How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires?

How often should you rotate your tires? Although the exact answer will depend on how you drive, most of our Monticello, MN and Anoka, MN neighbors will want to rotate their tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles! How your drive and your vehicle’s drivetrain do matter, so it’s important to regularly rotate your tires to maximize their lifespan and ensure better performance. Get more info on tire rotations, including learning how often to rotate tires on an AWD vehicle with Cornerstone Auto!

How Often Should Tires Be Rotated? Ask Your Drivetrain!

No two vehicles are exactly alike, and no two drivers are either. If you really want to know how often you should rotate your tires, you’ll need to consider your vehicle’s drivetrain:

  • Front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive: Since only two tires are receiving power, you can go a longer time between rotations. Stick to the guideline identified above.
  • All-wheel drive or four-wheel drive: How often should you rotate tires on an AWD vehicle? You’ll want to schedule service between 3,000 and 5,000 miles for the best results.
  • It never hurts to check your owner’s manual. Still not sure how many miles to rotate tires at? Ask an expert at our service center for their recommendation! If you often go off-road or engage in heavy towing, you’ll want to have them rotated more often than the guidelines listed above.

How Often to Rotate Tires & Treadwear

So, how often should you rotate your tires in reality? Some drivers may want to look at their treads. If you notice a significant difference in tread depth between your front and rear tires or your left and right tires, it’s definitely time for a change. Look for differences of more than 2/32 of an inch.

How to Rotate Tires on FWD & RWD Vehicles

Front-wheel and rear-wheel tire rotations are similar. Both drivetrains send the majority of the power to either the front or rear wheels, which means those wheels are the ones most likely to wear down first. Follow this simple guide to rotate your FWD or RWD tires:

  • FWD Tires:  Move the front tires to the back of the car, maintaining their left/right positions. Move the rear tires to the front, but switch their left/right positions.
  • RWD Tires: Move the rear tires to the front of the car, maintaining their left/right positions. Move the front tires to the rear and switch their left/right positions.

How to Rotate Tires on AWD Vehicles

All-wheel drive tire rotations are a bit more complex than front- and rear-wheel drive tire rotations. Instead of only sending power to one set of wheels, an AWD drivetrain sends power to both sets of wheels via differentials, for more grip and control on the roads. As such, the tires wear out a little differently. Follow these steps to rotate tires on an AWD vehicle:

  1. The left rear tire goes to the right front position.
  2. The right rear tire goes to the left front position.
  3. The right front tire goes to the left rear position.
  4. The left front tire goes to the right rear position.

How to Rotate Tires on 4×4 Vehicles

Four-wheel drive, or 4WD, is slightly different than all-wheel drive. A 4WD vehicle will send power to all four wheels, much like an AWD vehicle, but is able to direct specific amounts of power between the left and right wheels of each set. These 4×4 systems are perfect for off-roading and, as such, often take a beating and need to be rotated regularly.

There are two ways to rotate tires on 4WD vehicles, both of which we’ve gone over already. Either use the directions for RWD vehicles or AWD vehicles mentioned above. Either of these methods will ensure that all four tires are getting about the same amount of wear over the tire’s lifespan.

Tire Rotation Tips: Why Should You Rotate Tires?

Just about everyone knows that the main purpose of tire rotation is to extend the lifespan of your tires. However, now that you’ve answered the question, “How often should you rotate your tires,” you might be wondering if it’s really worth it. Yes, it is! Regular tire rotations offer tangible benefits, such as:

  • Rotating tires improves your traction on slippery roads.
  • Moving worn-down tires away from a FWD or RWD’s drivetrain can help to reduce noise on the road. It will also limit any shaking that you experience behind the wheel, and it will lower the risk that you’ll have to change a flat tire out on the roads near Ramsey, MN.
  • Running on worn-down tires places a lot of stress on your drivetrain and suspension, so regular rotations can keep you from creating lasting damage on any of these crucial components.

Remember, even if you know exactly how many miles to rotate tires for, you’re going to need a new set eventually. When that day comes, visit your local Cornerstone parts department!

Schedule Tire Service with the Cornerstone Auto

Now that you know how to rotate 4×4 tires, and how often to rotate tires for AWD vehicles, you’re ready to get back on the road! If you’d like to skip the hassle of rotating your tires by yourself, consider scheduling tire service with your local Cornerstone service center today! Our certified technicians will get you back on the road in no time. While you’re in our shop, we can fill you in on other important maintenance topics, like how often to change your oil or how to tell if you need new brakes so you can keep your car running on the Elk River roads for years to come.

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