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Why You Should Rotate Your Tires

October 22, 2021

When it comes to your tires, there are a few tips and tricks to consider that will guarantee your tires last as long as possible. One of those tricks is to practice proper tire rotation on your build. It’s one of those little things that easily slips people’s minds, and it gets overlooked because of the time and a few extra dollars that need to be spent. So, what does proper tire rotation look like and why is it important?


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What is Tire Rotation?

Tire rotation is quite literally what it sounds like. It’s is the process of switching each of your tires to a different position on your truck. It’s a fairly simple process that can be done right at home in your garage with a jack, some basic tools, and wheel clocks to keep your truck from rolling. Otherwise, you can check out your local auto shop or even Walmart to schedule an appointment to get your tires rotated. 


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Why Should You Rotate Your Tires?

Tire rotation helps optimize your tire’s tread life. This is because the position of your wheels causes uneven wear on your tires, where some wearing is more apparent in one position versus the other. Tire rotation is important to do to get the best bang for your buck, but it’s also crucial to guarantee a safe driving experience. Your tires are what keep your truck in contact with the road, so it’s worth having them in the best condition possible. Tires that receive the care they deserve will deliver the best performance possible in all weather conditions. Over 26% of accidents on the road involve vehicles that have either bald tires or insufficient tread, so don’t sleep on proper tire care! 


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Regular tire rotation also helps hold yourself accountable for looking at other routine tire and wheel maintenance or inspection. Other noticeable damages or potential concerns on your wheels and tires can get caught during this process and save you hassle in the future. Also, if your truck is out of alignment, your tires can wear unevenly too. Because of this, it’s really common to schedule an alignment and rotation all in one trip. So, to get the maximum mileage out of your tires, make a mental note that a tire rotation will help you achieve that. Since it’s one of those easily forgettable things, make it a habit to schedule on or do it yourself around every other oil change. 


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How Often Should I Rotate My Tires?

With the every-other-oil-change trick in mind, oil changes are recommended at around every 3,000 miles, putting the suggested tire rotation around every 6,000-8,000 miles. For a lot of people, that’s also equivalent to approximately every 6 months. 



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How Do I Rotate My Tires?

If you take your truck someplace to get your tires rotated, then don’t worry about how the process is done (unless you’re really interested.) If you’re looking to rotate your tires on your own, check out the different patterns below to follow. Best practice for tire rotation is dependent on whether you’ve got directional vs. non-directional tires, and then whether your truck is front, rear, all, or four-wheel drive. 


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If you’ve got non-directional tires that are all the same size, follow one of these three patterns when rotating your tires (depending on which category your truck falls into.)

  • If your truck has four-wheel, all-wheel, or rear-wheel drive, use the rearward cross pattern during rotation. This is where rear tires are moved to the front but are kept on the same side. However, when moving the front tires to the rear, they should be put on the opposite sides from where they came from. 
  • If you’ve got a smaller, lightweight truck with front-wheel drive, all of the tires should go to the spot that is directly diagonal from their original position. For example, the front right should be moved to the rear left and vice versa. This technique is referred to as the “X-pattern” because of the crossing of two diagonal paths. 
  • Another common pattern for front-wheel-drive trucks is the forward cross pattern. This is done by moving the front tires directly to the rear and kept on the same side, while the rear tires are brought forward diagonally. 


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For higher performance or directional tires, follow either of these patterns while rotating your tires.  

  • The side-to-side pattern works the best with performance tires that may be of different sizes. Tires need to be switched with tires of the same size while staying on the same axle. The rear tires should be changed to the opposite sides, same with the front tires. 
  • If you’ve got directional tires, use the front-to-back pattern when rotating tires. Tires should be moved from the front to the rear, and rear to the front while remaining on the same side they started out. 



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Overview

Small tasks like tire rotation can easily fly under the radar. Without a check engine light blaring at you at every given second while you drive, it’s easy to forget about tire care when your truck might only give you notifications about what’s going on under the hood. This doesn’t make it any less important, though. A new set of tires can be spendy, so there’s no point in going through them faster with uneven wear. On top of the fact that regularly rotating your tires can save you some cash, it also can give you some peace of mind that you’re practicing better safety by having good, functioning tires on your truck. 


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Remembering to rotate your tires can be tricky, so set up a reminder on your phone, computer, or the calendar on the refrigerator to help remind you. Or, get into the habit of scheduling one at every other oil change visit. It’s really affordable (or free if you do it yourself), not very time-consuming, and saves you the hassle of dealing with premature wear.


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