Tires are your car’s most important safety feature. They’re the only things connecting the car to the road. But no one really pays attention to tires because they’re not that exciting. But ensuring that they are in good shape will ensure your safety. And one of the easiest ways to take care of them is to rotate them periodically.
So, don’t wait until you get a flat to pay attention to your tires. Remembering to rotate them periodically will maintain your vehicle’s performance and your safety. All the other safety systems in your car depend on your tires being in good enough condition to grip the road in all weather conditions.
How quickly which tires wear depends on whether your car has front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive. The driven wheels have more work and therefore wear faster. In a front-wheel-drive car, the front tires are used to steer, brake, and put the power down while carrying the weight of the engine and transaxle. Rotating the tires allows all of them to wear out evenly and extend their life. So the ideal time to rotate tires is every 3000 to 5000 miles or whenever you go in for an oil change. If your car doesn’t need an oil change very often, get the tires rotated every six months.
Regular and proper rotation also helps ensure that all four tires are in good working order. You should also inspect your wheel rims for bends at this time. Also, check for cupping and blistering of the sidewall. This is usually seen in older cars with aging suspension systems and presents with uneven wear patterns in the tread. This can compromise ride quality, steering, braking ability, and wear out tires faster. Blistering or bulges in the sidewall result from slamming into a deep pothole. This can cause a tear in the structure of the tire, and air may enter that tear. This could result in a flat tire or even a blowout.
Tire rotation is very simple. Most vehicles today also have equal-size front and rear tires that are not unidirectional. In this case, you should check out your owner’s manual for the recommended pattern for tire rotation.