotation.
Issues like the problem with the suspension, axels, and wheel bearings might become more frequent.
If you don’t check your tires you will keep on spending money on these fixes that won’t solve anything without tire service.
Uneven tires tend to consume more fuel.
If you experience vibrations in your steering wheel at high speeds (between 50 and 70 miles per hour) or when you apply breaks.
It shows that your tires are uneven.
Loss of tire pressure
Tires may lose pressure if they are uneven.
It may be sometimes an indication that you need a tire rotation, however, it is not always the case, so you should let your technician have a look at it while you are visiting the service station.
Can you do tire rotation yourself?
Yes, of course, you can do it yourself if you want to.
It is quite an easy job you just have to know what type of car and tires you have along with proper tools, and you are good to go.
Most people get it done because they find it hectic to do it themselves.
So, if you are a car enthusiast and you enjoy changing your car’s oil and such stuff yourself, this might be a walk in the park for you.
How long does a DIY tire rotation take?
It mainly depends on your technical skills and the tools you have at hand.
In most cases, you can do it in an hour or two.
This job is quite easy to do so there should be no technical difficulties along the way.
The only concern is that you should know the swap patterns of the tires, as they are different for different situations.