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How to perform tire rotation?

Snapshot: Tire rotation ensures that tires wear out evenly. It also offers other long-term benefits. Depending upon the car that you own and the kind of tires it's fitted with, there are many ways to perform tire rotation.

Tire rotation, if done on regular intervals, increases tire life and improves fuel efficiency. It also improves the overall handling capability, and helps you save some money. Depending on the kind of car that you have, there are many ways of performing the tire rotation. While most manufacturers mention the guidelines in the service manual, if you don’t find them there, use the suitable instructions as explained below.

Things you will need

1.      Car Jack

2.      Jack Stand

3.      Wheel brace

Directional tires Vs Non-directional tires

Tires which are fit for use in both directions and there is no way to distinguish inside from outside are known as non-directional tyres or symmetrical tyres. However, tires that have a pattern which is fit for use only in certain direction, have clearly marked “inside” and “outside” on the side walls. Asymmetrical and Unidirectional tires are known as directional tires.

It’s worth knowing the kind of tires that your car has, and perform rotation accordingly. The first part of the article assumes that you want to perform rotation using four tires and the spare wheel is not of full size and you want to perform tire rotation using four tires.

Front wheel drive (Non-directional tires)

In this case, both the front wheels move to rear. While the rear wheels are fitted at front and sides are switched. The pattern shown on the side can be used for cars like Maruti Wagon-R, Maruti Alto K10, Honda Amaze etc.

Rear wheel drive (Non-directional tires)

In case of rear-wheel drive cars and a four tyre rotation pattern, you would need to move both the rear wheels to the front end and front wheels to the back. You would need to switch sides while moving the front wheels to the back. You can follow this on cars like Mahindra Xylo, Mahindra TUV300, Toyota Innova Crysta etc.  

Four-wheel drive (Non-directional tires)

Cars that offer a four wheel drive system, would require you to switch sides while simultaneously move the front wheels to the back. This would most likely be done in case of a full time AWD system. See the instruction manual of your car for details or ask your local mechanic for help. Most people do not use a 4WD system most of the time and in this case, rotation pattern that you would need to follow would be different. You can use this in case of Duster 4WD, and variants of Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari that offers a 4WD system. 

Directional tires

Pattern of directional tires are designed to work only in a certain way. Therefore, it’s not possible to switch them sideways. Therefore, in such cases performing the rotation is relatively easy. The front tyres are moved to back and tyres at the back are moved to front.

In case you also want to include the spare tyre in rotation pattern and they are Non-directional, you can do it in the following way.

Front wheel drive (Non-directional tires, with Spare Wheel)

The spare wheel is put in place of the rear right, while rear right goes to the front left. The front left is put in place of the left rear and left rear goes to right front, while front right goes in the trunk.

Rear wheel drive / Four wheel drive (Non-directional tires, with Spare wheel)  

In case of a rear wheel drive and four wheel drive car, you can use a rearward cross pattern tyre rotation. The wheel in the trunk will replace the rear right wheel while both the rear wheels go in the front. The front right would be put in place of the left rear while the front left would go in the trunk.

Not sure how to open a wheel and put the jack under a car? Read it here!

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