What is tire rotation?
To start, tire rotation is when you change the location of each tire. You keep the same tires and just move them around. This helps extend the life of each tire.
Why should I rotate my tires?
The short answer is that your tires wear at different rates. Relocating tires that experience more wear to spots where they’ll experience less wear (and vice versa) can give you the maximum life out of each tire. That’s better than letting an individual tire wear out quickly, requiring you to replace it more often.
Why do tires wear at different rates?
You might think they would wear out at the same rate, since they go the same distance over the same roads. Well, actually, they don’t necessarily all go the same distance. In a turn, the outside wheel covers more distance. Since we drive on the right hand side in the United States, left hand turns take longer. That means our left tires cover more distance than the right ones, so they wear faster. If you live somewhere where driving on the left side is the norm, your right wheels will wear faster.
The other factor affecting tire wear is the weight on top of the tires. The engine is the heaviest thing in your car, and in the vast majority of cars, it’s located at the front. That means the front tires get pushed harder against the road than the rear tires. That also wears them faster.
The front wheels also have the duty of steering. When steering, the tires turn across the ground, which scrapes off some of the rubber surface. That also speeds up the wear on the front tires.