How Often (and Why) You Should Rotate Your Tires

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

Have you ever really thought about rotating your tires unless a mechanic told you to directly? 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.

When to Rotate Tires

It’s been reported that tires should be rotated 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. That frequency might seem excessive. But before you completely write it off, there are a few things to consider:

Why Should You Have Your Tires Rotated?

Tire rotations need to happen frequently to ensure that your tires are wearing evenly. Over time, your different tires are exposed to specific angles of the road, which causes uneven wear on the treads. If they aren’t rotated, your car could eventually 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?

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. This system means that the back left tire would end up at the front right side of the car.

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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