Tire wear is inevitable with vehicle use and there are many good reasons why you should rotate your tires every 4,000 to 8,000 miles. For example, the front tires on a front-wheel drive vehicle are regularly subjected to heavier loads and have accelerated wear compared to the rear tires.

See also: 12 Best New All-Season Tires and The Best Portable Air Compressors

Re-positioning the wheels helps even out the wear on all four tires. Once critical tread depth is reached on all wheels, the four tires can be changed at the same time. Thanks to such an approach to operation, it will be possible to maintain the properties and balance of tire parameters at the maximum possible level for it.

Special attention should be paid to cargo tires. Here the shifting will be especially appropriate, because the difference in load on different truck axles is more tangible and is reflected in the degree of wear of the tread.

How to Change the Wheels on a Passenger Car?

Wheel rotation rules
Wheel rotation rules / Photo credit by

It is recommended that the tires be repositioned every 4,000 to 8,000 miles, even when there are no obvious signs of wear yet. The shifting schemes depend on which wheels are driving, and also directly on the type of tread pattern of the tires.

NOTE: Tire models with a directional tread pattern should only be moved from the front to the rear position on the same side of the car.

On front-wheel-drive (FWD) cars with non-directional tread patterns, rotation can be carried out in two ways:

  • crosswise: the front left wheel swaps places with the rear right wheel and the front right wheel swaps places with the rear left wheel;
  • cross-shaped in the front axle direction: the rear left wheel changes places to the front right wheel and the rear right wheel changes places to the front left wheel, with the front right wheel going back to the same right position and the front left wheel going to the rear left setting place.

On rear-wheel-drive (RWD) cars, non-directional tires are repositioned as follows:

  • crosswise scheme, described above for front-wheel drive vehicles;
  • cross-shaped scheme in the direction of the rear axle: the front left wheel will take the place of the rear right wheel, in turn, the front right wheel will take the place of the rear left, but the rear wheels will simply move forward, without changing sides of the placement.

For all-wheel-drive vehicles, a crosswise scheme should be used if non-directional tires are used.

When to Rotate Wheels on Trucks?

Cargo tires on the wheels of the modern semi truck.

On trucks, wheels should be repositioned every 25,000 to 30,000 miles or when significant uneven tread wear is detected.

The following factors should be taken into account when planning relocations:

  • which position the particular tire model is intended for;
  • the load capacity of each individual axle in the vehicle;
  • tread depth measurements for each tire.

In a standard three-axle trailer the third axle is the most loaded, but the second axle works in the gentlest conditions. At intervals, the remaining tread depth should be measured and the least and most worn tires of the same functional purpose should be swapped. Dual wheels should also be interchanged periodically, especially if the difference in their remaining depth is more than 0.10 – 0.12 inches.

See also: The Best Floor Jacks for Easy Car Lifting and Best Power Impact Wrenches

When rotating non-directional tires, it is best to reverse the direction of rotation of the tires.

Some manufacturers produce universal truck tires that can be mounted on any axle. These tires can first be placed on the steering position (front axle), and after some mileage can be moved to the wheels of the free rolling axles.

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