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Why Are My Tires Loud After Rotation

Car tires usually produce some weird noise after tire rotation. Occasionally the strange noise can be a bad wheel bearing or damaged tire, but the cause is usually poor tire wear.

If you haven’t had a tire alignment performed in more than 10,000 miles you should expect some louder than normal road noise after rotation.

Damaged rear tires that are rotated to the front can also become noticeable, and vibrations may even be felt through the steering wheel.

Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the sources of tire noise after rotation.

Why Are My Tires Loud After Rotation?

The most common reason tires are loud after rotation is uneven tire wear. If you haven’t had your tires rotated regularly or you have an alignment problem, the uneven wear of the tires will cause louder than normal road noise.
road noise

Can Rotating Tires Cause Noise?

Rotating tires often causes tire noise for a period of time. Tires wear differently at each corner and rotating them can cause the different wear pattern to cause noise after rotation, until the wear pattern evens out and wears into the new wear pattern.

Tire noise after rotation is common, but will usually begin to get quieter within 50 miles or so. If you find that the tire noise has not improved after 50 miles you may have an alignment problem or tire imbalance that needs to be fixed.

You could also have a damaged tire that is causing the annoying tire noise. Broken belts inside the tire can cause an annoying sound and weird vibration.

Your local tire shop will be able to track down the source of the noise and help you solve the problem.

Weird noises that don’t sound like tire noise could be due to lug nuts being overtightened and having caused brake rotors to warp. Other potential damage could have also occurred such as a bent dust shield could cause a scraping sound.

Occasionally, tire rotation will bring attention to existing problems such as failing wheel bearings, worn tie rod ends, bad shocks, or other suspension component problems.

Is It Normal For Tires To Be Loud After Rotation?

Louder than normal road noise after rotation is normal. It should improve after 50 miles of driving. If the noise is unusually loud though, you may have a problem that needs to be fixed.

Loud tire noise after rotation is usually caused by uneven wear patterns before the tires were rotated. These uneven wear patterns can cause humming or helicopter-like sounds until they tires wear in.

If you had uneven tire wear before your tire rotation, you likely have a poor alignment problem. Alignment issues are the main source of uneven tread wear.

If you’re experiencing unusually loud tire noise after rotation, you should consider having a wheel alignment service performed to prevent the problems from reoccurring and wearing your tires out more quickly as well as causing the loud tire noise and vibrations.

An alignment issue can also be caused by worn suspension components. Failing shocks, worn bushings, bent tie rods, and more can all cause your car or truck to not be properly aligned.

Having an alignment service performed should include having suspension parts inspected for damage and wear. If there are any problems with these parts, they should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent excessive wear to your tires.

Do Tires Get Louder As They Wear?

Tires shouldn’t get louder as they wear. They usually only get louder over time due to alignment issues or suspension problems that cause the tires to wear unevenly.

Damaged tires can also be a cause of tire noise. Potholes and curb strikes can break the steel belts within the tire itself and cause deformations and imbalances.

If you’re experiencing unusually loud tire noise, especially if you haven’t had any tire service performed recently, you should inspect your tires for damage and unusual tire wear patterns.

Will Tires Quiet Down After Rotation?

Tires usually begin to quiet down after a tire rotation within 50 miles or so. It’s common for tires to be louder and feel weird immediately after being rotated.

Tires will wear slightly differently from one corner of the vehicle to another. Following a regular tire rotation schedule will help even out these inconsistencies.

Once the tires have had time to wear into the new wear patterns they should become quieter and ride more smoothly.

If you are experiencing unusually loud tire noise or vibrations, you should consider having a wheel alignment service performed. Poor alignment causes uneven tire wear that will cause loud road noise and vibrations after a tire rotation.

damaged tire with sidewall bubble
Damaged Tire

Helicopter Noise After Tire Rotation

A complaint by some car owners after having their tires rotated is a helicopter noise. There are several potential causes for this noise after rotation.

Waiting too long between tire rotations

A common reason for helicopter-like sounds coming from your tires is simply waiting too long to have your tires rotated. Being sure to rotate your tires regularly will ensure that your tires wear evenly. If you wait too long, inconsistent wear patterns will become more extreme and will be quite loud after a tire rotation.

Unusually uneven tread wear patterns due to poor alignment or suspension damage

Another common reason for helicopter-like tire noise is uneven tire wear due to misaligned tires. Once tires are rotated, these uneven spots on the tire treads will make a loud noise until the tires begin to wear in.

If you haven’t had an alignment service performed for quite some time, you should consider having one done to not only prevent noise in the future, but to make your tires last longer and your car or truck handle better and more stable.

Damaged tire due to a pothole or curb strike

Tire damage should be noticed by the shop rotating your tires, but sometimes it doesn’t get identified.

Broken belts in the tread area or sidewall due to a hard hit can cause loud tire noise that won’t go away over time.

Driving on a damaged tire is dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Improperly torqued lug nuts

On occasion, lug nuts that haven’t been tightened to specification can cause noise. This can be from over-tightening or under-tightening. The noise can be due to damage to the lug nuts, studs, or even brake rotor becoming warped. Also, lug nuts that are too loose can cause a minor wobble in the wheel itself which can cause noise as well as vibration.

Road debris stuck in a tire

While not caused by tire rotation, road noise due to something stuck in a tire is a common source of a helicopter sound coming from your tires. It is possible that you happened to get a puncture shortly after having your tires rotated and the road debris is making noise as the wheel spins and the debris hits the pavement.

Humming Noise After Tire Rotation

A humming noise is another common complaint by car owners after having their tires rotated. Humming is a more subtle noise than the helicopter noise. Humming is usually caused by more minor uneven wear patterns and inconsistencies in wear from one corner of the vehicle to the next.

Humming should subside after 50 miles of wear, but if it doesn’t or it becomes worse, you should return to your tire shop to have the problem diagnosed.

Final Thoughts

Noise after rotation is common, but usually fades after 50 miles or so of driving and is a minor concern. If the noise after rotation doesn’t begin to go away or gets worse, you should inspect your tires for damage and uneven tire wear. You should also consider having an alignment performed.


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About The Author
Will Creech
Will has been an automotive enthusiast since he was old enough to make engine sounds. Formerly a member of the contract training team at Discount Tire, he is unusually knowledgeable on all things related to tires. He is now the owner of and main contributor to TireGrades.com.
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