The front and back of your car will experience different driving conditions and turn in different ways, which means that different parts of your tires will wear at different rates. Therefore, by switching your front and back tires, you can extend the lifespan of your tires. Additionally, the process of rotating your car's tires is fairly simple, and can be done by yourself at home if you have the right tools at hand.
Before You Begin
You'll need a car jack and a tire iron, both of which are available at most automotive stores if you do not already own them. Jack stands are also extremely helpful, but are not necessary. Having a helper on hand can make the job go much faster.
Additionally, make sure that the car is parked, with the parking brake on, on a flat surface with the engine off before you start working on it. This greatly the reduces the risk of injury.
How to Rotate Your Tires
- Use the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts on all four tires on your car, but do not remove them yet.
- Place the jack underneath the car, ensuring that it is securely in contact with the chassis of the vehicle, and raise it off the ground. If you have jack stands, lower the vehicle onto them and remove the jack.
- Use the tire iron to remove the lug nuts from both the front and rear tires, keeping them in a safe place for later use.
- Remove the front tires, and move them to the rear of the vehicle, and move the rear tires to the front.
- Have your helper hold the tires in place, and tighten the lug nuts with your fingers. Then, use the tire iron to further tighten the lug nuts, doing so in a star pattern to ensure that the tire is evenly attached to the vehicle.
- Repeat the above step for the three remaining tires, remembering to tighten the lug nuts first by hand and then with the tire iron in a star pattern.
- Once all tires are securely in place, use the jack to lower the car back to the ground, removing the jack stands first if necessary.
That's it! You've successfully rotated your car tires, and ensured that all four tires will now wear evenly, extending their lifespan. Your vehicle's owner's manual will tell you how many miles you can travel before you should rotate your tires, so keep track for future reference. This can reduce the need for auto repair in the future.