Car Care Tips

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Tires September 19, 2018

Can You Rotate Your Own Tires?

Can you rotate your own tires?

Tires have a finite lifespan, but with sufficient care, you can maximize their longevity. One of the most important aspects of proper tire maintenance is tire rotation.

Many car owners wonder if they can skip the trip to the auto repair shop and do the rotation themselves. While this can depend on a variety of factors, ultimately, a DIY job isn’t recommended.

Before we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of rotating your own tires, let’s talk about why it’s important in the first place.

Importance of Rotating Your Tires

Did you know? Front and rear tires wear differently because the front tires carry more than 60 percent of your car’s weight. This means that your front tires wear down more quickly than the rear ones.

Another factor that can cause unequal wear in your tires is your turning habits. Some drivers might  feel more confident taking either left or right turns, and likely end up taking those turns faster. In these cases, one of the front tires bears the majority of the load. As the miles on your car add up, you end up with uneven tread wear.

Rotating tires equalizes these natural wear patterns by swapping the position of your tires. If you rotate your tires systematically along with all other regular car maintenance, you will ensure a smoother and safer ride. Rotating your tires is important because it extends the time between buying a new set and benefits you financially in the long run.

How often should you rotate your tires?

The recommended tire rotation schedule for your vehicle can be found in your owner’s manual. If it is not specified for your vehicle, we recommend a tire rotation every 5,000 miles for most cars.

Going too long without a tire rotation means you’re likely to experience uneven tread wear. Not only is abnormal wear expensive, but it can be extremely dangerous.

Tire tread depths affect stopping distance, so vehicle owners might not know that their vehicle requires more time to slow down due to accelerated tire wear. Catching and correcting the abnormal wear early can prevent rapid tire wear out. Additionally, uneven tires can decrease fuel efficiency — another benefit of keeping them properly rotated is fewer stops at the fuel pump.

Read: How Tire Tread Depth Affects Stopping Distance

Can you rotate your own tires?

Many believe that a DIY tire rotation will save them time and money. However, many times, that doesn’t end up being the case. Doing it yourself is extremely time consuming and nearly impossible without the correct equipment. When it comes to rotating your tires, you’re better off bringing your vehicle to a professional. Not only is it safer to have an expert handle your tire rotation, but it’s easy to incorporate and sync with your other regular vehicle upkeep like oil changes and brake pad replacement.

If you do decide to go the DIY route, you need to know the correct tire rotation pattern based on your specific driving habits, vehicle make and model, and whether your car has directional or non-directional tires.

  • Directional Tires: These tires are specified for either the left or right side of the car. Their one-way tread pattern is optimized for the direction the tires rotate on the car. The grooves are angled to optimize handling and channel water out from under the tire to reduce hydroplaning.
  • Non-Directional Tires: The tread pattern for non-directional tires can be mounted on the wheel for any direction of rotation, so it doesn’t matter which side of the car these tires are on.

Even if you know all of this information, performing a tire rotation correctly can be extremely complex. If done incorrectly, a DIY tire rotation can put you and other drivers in extreme danger on the road.

Choose Virginia Tire & Auto for a high-quality tire rotation.

By now, you know that regularly rotating your tires keeps you safe by achieving even tread wear and leads to longer tire lifespans. If it’s executed correctly, this basic maintenance will improve your car’s handling and boost traction on all four tires.

At Virginia Tire & Auto, a tire rotation includes removing the tires, inspecting the wear patterns, rotating the tires in accordance with the correct rotation pattern, resetting the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) as applicable, and a visual brake inspection.

A bonus?  If it’s time for new tires, buying them from  Virginia Tire & Auto entitles you to a lifetime of free tire rotations at any of our 14 NoVa locations. Schedule your tire rotation today!

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