Other benefits are a little less well known, but can be equally important.
Let’s go over the details of what you can expect from regular tire rotations.
Benefits Of Tire RotationThere are several reasons to ensure you rotate your tires at regular intervals:
• Maintain Tire Warranty
• Even Tread Wear
• Longer Lasting Tires
• Smoother Ride
• Quieter Tires
• Save Money
• Better Traction And Performance
• Identify Problems Early
• Less Strain On Suspension Components
Maintain Your Tire Warranty
Most tires come with a warranty that is provided by the tire manufacturer. This warranty is a guarantee that the tires will last a certain amount of miles or time, whichever comes first.
This warranty requires you to take proper care of your tires however, and regularly rotating them is always a part of the warranty requirement.
If you aren’t able to provide proof that you have performed regular tire rotation according to the tire manufacturer’s required mileage interval, your warranty claim can be denied.
Some vehicles are harder on tires than others. Sports cars for instance have particularly aggressive suspension geometries that put more stress on the tires to provide better traction and better performance.
These more aggressive suspension setups can cause tires that are warrantied for 50,000 miles to last significantly less miles under normal driving conditions. Even if this is the case, the tire manufacturer’s will warranty the tires and refund you the unused value as long as you have properly maintained your tires by performing regular tire rotations.
More Even Tread Wear
Even tread wear is important to ensuring that your tires have good tread depth to push water through the grooves in the tread and out from underneath the tire.
The tires at each corner of your car or truck don’t actually sit perfectly flat on the pavement. They come into contact with the road at different angles.
The reason the contact patch of your vehicle doesn’t have the same amount of force evenly from inner shoulder to outer shoulder is to improve stability and handling.
Because your tire tread doesn’t rest perfectly flat on the asphalt, one portion of the tire will wear more quickly than another.
By rotating tires from one corner of your car or truck to another, the portion of the tire tread that wears the most will move to a different spot on the tread and begin wearing down a different area of the tread more.
Because of this, tire rotation creates more even tread wear if performed regularly.
Longer Lasting Tires
One of the primary purposes of tire rotation is to extend the life of your tires. If you don’t have your tires rotated regularly, uneven wear will occur. If one area of your tire tread drops below 4/32″ in depth they become unable to properly evacuate water on wet roads.
While you may have extremely good tread depth everywhere else across the tire width, if that one location can’t do its job properly, the entire tire will need to be replaced because it will be dangerous to drive on.
Regular tire rotation moves the point of most wear to a different spot on the bottom of your tire and will allow you to use more of the tread across the width of the tire.
By keeping your tires rotated you will spread evenly the friction across the tire and be able to use more of the tire before it needs to be replaced.
Uneven wear can create a rougher ride if you have a front end misalignment. Vibrations from the rear axle are less noticeable, but those from the front tires are transmitted through the steering wheel very easily and can cause it to shake quite a bit in more extreme situations.
You can also feel vibration through the floorboard in your feet and vibrations can be transmitted into your car seat as well.
Rotating tires will shift the points of wear to even out tread wear on all four tires and help reduce vibration. A smoother ride also equals better gas mileage.
A smoother ride will also mean a more quiet ride. When you experience uneven wear on your tires you will usually end up with more tire noise in the cabin of your car or truck.
Some types of uneven tire wear will be louder than others, but a tire that isn’t riding smoothly will add to the noise in your vehicle.
Tire rotation will shift the tire wear to a different point on the tread and allow the tread to wear more evenly over time, smoothing out the vibrations and the noise they cause.
Tires aren’t cheap. In fact, depending on your vehicle, they can get shockingly expensive. To get the most bang for your buck you should be rotating your tires at least every 5,000 miles.
Tire rotation will insure you extend the life of your current set of tires and postpone needing to purchase new tires.
Additionally, rotating tires according to the tire manufacturer’s requirement to maintain the tire warranty can get you a sizable refund if the tires don’t meet the guaranteed mileage. This is a great service the tire companies provide.
Not all cars and trucks are created equal and a set of new tires on one car may last a lot longer than the exact same set on a different car. The ability to cash in if you have a car or truck that doesn’t get the guaranteed mileage is one that I’ve used myself more than once.
Better Traction And Performance
Rotating your tires regularly can improve traction in inclement weather by ensuring that the tread across the entire tire can adequately push water, snow, and slush out of the treads and keep the rubber gripping the road.
Even tread will have better traction and handling performance as the vehicle shifts weight in the turns and moves the contact patch due to the lateral forces, especially in slippery conditions.
Braking performance will also be greatly improved over tires that have uneven tread wear problems. Being able to consistently grip as the tire spins during braking will allow for shorter stopping distances that could make the difference between a fender bender and a catastrophic accident.
Identify Problems Early
Regular tire maintenance by performing tire rotation at the manufacturer’s suggest intervals will ensure that not only are you maximizing the life of your tires but that issues will be identified before a serious problem occurs.
Punctures, wear patterns that indicate alignment problems or worn suspension components will get called to attention when service is being performed regularly.
Less Strain On Suspension Components
Smooth riding tires that are in good condition will transmit less vibration into the suspension components that can cause premature wear to bearings and bushings.
While more minor tire wear problems won’t likely have too much of a negative effect, more pronounced issues can have a significant detrimental effect.
Ultimately, many advantages of rotating tires listed above all improve overall safety. Your tires are your vehicle’s only (hopefully!) contact point with the road. Tires are incredibly important, maybe even the most important aspect of your vehicle when it comes to safety.
Skipping tire rotations can seriously reduce their ability to do their job adequately. We’re never prepared for that moment when we need them performing their best when we need to stop quicker than we expected or need to swerve to avoid an obstacle.
Below are some links you may find helpful when learning about tires
- Tires Q&A: Tire rotation economics–Is it just cost? – Consumer Reports
- How often you should rotate your tires … and why it’s necessary – US News & World Report
Failing to perform tire rotations on your vehicle regularly will ultimately cost you more money in the long run. The cost of having tire rotation performed is negligible or even free. The real cost comes down to the inconvenience of taking the time to have the service performed.
While taking the time to have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles can be inconvenient, the benefits make it worth the effort.
I recommend you try to coordinate other services to be performed all at the same time to make sure that you spend the lest amount of time sitting in a waiting room while still keeping your vehicle in tip top shape.