Tire rotation

John Baxter | March 01, 2010

• At every oil change or every other. (Giti Tire USA’s William Estupinan)

Do it yourself – safely

To rotate tires on your own, don’t cut corners. Get jack stands with ratings more than adequate for each axle, place them on a hard, level surface, and make sure they are squarely under each axle before lowering. If doing just the front or rear axles, chock the wheels still on the ground.

Several experts say that proper mounting includes proper torque of wheel fasteners. Make sure the fasteners and mounting surfaces are clean and threads in good condition — torque fasteners across from one another, 180 degrees apart, going back and forth across the wheel in several stages. Walenga says not to use an air wrench unless precisely calibrated to the proper torque, or unless using a torque stick designed to stop torquing at the right level.

Do final torquing to manufacturer’s specifications with a manual torque wrench. Then, after 50 to 500 miles, retorque in the same way to guarantee a secure mount.

For more detailed advice, Goodyear’s Tim Miller suggests following the Technology and Maintenance Council’s Recommended Practice 237. Doug Jones of Michelin mentions the Michelin Truck Tire Service Manual on the company’s website and the TMC Radial Tire and Disc Wheel Service Manual as references.


Front to back rotation allows drive tires to be replaced as full sets.

X–rotation reduces effects of irregular wear patterns, such as heel and toe wear.

Side to side rotation is best for steer tires.

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