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What is a Tire Rotation? Why Do I Need One? | Van's Tire Pros

What is a Tire Rotation Service?

        Tire Rotation

What is a Tire Rotation?

A tire rotation service involves exchanging the front tires with the rear tires. This helps to extend the life of your tires, improve their grip on the road, provide a more comfortable ride, and avoid the dangers of a tire blowout. However, deciding how to switch the tires isn’t a random decision. It's not just tires moving side to side.

There are multiple factors to consider, such as the type of vehicle you drive, the type of tires you’re using, their tread pattern, and whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive (FWD), rear-wheel drive (RWD), 4-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).

Since 98 to 99 percent of today’s vehicles have engines in the front, your front tires must support more weight than your rear tires. For FWD vehicles, tire tread wear occurs even faster to support the engine’s power, with your left front tire experiencing the most wear. Why? It’s because the left front tire bears most of your vehicle’s weight on right-hand turns.

  • With the engine in front, the front tires will wear out faster due to the additional weight on the tires.
  • A front-wheel drive vehicle will wear out the front tires even faster because the tires are also receiving all of the engine power to move the vehicle.
  • The rotation pattern depends on whether your car is front-wheel drive, rear wheel drive, 4-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. For front drive cars, the front tires take the place of the rear tires without switching sides. The rear tires move to the front, but they do switch sides.

The Benefits of Having Scheduled Tire Rotations

Rotating your tires improves traction, reduces the risk of hydroplaning, tire blowouts, and accidents, and leads to a more comfortable ride. However, a tire rotation can also help you save money. First, extending the life of your tires means you’re not buying new tires sooner than you need to. Second, by rotating your tires, your fuel efficiency (MPG) improves because there’s less friction with the road and your engine doesn’t have to work as hard.

  • Helps with Traction – Tire Rotations prevent uneven tire wear. With equal tire wear, your car has 4 tires with equal amounts of traction.
  • Protects Against Blowouts and Hydroplaning – Blowouts can happen as a tire wears out. Tire rotation causes the tires to all wear evenly over time.
  • Smoother Ride – If your car has one tire that has worn out faster than the others, its ability to absorb road imperfections are decreased resulting in a worse ride.
  • Maintains Efficiency – Evenly worn tires reduce drag and prevent strain on the engine which equals better MPG.
  • Helps Extend the Life of your Tires – Saving you money!

With 14 locations across Ohio and a 30-year reputation for excellent service, the Van’s Tire Pros team has established itself as the best solution for Buckeyes needing a top-notch tire rotation service. We’re proud to be our customers' first choice for rear front rotation.

So, what does rear front rotation mean, and what is included in a tire rotation service? More importantly, what do tire rotations do to extend the life of your tires and help your vehicle become more fuel-efficient?

Understanding Tire Tread Wear

While there are several tire rotation benefits, it’s important to understand tire tread wear. When the Van’s Tire Pros team rotates your tires, we always look for signs of irregular tread wear that could indicate a more serious problem.

Irregular tread wear typically happens because of poor wheel alignment, suspension issues, the tires being under or overinflated, and issues with your vehicle's undercarriage, such as your brakes, shocks, and struts. For us, this inspection is instantaneous and innate.

Our experience over 30 years allows us to instantly recognize acceptable tread wear versus unacceptable/irregular tread wear across multiple types of vehicles. We then immediately share this information with you so you can make an informed decision.

What Happens if You Don’t Rotate Tires?

The signs tires need to be rotated include your vehicle vibrating when you drive, a tire that consistently loses air pressure, and if you notice uneven tread wear. It’s always best to rotate your tires according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. A good rule of thumb is to have them rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. However, if you don’t rotate your tires, you risk experiencing extensive wear.

Over time, extended wear on your tires could lead to more than just an uncomfortable ride and poor traction. You could experience a tire blowout leading to a serious accident, or you could experience hydroplaning, which happens when you drive over water and your tire’s treads are so worn out that they lose contact with the road. None of these outcomes is good.

Difference Between Tire Rotation and Alignment

In the end, both tire rotation and tire alignment can help extend the life of your tires and save you money. Van’s Tire Pros does both. However, there is a difference. Whereas a tire rotation switches your front and back tires to reduce wear, a wheel alignment involves slight adjustments in the positions of each tire to ensure they’re properly aligned.

As for whether it's tire rotation before or after alignment, you always have your tires rotated first and then aligned. Having them aligned after rotation ensures you don’t have problems steering or experience your vehicle pulling to one side over another.

Do AWD Need Tire Rotation?

Yes, AWD vehicles, SUVs, and trucks need their tires rotated. In fact, AWD vehicles should have their tires rotated more frequently than RWD or FWD. This is because AWD vehicles have systems that transfer the power from the engine to each of the tires simultaneously, which means they all bear the same amount of force/weight.

Book Your Tire Rotation at any of Our 14 Van's Tire Pros Ohio Service Locations

All the 14 Van’s Tires Pros locations provide an extensive list of car maintenance and repair services. Our highly trained technicians, mechanics, and service staff will answer all your tire rotation questions while helping you save money and stay safe on the road.

If you need a tire rotation and want to work with a service location you can trust, contact us now.

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