Is tire rotation necessary?

A mechanic unscrews a hubcap, presumably for tire rotation.

You’re probably familiar with having your car get a tire rotation. It’s often performed when your vehicle gets an oil change, so you’ve probably seen it on the bill.

Is tire rotation something mechanics throw in just to make a little more money? Is it a real and essential procedure? Or is the truth somewhere in between? Is tire rotation really necessary?

Tires: The Reasons for Rotating

Tire rotation is necessary if you want your tires to last as long as possible. Rotating tires equalizes the wear that tires receive. If you opt not to rotate your tires, that’s fine, but you’ll likely end up buying more tires in the long run. And tires are expensive.

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A man and child hold a tire and stare happily through its center hole.How does tire rotation help tires last longer?

Depending on its position on the car, certain parts of a tire come into contact with the road more heavily, and therefore receive more stress, than others. As a result, these parts of the tire wear down faster. Tire rotation switches the tires’ positions so that the still-fresh, healthy parts that have thus far had an easy time of it are now the ones receiving the brunt of the impact.

Specifically, front tires receive a lot of stress that the rear do not have to worry about. Swapping these to the back helps them stay in action for a longer time. By doing this, all four tires will also wear down at an even rate, which will allow you to replace the whole set in one single go when the time comes.

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When should I get my tires rotated?

To find the recommended tire rotation intervals for your particular vehicle, check your owner’s manual. If you don’t have the physical copy, it can likely be found online through a Google search. A common rule of thumb, however, is to get your tires rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles.

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