Rotating Your Car Tires: Is It Really Necessary? (Explained)

Data from the NHTSA show a disproportionate number of automotive accidents are related to tire issues. The agency further reported that inadequate tread depth is the cause for over 25 percent of all tire-related car accidents.

Rotating car tires prolongs the life of your car tires, and may preserve yours, too.

Most car manufacturers and car experts recommend owners rotate their cars at specific intervals. While experts recommend rotating your car tires, you may want to know if it is necessary.

To get an answer to your question, read along as we discuss if it is necessary to rotate your car.

Here Is an Answer to Whether It Is Necessary to Rotate Your Car Tires:

It is necessary you rotate your car tires if you want them to wear evenly. The front tires of cars play an important role in braking and traction, thus wearing faster than the rear tires. Rotation prevents uneven wear, rough rides and unnecessary noise that accompany uneven treads.

If you want them to last long, it is necessary to rotate your car tires. Rotating extends the service life of the tire through even treads.

Rotation will help enhance the maintenance of the quality, balance, and traction of your car tires. Rotating the tires as your car manufacturers recommended is necessary to have a smooth ride when driving.

What Happens If You Never Rotate Your Tires?

If you never rotate your tires, a lot can happen from uneven treads and tire misalignment. They include:

Rough Driving

Your tire treads will wear down unevenly and make driving rough. By rotating your tires, you are spreading wear all over them to prevent this. Note that over time, uneven treads lead to a shorter lifespan of tires. It can also be unsafe driving on such tires.

High Heat Build-up

The tread wear can increase the risk of heat build-up, which happens when the friction that the tires create on the road when driving generates heat.

Manufacturers made tires to withstand the heat. However, the temperature of car tires can reach a dangerous level because there is no cooling agent. Rotating your tire makes healthy treads on it to cool the heat that your tire generates from friction.

High Fuel Mileage

Increased friction resulting from uneven tread can increase your car fuel consumption. This is because your engine is working harder than required to move your vehicle, thus consuming more fuel. Rotating your car prevents this, thus helping you to maintain good fuel mileage.

Punctures and Blowouts of Tires

Lack of tire rotation can lead to punctures and blowouts of tires. This happens because some spots on the tire may have more pressure than the other parts. Over time, the pressure can cause these spots to wear thin.

It can also lead to these tires growing shorter than the others, thus carrying more pressure.

Eventually, these thin spots make tires vulnerable to sharp objects like nails, sharp rocks, etc. When you expose your vulnerable tire to such objects, it may cause punctures and blowouts. Punctures and blowouts lead to a shorter lifespan of car tires.

Hydroplaning

Rotating your car tires creates healthy treads that help your tire drive smoothly on wet surfaces, especially during the wet seasons. However, not rotating your tires may cause unhealthy treads.

And unhealthy treads may cause hydroplaning, which happens when your car loses its grip on the driving surface, thus spinning or sliding off the road.

Poor Performance of Car

Rotating your tires leads to better performance for your vehicle while uneven treads from not rotating can cause misalignment and affect the performance of your car. In the worst case, poor car performance can lead to loss of control and accidents.

Violation of Warranty 

You can lose the warranty for your car tires if you don’t rotate them. This is because some manufacturers require you to rotate your tires to keep the warranty valid.

Can It Be Dangerous Not to Rotate Your Tires?

It can be dangerous not to rotate your tires. This is because not rotating tires can lead to dangerous hydroplaning during wet seasons.

Car drivers need to drive more carefully because tires have a high possibility of having limited traction on wet road surfaces, even when driving on rotated tires. Then, how dangerous can it be when drivers drive on tires they didn’t rotate? Very dangerous.

Also, there are reports that some cases of hydroplaning are because of uneven treads in some accidents. If you are not careful, the inability to control the car due to lack of tread depth can lead to unexpected skidding, and loss of control behind the wheels. In the worst case, it can lead to loss of life if an accident occurs.

Also, excessive friction and strain on the weak spots of your tire can lead to blowouts. It can cause your tires to explode while driving, which is dangerous. A tire explosion while driving at high speed can lead to accidents.

In the cases of expired warranty, spending your money on repairing or buying new tires frequently can affect your finances.

Related: Do Touring Tires Really Make A Difference? (Solved)

Can You Damage Your Car From Not Rotating Tires?

You can damage your car from not rotating tires. Tires are not just a functional part of your vehicle. They are also essential safety features that your car depends on. Not rotating your tires can damage your car when some parts of your tires experience a higher level of stress than others.

In most cases, the front wheel carries a higher burden than the rear wheels because of the wheel type, driver’s habits, type of car, and driving terrain. This burden causes the front tires to wear out faster than the rear wheels.

Over time, not rotating your tires can lead to vibration from cupped tires, which causes an uncomfortable noise when driving. The vibration is detrimental to your car and, according to experts, it may damage your steering and suspension.

Also, in cases of hydroplaning and tire explosion when driving at high speed, your car can get serious damage or loss.

Related: How To Rotate Tires On Front Wheel Drive Vehicles (Explained)

Is It Necessary to Rotate Tires on All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles?

It is necessary you rotate tires on All-Wheel-Drive vehicles. Your All-Wheel-Drive tires need maintenance for optimal performance. From research, the All-Wheel-Drive tires are prone to uneven tread even when the tires work independently, just like on two-wheel drive vehicles.

Similar to the Four-Wheel wheel drive, the front tires are prone to wearing differently compared to the rear tires in your AWD. This is because turning and braking are the hardest on the front tires when driving.

Also, your car’s weight distribution is heavier on the front tires compared to the rear tires, and this causes them to wear off faster than the rear wheels.

Tires on All-Wheel-Drive cars may wear more in some spots than others, but you can prevent this when you rotate your tires regularly.

By rotating the tire on All-Wheel-Drive vehicles, you will prolong its life span. You will also enjoy driving in your car with the comfortability rotating your tires provides.

You can rotate your AWD tires just like other vehicles with Four-Wheels or Rear-Wheel Drive. The method that is common and efficient is the rearward cross pattern.

This requires you to move the rear tires to the front axle, maintaining the same side manufacturers installed them, while you swap the side of the front tires, i.e. left to right and vice versa, then move them to the rear.

However, to rotate your All-Wheel-Drive vehicle tires, most car manufacturers recommend between 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

For the best recommendation on how and when to rotate tires on an All-Wheel-Drive car, consult your manufacturer’s manual.

Related: Should Tires Be Balanced At Every Rotation? (Explained)

How Much Longer Do Tires Last When Rotated Properly?

Rotating your tires can make them last longer depending on the type of tire and if owners carry out the rotation correctly and regularly, as manufacturers recommend.

Also, the type of car, and the quality with which manufacturers built the tires are part of the factors that affect your tire lifespan.

Overall, a car’s sets of tires should last up to 50,000 miles on average in normal driving conditions.

However, tires that owners do not rotate may not last up to the mileage manufacturers rated them for.

According to Eric Baxter, a tire with 60,000 miles that are run without rotation may only last 50,000 miles. However, with rotation, it has a higher chance of running up to 60,000 miles in the right conditions.

Thus, we can say on average, you can get up to 10,000 additional miles or more from your tires when you rotate them regularly and follow your manufacturer’s guidelines.

Is It Ok to Only Rotate Tires for Every 10,000 Miles?

It is not okay to only rotate tires for every 10,000 miles. This is because, though it is better than not rotating at all, your tires may wear out too soon and may even pose dangers. Thus, they may not live up to the warranty period your manufacturer provided.

While most car manufacturers have different miles for rotating tires, most manufacturers recommend that car owners should rotate their cars every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Or every six months, depending on the car model and year.

For example, Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes recommend rotating your tires every 5,ooo to 7,500 miles, and not more. Waiting for 10,000 miles is thus not okay following the instructions of most car manufacturers.

We recommend you follow the miles your car manufacturer provided to get the best out of your car tires and for your car safety.

Sources

Crashstats | NHTSA

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