Know when you should rotate your tires

7 minute read Published on Nov 30, 2020 by BrokerLink Communications

Know when you should rotate your tires

When you first buy a car or a fresh set of tires, your first thought is probably not tire rotation! Although rotating your tires may not be your first thought, it’s crucial for the longevity of your investment. No matter how tough your car tires are designed or made, they’re destined to suffer wear over time. Since there is different wear on each tire, the wear will vary from one tire to another, leading to uneven tread wear. This is where the practice of rotating tires plays a huge role.

If you’re thinking, “My tires are new, I won’t have to rotate them for a few years,” or “I’m planning on buying new tires in a couple of years, so I’m not going to bother rotating them,” you may soon be changing your tune! While you might think tire rotation isn’t necessary, it’s essential for the longevity of your tires and can even help you save money where you least expect it.

Why should you rotate your tires?

First, let’s address the issue of un-even tread wear, which can be avoided or fixed before this even occurs. To minimize or prevent un-even tread wear from happening, make sure your vehicle is properly aligned. Improper alignment can be caused easily, like by hitting a pothole or curb. Uneven tread wear can also be caused by over-inflating or under-inflating your tires. A worn out suspension is another common culprit of improper alignment. This is something your trusted mechanic should be able to diagnose and fix.

Rotating your tires regularly can reduce strain on your engine, decrease road noise and save you money on gas! Here’s how:

  • Reduce engine strain: Tires with less tread wear minimize rolling resistance, so your engine can move your car more efficiently, with less fuel consumed. This can help you avoid many trips to the mechanic and keep your car running for a very long time.
  • Decrease road noise: Is the noise from the road louder than the early 2000s pop you’re singing along to? It might have something to do with your tire tread! Less tread wear means less tire noise when you’re driving, so rotate your tires and enjoy your music or the latest episode of your favourite podcast in peace.
  • Save money! By regularly rotating your tires you can save money in the long run. Your tires and engine may last longer than you planned and higher fuel efficiency can keep your tank full, so you can make it that extra mile.

Methods of rotating tires

There are several methods for rotating your tires, including:

Side-to-side front The front left tire is exchanged with right front tire
Side-to-side rear The front right tire is exchanged with left front tire
Front-to-rear The rear tires and front tires are switched
X-pattern When each tire is moved diagonally across the vehicle, appearing in an X shape

So, which method is best? This depends on several factors, including whether your vehicle is front, rear or all-wheel drive and if you have high performance tires. You can also include your spare tire in the rotation. If the spare matches the size of the other four tires feel free to include it, otherwise the purpose of the rotation will be defeated. Your tire-rotation specialist should be able to help guide you to make the best decision for your vehicle.

Things to remember when it comes to rotating your tires

Rotating your tires is a preventive measure. Avoid waiting until you notice signs of tread wear in your tires before deciding to rotate.

Your front tires are usually more likely to have tread wear sooner compared to your rear tires. This is because of the added weight of your car’s engine. Front tires are also responsible for turning, so they experience more friction compared to your rear tires.

You should also remember to change to season-appropriate tires throughout the year. When winter is about to start, depending on your location, usually in October or November, you should start switching to winter tires. When winter ends, you can then change to normal season tires.

Frequency of Rotating Tires

Several factors can affect how often you rotate your tires. You should take a look at your driving habits, and if you think you are an aggressive driver who tends to accelerate rapidly or take corners at high-speeds, you may be putting stress on the tread of your tires. Additional factors include:

  • The type of car you drive (all-wheel drive, sports car)
  • Your daily usage and distance travelled
  • The type of road you’re usually driving on (gravel, paved)

Based on your driving habits and additional factors, some experts suggest that you should rotate your tires every other oil change. As it does depend on your habits, and how often you service your vehicle, you can also rotate your tires based on your mileage. It can be easy to remember to rotate your tires after every distance milestone covered, like every 10,000 kilometers.

When available, it’s a good idea to rotate your tires by the recommendation of the car’s manufacturer. There are times when your car’s brand recommends a tire rotation schedule for your specific model. You can usually find this recommendation through your car’s manual, or by researching online.

Learn More About Tire Rotation and Other Car Safety Tips by Consulting with a BrokerLink Car Insurance Expert

Why go with an insurance broker for your car insurance? Here are a few reasons:

  1. The great thing about going with a broker is we do all the work for you! We have connections with insurance companies across Canada. We will reach out to our extensive networks to ensure you get the coverage you need at a great price.
  2. We are experts when it comes to car insurance.
  3. Get an online quote.
  4. We are licensed insurance experts. We know the insurance rules and regulations so you don’t have to. When you deal with a broker, you’ll walk away knowing your investment is protected.
  5. At BrokerLink, we offer insurance on your terms. We make it easy. You can reach us by phone, online or in person. We also offer extended hours in many of our locations for your convenience.

With an insurance expert in your corner, you have a knowledgeable resource ready to help you get the most out of your insurance coverage. There are many different options to consider when deciding on auto insurance; some are required by law while some may not apply to you at all.

Our brokers, with offices in Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada, will take the time to get to know you so they can find affordable car insurance that makes sense for your life. You’ll walk away with a policy that fits. Nothing you don’t need, and everything you do.

Here’s a pro tip from one of our brokers about why rotating your tires is recommended:

“If you can feel vibrations while you’re driving, then it’s likely that your tires are already suffering some tread wear.”

FAQs on when you should rotate your tires

Is it wise to perform the tire rotation myself?

It’s not recommended you attempt to rotate your own tires if you have not been properly trained in this area. If your tires are not rotated correctly, it could defeat the purpose of the rotation and you could end up injured in the process. Reach out to your local tire shop for your regular rotation.

Can underinflated tires affect tread wear?

Absolutely! If your tires are under-inflated, they can start to wear unevenly as areas of the tire are taking on more weigh and strain than other areas. This can affect the performance of your tires and decrease the life of the tire.

Can alignment help when it comes to tread wear?

Yes! As all of your vehicle’s parts work together for peak function, proper alignment is needed and will affect how your tires make contact with the terrain you’re driving on. If you suspect your vehicle is not properly aligned, reach out to your local mechanic for a check-up!

For more FAQs, visit the BrokerLink FAQs page.