How to Rotate Tires Yourself

February 3rd, 2019 by

mechanic using pneumatic socket driver to remove tires

Whether you choose to rotate your tires at home or take your Ford to our O’Fallon service center, tire rotations are important maintenance to keep up with — you don’t want to skip it. It might not seem like much, but rotating your tires evens the wear out and helps reduce the risk of sidewall damage and blowouts around East St. Louis (but if you ever do experience a blowout, Ford Roadside Assistance can help).

Schedule ServiceContact Us

Why is Tire Rotation Necessary?

Not all tires wear evenly, thanks in large part to most vehicles being two-wheel drive cars and people regularly turning more one direction than another. The impact of turning affects the outside edges of front tires (on FWD cars) while the rear wheels move mostly straight, wearing evenly. To help offset this uneven wear, you rotate where each tire is on your vehicle. With proper rotations and tire care, your tires will wear down evenly and earn their full promised mileage.

How Often to Rotate Your Tires

Front and rear wheel drive vehicles generally need their tires rotated every 5,000-7,500 miles. If you drive a vehicle with all-wheel drive, you’ll need more frequent rotations, maybe as often as 3,000 miles — check your manual to be sure. Why the difference? All-wheel drive vehicles send power to all the wheels at once, keeping them actively engaged and wearing against the pavement — it’s the downside to the added traction of AWD.

How to Change Tire Positions

  • FWD Tires: Move front tires to the back of the car, but keep them on the same side (passenger/driver). When the rear tires come up, cross them so the rear passenger becomes the front driver (and vice versa).
  • RWD Tires: Move rear tires to the front of the car, but keep them on the same side (passenger/driver). When the front tires move back, cross them so the front passenger becomes the rear driver tire (and vice versa).

Rotating Your Tires

Rotating tires at a service center is often pretty easy — we just raise your car up — but you can do it at home with some jack stands, too. You’ll also need a jack, a wrench, and a bit of time.

  1. Engage parking brake for an extra measure of safety.
  2. Loosen the lug nuts on all four wheels. Don’t take them off yet, just loosen them. Having the car on solid ground makes it easier to do this without the wheel spinning.
  3. Lift up one wheel with a car jack and place the jack stand underneath it. Repeat with the remaining wheels.
  4. Remove the tires one by one.
  5. Take this time to make sure your tires are at the right PSI, filling any that have gotten soft. Once filled, follow the rotation pattern for your drivetrain, then place the tire back on the wheel mount and screw the lug nuts on by hand (for now)
  6. Lower the car from the jack stands and fully tighten the lug nuts — do this in a star pattern to ensure even tightening. If the lug nuts aren’t tightened evenly it can cause the brake rotor to warp.

Get Assistance With Tire Rotation at Auffenberg Ford North

Rotating your tires might take just six steps, but if you haven’t done it before, be prepared for it to take quite a bit of time, too. Of course, you can also trust your O’Fallon service center to do the work for you. Our trained technicians can take care of your tire rotation when you visit us for an oil change or other service — or we can just rotate your tires. Schedule your service today, save with our coupons, and know that your vehicle is in good hands.

Posted in Service