Tire rotation is necessary to get maximum mileage from a set of tires as it ensures even wear and optimized traction on the road. The price of tire rotation depends upon the type of your tire and your vehicle as well.
You pay different prices when you get the service from a local service station or a tire brand’s official store.
Usually, the cost of tire rotation starts from $15 or so.
Is it necessary to rotate tires?
After driving for about six months or over a mileage of 5000 to 8000 miles, it becomes crucial to rotate the tires.
Otherwise, they will wear unevenly, and you have to replace them soon.
In FWD vehicles, the front side of vehicles has more load, so, their front tires will wear out sooner than the rear tires.
Likewise, in rear wheel drive (RWD) vehicles, rear tires are worn sooner.
Similarly, the outer edges of some tires wear more quickly while cornering than other portions of tread, leading to uneven contact with the road.
As a result, more friction arises and more fuel is used to compensate for the loss against rolling resistance.
Uneven tread may also become problematic when you drive at 45 mph or higher speed as you may notice your car vibrations which causes damage to the suspension system of your car.
Plus, it reduces the grip of tires on wet paths and makes your journey uncomfortable.
Therefore, rotate your vehicle’s tire on time to get long-lasting tires with better grip and improved fuel efficiency.
How long does a tire rotation take?
Generally, it takes only 30 to 45 minutes to rotate the tires of the vehicle because you just have to move the tires from their position in order to ensure even tread wear, and this will also enhance the service life of your tires.
Tire rotation vs balancing
Tire rotation involves the movement of tires from their current position according to a certain rotation pattern.
It can be done at home, or you can take professional service.
Conversely, balancing means that wheels and tires have an equal distribution of weight.
It is done with a balancing machine.
Imbalance wheels can produce vibrations in the steering wheel or in the floorboard and seat of the car.
It also reduces the fuel average, and the tread wears faster and unevenly, leading to serious damage to the vehicle.
You should balance the wheels once a year or at least after two years.
Does tire rotation affect alignment?
Tire rotation and alignment do not affect each other.
Tire rotation means changing the position of tires according to the suitable pattern for your vehicle.
In contrast, tire alignment is the adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension system that connects wheels with the vehicle.
It ensures that the tire makes the best possible angle of contact with the road for proper handling and stability.
Alignment is not required every time you rotate tires, but you can get a discount if you take both services at a time.
Hence, it is recommended to align the vehicle’s tires once a year or when it is driven from 6000 – 1000 miles.
But if your car is pulling to the left or to the right while moving in a straight direction, it may have an alignment issue. In this case, your car may drift, or its steering wheel may get off-center.
So when you notice any sign of poor alignment, go straight to the automobile shop to properly align the tires.
Tire rotation cost
The price of tire rotation is changed with the vehicle and tire types.
Plus, different auto centers offer the service at different rates.
Tire rotation cost generally ranges from 30$ – 80$.
But the cost rises if you have a luxury vehicle reaching up to 100$ – 120$.
You can also save the cost and your time by taking different services together, such as wheel alignment and tire rotation or oil change and rotation.
Moreover, when you get these services from official centers of different tire companies, you are charged an even lower price.
Some companies even offer free tire rotation with their products.
Usually, tire rotation cost ranges from 14$ to 25$ from big brand stores.
Pattern of rotation
The rotation pattern depends on the type of tires, either directional or non-directional, and vehicle type, whether it is FWD, RWD, AWD, or 4WD. Directional tires can roll in one direction only as specified on their tread or sidewall, and the pattern used for their rotation is “Front-to-Rear.” The front tire of one side is moved to the rear on the same side and vice versa.
However, there are four rotation patterns for non-directional tires:
- “Forward Cross” for front-wheel drive vehicles, the front tires move to the rear position. While the rear tires change their position diagonally as they come to the front.
- “Rear Cross” is for the rear, four, and all-wheel drive vehicles. In this method, the rear tires come to the front position. And the front tires now change their position diagonally while moving to the rear position.
- In the “X pattern,” front and rear tires are exchanged in a crisscross manner. It is used for the rear, four, and all-wheel drive light trucks.
- If the size of the front and rear wheels is different “Side-to-Side pattern” is used, and the tires of the right side are switched with the tires of the left side and vice versa.
DIY tire rotation
You can rotate your car’s tires by yourself. It only takes a little time and a bit of effort as described in following steps;
- Lose all the lug nuts but do not remove them.
- Lift up the car using a jack and place jacking stands to support your car.
- Now remove all tires and rotate according to the pattern suitable for your vehicle and tire type.
- Screw in the lug nuts by hand while mounting back the tire on the wheel.
- Then remove the jack stands and lower your car.
- With the help of a lug wrench, tighten the lug nuts using a star pattern.
- Tire rotation involves different rotation patterns according to vehicle type.
- Its cost usually starts from 15$ at the dealership and 30$ at local auto centers.
- Moreover, you can also rotate your tires at home.
- For even treadwear performance, you should rotate your tires every six months or after every 5000 miles.