The position of your car's tyres need to be rotated after every 15,000 or roughly six months, whichever comes first. However, that’s not a cut-and-dried formula. In our article on car maintenance schedule, we recommended rotating after 8,000-13,000 km, especially when you notice uneven wear.
Also, manufacturers have their recommended timeframe for rotating tyres. For example, for most Subaru models, the manufacturer recommends tyre rotation after 15,000 km or 230 days, whichever comes first. Other automakers have different recommendations, so it’s best to refer to your car owner’s manual.
Why Rotate Tyres?
The tread of your tyres will wear out unevenly owing to their different positions and the demands made on them. For instance, the front wheels of an FWD will wear faster because they experience more friction and torque than do their buddies in the rear.
By rotating their positions, tread depth will be more uniform across all tyres, improving overall traction and handling. Another article in this blog digs deeper into why you should rotate your car’s tyres.
When to Rotate Tyres / How Often to Change Tyres
As mentioned in an earlier post on car maintenance schedule, you should rotate your car’s tyres upon reaching 8,000-13,000 km, or earlier whenever you notice tell-tale signs, which we’ll discuss in the section below.
If upon checking, you find out that the treads are below the legal depth required to safely keep your car on the road, tyre rotation may not be enough. In other words, you might need to change your tyres altogether. How long do tyres last, you may ask. It depends on many factors, including your driving style, but generally, tyres need to be changed every 2-3 years.
Of course, we understand that it’s a major expense, so it’s a good idea to save for it long before your tyres retire. How much new tyres cost will depend on many factors, including brand, size, and quality.
Signs You Need Tyre Rotation
It’s the time to rotate your car’s tyres when you experience or notice any of the following signs or symptoms:
Symptom 1 - Uneven Wear on the Tyres
If you notice that the front tyres are wearing far quicker than the rear ones, it’s time to perform a wheel rotation. In layman's terms, it means that the front tyres are becoming balder faster.
If the tyres are still in roadworthy condition, then a simple rotation from front to back could get you a few more months out of your wheels. However, if they are beyond repair, you should replace them immediately. By no means is tyre rotation a fix for totally bald tyres.
Symptom 2 - Loss of Tyre Pressure
Whenever you notice one tyre slowly losing pressure, it's an indication that the tyre is subjected to more weight than the others. By rotating the tyres, you’re somewhat distributing the load more evenly between the four tyres.
If this doesn't fix the problem, then book your car in for inspection right away, as there could be things like internal damage to a rim or a valve. Most current model vehicles are equipped with tyre pressure sensors, so the driver is promptly notified via the instrument cluster or dash about low tyre pressure situations.
Symptom 3 - Vibration or Shimmying in Your Car
If you notice unusual car vibration or shimmying (felt when gripping the steering wheels) at speeds of 72 km/hr and higher, it is a sign of tyre wear and tear or wheel imbalance. If you notice one or two tyres wearing through their tread faster, tyre rotation could be the antidote to this situation.
Learn More about Tyres and Tyre Rotation
Feel free to check out our other articles about tyres in the links we've provided in this post. Also, watch out for our piece on the best tyre rotation pattern to use in your situation because, you know, not all cars follow the same pattern for rotating their tyres. If that interests you, you can bookmark our Blog for daily updates!