Tire Rotation: It’s Preventive Care for Your Tires

Why should you get your tires rotated? Because it’s one of the easiest ways to extend the life of your tires and get the most miles out of them. And you only need to do it a couple of times a year.

Already know you need a tire rotation? Come visit us at one of our local stores or schedule an appointment.


What is a Tire Rotation?

Rotating the tires on your vehicle means moving them to different positions on your car or truck. This helps promote even tread wear on all four tires.

No matter how you drive, front and rear tires can wear at different rates. Tires that are mounted on the drive axle (the front two wheels on a front-wheel drive or back two on a rear-wheel drive) wear more quickly than the “free rolling” tires on the other axle.


Why Are Tire Rotations Important?

Properly rotated tires can make for a smoother ride. It can also extend the life of your tires, saving you both time and money. By rotating your tires, you even out the wear to get the most tread life from every tire. Regular rotations are equally important, even if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle.


How Often Should You Get a Tire Rotation?

A good rule of thumb is every 5,000 miles. Depending on your vehicle, driving style, and tire type, you may need to rotate your tires more or less often. If you’re not sure, stop by Les Schwab. We’ll help you come up with a rotation schedule.

Regular tire rotations can help spot uneven tire wear early. Going too long between rotations may result in a wear pattern that can’t be fixed, no matter where the tire is moved on the vehicle. These wear patterns could result in the need for new tires sooner than expected.

Dashboard with odometer

Here are some ways to remember your next rotation.

  • Watch your odometer and get your vehicle in for a rotation every 5,000 miles.
  • Put a rotation reminder on your calendar.
  • Sign up for service reminders by providing your email address the next time you’re in a store.
  • When you change your oil, check your mileage for a possible tire rotation.


How Long Does a Tire Rotation Take?

Getting your tires rotated every 5,000 miles is generally a pretty quick process. The professionals at Les Schwab will take the time to do a thorough tire rotation by also balancing your Les Schwab tires, checking your air pressure, doing a visual check of important safety systems, and documenting anything you should be aware of during the process. Once your vehicle is in our service bays, you can expect this procedure to be completed in about half an hour. Taking the time to make tire rotations a part of your normal vehicle maintenance regimen can add significant life to your tires, promote even tire wear for a smoother and more comfortable ride, and save you money in the long run.


Tire Rotation Patterns

The standard tire rotation is front-to-rear, but there are multiple patterns that could also help promote long tire life.

Tire rotation patterns

  • Rear tires move to front on same side of vehicle
  • Used when wear is normal, and also when tires have directional tread (are designed to roll in one direction)
Forward cross (for front-wheel drive vehicles)
  • Front tires move straight back to the rear
  • Rear tires cross to opposite sides on front
  • Used when rear tires show uneven wear
X pattern (for all types of vehicles)
  • Front tires shift to opposite rear positions
  • Rear tires cross to opposite front positions
  • Used when there’s uneven wear
Rearward cross (for all-wheel, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles)
  • Rear tires move straight up to front
  • Front tires cross to opposite rear positions
  • Used when there’s uneven front-tire wear
Side-to-Side (for staggered (differently sized) wheels)
  • Front two tires are moved to opposite sides on front axle
  • Rear two tires are moved to opposite sides on back axle

What Tire Technicians Look for When Rotating Your Tires

Here’s what Les Schwab tire pros consider to properly rotate and position the tires on your vehicle.

  • What kind of vehicle do you drive (front-, rear-, all-, four-wheel)?
  • Do the tires show uneven wear? Where?
  • Do they have directional tread?
  • Are there any custom wheel-tire setup considerations, like staggered wheels (different wheel sizes on front and back)? Any offset concerns?

As always, check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations from the manufacturer.


How Much Does a Tire Rotation Cost at Les Schwab?

If you have Les Schwab tires on your vehicle, rotations are free for the life of those tires. Plus we balance your wheels as part of the service. Don’t have Les Schwab tires? Our pros can still help maximize the life of your tires. Stop by your local Les Schwab for a quick estimate.


Trust Les Schwab to Rotate Your Tires

Don’t put tire rotations off. This simple task can maximize the life of your tires. When you buy tires from Les Schwab, we rotate them for free on most vehicles. Plus, we provide free rotation reminders by email. Just ask at your local store.