Is Tire Rotation Really Necessary
A lot of people wonder if they really need to rotate their tires or if tire rotation is just a way for the dealership or a mechanic to make some easy money by performing work that doesn’t really need to be done. If you check your owner’s manual, there will be guidelines on how often you should rotate your tires. It is usually recommended to rotate tires every 5000 to 10,000 miles, but is it really necessary? That depends on who you ask and your personal preferences.
The reason for rotating tires is to equalize wear. Front tires wear a lot faster than rear tires because as you make turns there is more pressure on the outer edges of the front tires. In addition to normal driving, things like three-point turns, parallel parking, U-turns etc. put additional stresses on your front tires that your rear tires don’t have to deal with.
By rotating your tires, you will equalize wear, causing all of the tires to wearout at the same rate. Then, when the time comes to replace your tires, you can replace all four tires at the same time. That’s the reason for rotating tires, but is it really necessary?
If you want to make sure that all four tires wear evenly so you can replace the mat the same time, then yes, you should rotate your tires. However, some people are content to simply let their front tires wear out faster than their rear tires and they will replace the tires that need to be replaced, when they need to be replaced. Some people are not concerned about changing all of the tires at the same time.
If your car has full-time all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four tires at once to avoid overworking the transfer case that connects the fronts and rear drive axles.
Because it’s a good idea to replace all four tires at the same time on vehicles that have full-time four-wheel drive, it would be a good idea to ensure that all four tires wear at the same rate. Therefore rotating the tires would be recommended on these particular vehicles. So, in many cases rotating tires is not necessary, but full-time all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles would be the exception.
Some mechanics will tell you that as long as your tires have plenty of tread and they are properly balanced and inflated, they are perfectly safe to drive on even if the front tires are worn alittle more than the rear tires. You may be able to get a few more miles out of your tires by rotating them but a few extra miles may not be worth the effort or expense it takes to rotate them.