The Truth About Tire Rotations

Does the term “tire rotations” ring a bell? Chances are you’ve been told you need them, told you’re getting them, but how much do you know about what goes into this essential service?

What is a Tire Rotation?

The acceleration, braking, and turning your vehicle put varying degrees of wear and tear on each tire. You must rotate the tires regularly to maintain even wear and tear, keeping your tires in the good condition for longer.

Tire Rotations on Modern Vehicles

Back before cars were filled with bells and whistles, tire rotations were simple – you take the tires off, move them to the appropriate spot, and then secure them in place. Today, it’s not quite that easy.

Your car probably has what’s called a “Tire Pressure Monitoring System” or TPMS light. You might also have a “four wheel drive” car. Both of these systems and upgrades makes your tire rotations a little bit more complicated. Here’s why:


This system tracks how much pressure you have in your tires. If the pressure is getting low, you’re notified so that you never have to worry about driving on flat tires. When you remove the tire, the TPMS knows something is wrong and alerts you.

These systems are extraordinarily sensitive. They know the difference between your left tire and right tire, front tire and back tire. When rotating your tires, you need to use a specialized instrument to tell where each tire was moved to, or else the light will stay on and nag you until it is reset.

Four-Wheel Drive

Four-wheel drive vehicles require tires to perform differently. That’s because each tire is getting the same amount of torque from the engine at the same time, which is different than in two-wheel drive cars. Although these cars provide better traction, they also require different types of rotation. Leave this to a trained mechanic.

Free Tire Rotations

Although it’s advised that you don’t attempt to rotate your own tires without the proper tools or expertise, you don’t have to break the bank. Keeping your car running smoothly shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. That’s why we perform free tire rotations with every service visit.

Next time you visit Rita Ranch Automotive & Tire for an oil change, drive away knowing that your entire car – from bumper to bumper – received the TLC it needs to stay in good working condition for the long haul.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bob Sloan

    The one thing not mentioned in this thread. Modern cars generally have larger wheels with large tires mounted on the aluminum rim. Not only you have to take care of TPMs, but the wheels need to be tightened precisely to the manufacturer specified torque. Check with your mechanic: when did they calibrated their torque wrench? Torque wrench need to be calibrated at least once a year.

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