Tire Rotations – Why Are They Necessary?

Blog Post

Your tires are constantly rotating - if they weren’t, your vehicle wouldn’t move very far! 

Of course, that’s not the kind of tire rotation we’re talking about. We’re talking about a process that helps improve the lifespan of your tires and your vehicle’s handling. A process that you should complete every 8,000 KM or so. It’s something you can even do yourself!

In this article, we’re going to explain what tire rotations are, why they’re important, how you can do them, and more. Let’s drive forward into the world of tire rotations: 

What are tire rotations?

Simply put, a tire rotation is the act of swapping the position of the tires on your vehicle. If you have directional tires, you’ll swap the tires on the front-left with the tires on the back-left and tires on the front-right with the back-right. If you have non-directional tires, you’ll swap diagonally - front-left with back-right and front-right with back-left.

Why are tire rotations important? 

Each of the tires on your vehicle will wear unevenly. Rotating the tires regularly will even out the wear. This improves the lifespan of the tires and the handling of your vehicle. All this for under two hours of work - and if you do it yourself, it won’t cost you a dime if you’ve already got the tools to change your tires! 

What causes tires to wear unevenly?

There are all kinds of reasons tires wear unevenly. They include:

  • Driver tendencies (such as making left turns sharper than right turns)
  • Mechanical defects (such as your wheels falling out of alignment)
  • Differences in suspension (such as vehicles with IFS/IRS)
  • Differences in weight distribution in the front and rear
  • Driving down certain types of terrain


Additionally, in 2WD vehicles, the tires on the drive axle will wear more quickly than your other tires. That means that front wheels will wear more quickly in vehicles with front-wheel drive, and rear wheels will wear more quickly in vehicles with rear-wheel drive. 


The wheels mounted on the steer-axle (usually the front wheels) are also likely to wear more quickly. 

Do you need to rotate tires on a vehicle with 4WD?

Vehicles with 4WD don’t have the drive axle problem that 2WD vehicles do, so you might think that you don’t need to rotate tires on 4WD vehicles. Unfortunately, you still do - though you might get away with rotating them slightly less often. All of the other causes of uneven wear still apply to 4x4s, and the tires mounted nearest to the transfer case will be subject to more wear.

How do tire rotations affect warranties?

Tires often have fairly good warranties, but these warranties often carry certain requirements to remain intact. Many warranties require you to rotate your tires every so often (usually every 8000 KM) for the warranty to remain intact.

How do you rotate tires?

Rotating tires is as easy as changing them! Simply:

  • Park your vehicle on a flat, level surface
  • Engage the emergency brake
  • Loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench
  • Lift your vehicle with a jack
  • Place lifts to keep your vehicle up
  • Remove and rotate your tires
  • Finger tighten the lug nuts
  • Lift the vehicle off its lifts with the jack
  • Remove the lifts
  • Lower the vehicle with the jack
  • Tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench


Check if your tires are directional or non-directional, then rotate them accordingly (swap front-left with back-left and front-right with back-right if directional, and front-right with back-left and front-left with back-right if non-directional).

Questions? Give us a call! 

We love tires, and we love helping our customers get the most out of their tires. Have any questions about rotating tires? Want us to rotate your tires for you? Need to know about the warranty for tires we’ve sold you? Looking for new tires? Visit Canada Custom Autoworks in Edmonton, or give us a call! We’ll be happy to help.