What is tire rotation?
Tire rotation involves moving your car’s tires to different locations on your car to ensure that they wear evenly and prevent uneven tread wear that can build up over time from the same driving conditions. However, to combat premature uneven tire wear, you will have to pay the tire rotation prices for all four wheels, which generally come out to around $67.
If you leave your tires in the same location for a long time, either in the front axle or back axle and in the same position, this can lead to a much faster wear down and uneven tread wear on your tires than others. The tread can also wear in an uneven pattern, with the inside or the outside breaking down much faster than the inside.
As you drive your car, uneven wear can be considered inevitable, as you are frequently turning your car, and the wheels have to compensate. In addition, the weight of your vehicle is not distributed evenly across all four wheels, putting more pressure on some wheels than others. For one, the engine is generally located at the front of the car, which adds more weight.
Furthermore, when you apply your brakes the weight of the car moves forward, so you are putting more pressure constantly on the front of your tires. When figuring out the tire rotation prices, you need to keep in mind all of the factors that contribute to uneven tire wear.
Why rotate your tires
As you drive your vehicle down various roads over your day to day trips, your tires have the tendency to wear down unevenly. Since your front tires will lean into a curve when you are turning, the outside edges of the front axle tires generally wear down a lot faster than the outside edges of the back axle tires. If you let this build up over time, it can eventually cause huge differences in the amount of wear that your tires receive, leading to uneven tread wear.
By rotating your tires consistently and at regular intervals, you can prevent your front tires from breaking down before your back tires and help to evenly distribute the treadwear between all four tires. This can help extend the lifespan of all four of your tires by many months, meaning that you will save a lot of money on buying new tires more frequently. Instead of paying for tire replacements, just check out the much lower tire rotation prices.
Safety – in addition to the general principle of why you should distribute wear between all four tires, tire rotations can lead to better safety. In the US alone, there are nearly 11,000 crashes that are directly related to tires per year. Many of these accidents could potentially be prevented with the proper tire maintenance – this includes paying the tire rotation prices. When your tires are not inflated properly, they have significant uneven tread wear, or the inflation point is not correct, this can severely increase the risk of a crash.
Fuel efficiency – uneven tire wear can lead to a drop in your car’s performance, like your fuel efficiency and the ability to accelerate properly. Tire problems lead to a reduction in your fuel economy by a whopping 3%. Even though that might seem small, this percentage can quickly add up when you are constantly paying for more fuel in your car. By improving your fuel economy and the miles per gallon you earn, the proper tire rotation is well worth the tire rotation prices.
Handling – if your tires have uneven tread wear on the front and back tires, turns and stops can become unpredictable and dangerous for the driver. If you are not able to gauge how much to slow down and when to stop or make a turn, this is a dangerous situation for you and all of the cars around you on the road. When your tires have been rotated, it can lead to more balanced handling and traction.
Benefits of tire rotation and replacement
When you are debating about whether or not to replace your tires or look up the tire rotation prices, you might feel like it's too much money to do something not important – right? Wrong. Tire rotation is extremely important to the performance, safety, and longevity of your car. Without properly working tires, your car will not be able to grip the road and keep your car on the surface without slipping.
Periodically rotating and replacing your tires is key to maintaining your safety in your car and maintaining a smooth ride. Tire rotation is generally recommended by mechanics and experts every time you bring your car in to have your vehicle's oil changed. If you are unsure of the tire rotation prices, you should look up this number before heading to the shop so you are not surprised as to the number you hear. Despite the tire rotation prices, there are numerous benefits to this service.
Even tire wear – uneven tire wear can easily occur when your tires are not rotated properly, either accumulating on the edges of the tire or the middle strip of the tire. Tires on the front axle of your car will wear in different spots than those tires on the rear axle, making the proper tire rotation essential for even wear on all four tires. This allows the tires in the back and the front to work correctly and justify the tire rotation prices.
Smooth ride – if you are regularly rotating your tires at the recommended intervals set forth by your mechanic or the car’s manufacturer, then this means your vehicle will be able to handle better, leading to a safer and smoother ride. It also can mean that you have a much more enjoyable and confidence inspiring trip. The added safety and comfort benefits are well worth the tire rotation prices.
Money saver – tire rotation saving money sounds counterintuitive, but buy paying the tire rotation prices you can avoid much heftier and expensive replacements later on! Tires last much longer when they are regularly rotated at the correct intervals to prevent uneven wear. Therefore, you will not have to replace your tires as often and spend money on the tires.
Decreased vibration and noise – tires that have uneven tread wear can lead to an enhanced likelihood of vehicle vibration while driving, since the tire surface will be uneven when going over the road surface. These sounds are especially noticeable in the steering wheel, where the driver will be able to feel the vibration. Tires that are worn down unevenly can also result in a higher road noise, which can be remedied by paying the tire rotation prices.
Importance of tire replacement – tires that might be requiring a full replacement due to a lack of maintenance of damage, like a puncture or a slice, must be fixed as soon as possible to prevent damage to your tire rim. Tires might also need replacing when the erosion on the tire and breakdown over time is severe. The tire rotation prices will be nothing compared to a full tire rim and wheel replacement!
Improved fuel efficiency – tires that have been properly rotated at the right intervals can help the car steer and handle better, as we know, leading to better response time, increased confidence, and tough grip on the road. This high performance driving also contributes to an increased fuel economy since the road and tire friction does not build up over time, causing more wear on the tires, heat on the tires, and drag on the road surface.
How often to rotate tires
When determining how much you might spend for the tire rotation prices, it really depends on how often you have to purchase this service at your local mechanic or auto body shop to keep your car running safely and smoothly. Oftentimes, a good rule that most drivers should listen to is to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. However, since every vehicle is different, you should check with your specific manufacturer recommendation or your service manual to see what they recommend for your specific make, model, and year of car when paying for tire rotation prices.
Tire rotation patterns
If you want to try and save some money on the tire rotation prices and do the rotation yourself, you need to understand the proper tire rotation pattern for your specific vehicle. The pattern you choose for your car will depend on various factors, like the drivetrain located in your car, the wheel sizes, and the number of tires on your vehicle (which is usually four for most commercial cars).
For front wheel drive, all wheel drive, rear wheel drive, and 4×4 tire rotation patterns, then you should use the rearward cross pattern, the x-pattern, or the forward cross pattern to change your tires and rotate your tires properly. This ensures even tire wear and reduces tire rotation prices.
Regarding cars that have directional tires or non directional tires that are different sizes, you should use the front to rear rotation pattern or a side to side rotation pattern to ensure proper wear on all four tires.
If you have five tires, like you have a spare wheel that matches the other four wheels on your car and is located underneath of your vehicle or on the back, then you can consider adding the spare tire into the tire rotation process. In this case, we would recommend using a forward cross or rearward cross pattern for this type of rotation to save money on the tire rotation prices.
How to rotate your tires yourself – step by step
If you are really looking to save every little bit of money you can on the tire rotation prices, you can do the entire process yourself. Before you start, you need certain tools to perform this process safely.
The first piece of equipment you need is the car jack. Although it is not needed for this job, it is recommended to lift your car for a quick tire change. If you have the money or the tools, using a hydraulic floor jack is a bit safer and can hold your car up for a longer period of time. Lastly, you will need jack stands to rest the car on top of while you switch out the tires during the tire rotation process.
The first step in rotating the tires yourself is to engage the parking brake to ensure your car does not move or roll while you are working on the tires. Next, loosen the lug nuts on all four wheels. Do not take them off completely, but just loosen them so that the unscrewing process later is a bit easier and quicker for you.
Next, lift up one wheel with the car jack and place the jack stand underneath it to hold the tire securely in place. Remove the tires and rotate them according to the directional pattern that we spoke about before, based on what kind of car and tires you have. When you place the tire back onto the wheel mount, screw the lug nuts on by hand as tight as possible.
Once this is done, lower the car from the jack stands. Use the lug wrench and tighten the nuts so they are secure and as tight as possible. Ensure that you tighten the lug nuts evenly – if you tighten them unevenly this can lead to a brake rotor being warped over time. Once this is done on one tire, repeat for all the rest! Repeat these steps every 5,000-8,000 miles for full safety benefits.
Tire rotation prices
In order to see how much you might pay for tire rotation, we have put together a list of tire rotation cost comparisons between various shops that you would possibly visit for this service. At your local mechanic, you can expect to pay between $74 and $90 for the tire rotation. At your Midas shop or a chain Midas shop you have found on a road trip, you can expect to pay a little bit less on the low end of the spectrum, ranging between $60 and $120.
Another chain store, Mr. Tire charges customers a low price for the tire rotation prices, ranging between just $30 to $70 for the entire service. Lastly, Pep Boys will charge you a very good deal on the low end of the spectrum, coming in at $15, but a bit higher on the pricier end of the spectrum, coming out to $100 forte tire rotation prices.