Like filing a tax return and cooking Thanksgiving dinner, learning how often to rotate tires is one of those things that no one ever teaches you growing up. But don’t worry we’ll dive into the world of tire rotation together and explain all the ins and outs. And by the end, you’ll basically be a rotation expert. (We’ll also be sure to answer that burning question, “How often should you rotate tires?”)
ROTATING YOUR TIRES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN IT SOUNDS
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to rotate my tires? Aren’t they rotating every time I drive them?” Okay, we’ll give you that. But in this case, rotation means moving your four tires from their current positions to other spots on the vehicle. While this may sound simple, rotating your tires provides massive benefits. It helps extend the life of your tire treads, helps prevent you from losing traction, and can help prevent tires from becoming uneven, irregular, and noisy. Plus, your tire manufacturer’s warranty usually specifies how often to rotate tires to keep the warranty in effect.
PSST... YOU PROBABLY NEED A TIRE ROTATION RIGHT NOW
So: how often should you rotate your tires? Unless you’ve had your tires rotated in the last few months, you’re likely due for a rotation today. Jiffy Lube®’s recommendation for how often to rotate tires is every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. And if you’re experiencing uneven tire wear, you may want to rotate them even sooner. Stop by your local Jiffy Lube® and a trained technician can perform an air pressure check, plus a tire inspection to see if it’s time to rotate your tires.
UNEVEN TIRE WEAR IS OFTEN A SIGN OF ANOTHER PROBLEM
While your four tires may all look the same at a glance, there are a variety of forces that can cause them to wear unevenly. These include:
Improper air pressure
Vehicle tire alignment
If you’ve noticed any of these issues, get your tires rotated immediately and ask at the service center if there are any other underlying issues that need to be addressed.
TIRES SHOULD BE ROTATED IN A CERTAIN PATTERN
Rotating tires is not like musical chairs – you can’t just match up any tire to any available spot. Consult your owner’s manual to find out how often to rotate tires and for a recommendation on a rotation pattern. Or better yet, talk to the technicians at your local Jiffy Lube®. They can determine the proper pattern based on your manufacturer guidelines and the type of tires on your vehicle. Certain tires, like staggered fitment tires, can only be rotated from side to side. So, it’s best to ask for expert advice on this topic.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THAT SPARE TIRE
Your vehicle may have either a temporary spare tire or a full-size spare tire. If it’s a full-size spare tire, and your tires are relatively new, you can consider rotating the spare into use to get the longest life out of all your tires. If you have a temporary spare, it is intended only for emergency use and should not be rotated into use. Regardless of which type of spare you have, routine rotations offer a great opportunity to inspect your spare tire and inflate it to the proper level. Temporary spare tires usually require a much higher inflation level than the rest of your tires, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual or the placard inside the driver’s door jamb to find the correct level. If your temporary spare is more than six years old, you should also consider replacing it completely.
LET JIFFY LUBE HANDLE THE SPECIFICS
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into inspections, rotations, and knowing how often to rotate tires, and your local Jiffy Lube® will be glad to get you rolling again. They can perform a full rotation and inspection of all your tires, including the spare. When they’re finished, a second member of the team will even double-check the torque on lug nuts and fasteners to help ensure your safety. Meanwhile, you can think about more important things—like where you’ll drive during your next carefree 6,000 to 8,000 miles.