How Often and Why You Should Rotate Your Tires

Rotating your car's tires may not seem like a huge deal compared other common car maintenance tasks, but it's actually important for your overall safety.

rotating tiresl i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock

Unless a mechanic tells you to rotate your tires, have you really thought about getting it done? Probably not. Rotating your tires doesn’t seem like a crucial car fix compared to changing your oil, but it should be something you regularly consider. Finally, we’ll answer how often should you rotate your tires.

When to Rotate Tires

It’s been reported that tire rotations should be happening every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Your car’s manual should let you know the exact amount of miles recommended for your car’s tire rotation. Now maybe this seems like too often (or not enough) in your opinion. But before you completely ride it off, there are a few things to consider.

Why Should You Have Your Tires Rotated?

Tire rotations need to happen to make sure your tires are wearing evenly. Certain tires are exposed to particular angles of a road, which can cause uneven wear and tread. If they aren’t rotated, your car could drive unevenly altogether. This is especially important for balanced handling. If your car’s tires have different levels of tread (typically the back will have more than the front), than you are going to experience difficulty in an emergency situation (like wet or frozen roads).

Tires can also experience tire cupping, which happens when there’s uneven wear and tear on the tire’s surface. It’s pretty easy to spot; if your tire has uneven patterning and smoother surfaces, that’s an easy sign of tire cupping. Tire cupping can cause noises and rumbling sounds that aren’t pleasant to listen to while driving. Consistent tire rotation, however, can avoid this annoyance. Here’s how to properly check your tire’s tread.

What is Done in a Tire Rotation?

Although the wear of a tire depends on location and the driver’s use of the car, it’s still important to mark a regular tire rotation into your car’s maintenance. Tire rotation is pretty simple. First, the front end and back end tires must be swapped. Next, the left and right sides should be swapped, in order to keep all sides even. So this would mean that the back left tire would be in the front right side.

How Much Does it Cost to Have Tires Rotated?

Tire rotations typically cost $20 to $45 depending on where you go. Some shops will provide free tire rotation if you purchased the tires there but be sure to see if they offer free tire rotation before buying tires.

Not only does rotating your tires keep you safe and keep your tires even, but it also could mean saving some money. Checking your tires regularly and giving them the rotation needed will extend the longevity of your tires, saving you money in the long run.

So maybe it’s time to change those tires! And while you’re at it, here are some car maintenance tips to make your tires last even longer.

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