Tyre rotation yes/no? - glowplug
The tyres thread got me thinking about the tyre rotation issue. I've never owned a car long enough to have to buy sets of tyres but this time maybe...

The point is, is rotation a good idea? I can see that by rotating the wheels that you should get even wear all round but surely this also means that instead of having to replace 2 tyres you have to replace all 4 at once. I guess it would even out the effects of uneven wear due to steering geometry, etc and would mean you get a matching set of tyres (not important to me so long as they're legal and safe!).

What do others think?

Steve.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - THe Growler
I stand to be corrected, but the service schedules of most vehicles I have run do specify tire rotation at specific intervals, including the spare in the rotation process. One presumes this is recommended for optimum vehicle operation.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Andrew-T
Also a few threads on this topic since Christmas.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - slefLX
Currently I don't rotate and haven't found anything that says I should, but, my spare is a winter tyre that came with the car. Would there be any long-term effects of having one winter tyre and 3 standard tyres on the car. Up to now I've only needed to change a tyre once and then put the winter one back under the boot once the standard one was fixed.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Miller
I think it is fair to say on some front wheel drive cars the rear tyres will die of old age rather than wear if not rotated.



I'm a loser, baby....so why don't you kill me?!
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Mark (RLBS)
Depends on the car - for many 4WD cars a difference in tyres is critical front and back, not just left and right on the same axle.

I would think that keeping your winter tyre as a spare and only using it when and for as long as you have to is the right approach.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Obsolete
I always understood it to be potentially dangerous to mix tyres. For that reason I would not rotate the spare tyre. When my front driver side tyre was ripped open, I replaced both fronts. Or did I buy a new tyre for no good reason?
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Gen
It is dangerous to mix cross ply and radial tyres. But unless you drive a 40 year old car and kept it in a garage for 35 of them, you won't have any cross ply tyres.

Of course it would be safer to replace tyres in twos. But then it would be safer to buy a new car every two years too I guess.

Rotate your tyres, I say. Always amazes me that people either get five new tyres every so often and have never used the spare, or alternatively get four new tyres and have a "new" spare with full tread that is ten years old (and the rubber gone so dangerous).

Of course if you were unlucky enough to own a citroen ax or another car which hangs the spare underneath to expose it to turbocharged damage I wouldn't put it on either.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Clanger
I usually buy tyres that are not mainstream makes and like to buy 4 at once, usually whatever my tyre fitter has on offer. I move the wheels front to back and measure the tread every service so that I can turn up at the tyre depot with 4 tyres with exactly 1.7 mm tread. The spare is never included in my rotation. I have always thought that you get more discount when buying 4 tyres rather than singles or pairs.


Darcy.

Tyre rotation yes/no? - Beesmart
Hi Steve, when i used to work on cars i was always told to use the spare on all services. The spare would go onto the n/s/f, to o/s/r, to n/s/r, to o/s/f, to spare. good rotation and even wear. yes for rotation.. signed Beesmart.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - glowplug
Thanks to all for the answers.

I guess rotation for my tyres is on the cards.

I never considered that mixing tyres on a 4x4 would be an issue.

This does lead me to another question though, do some cars still have space saver spare wheels and if so how many drivers will think about the age aspect as it's unlikely that they will be worn out. Having never owned or driven a car with one fitted, can anyone tell me how it feels to drive with one fitted and has there been any real problems caused by them? Are they still in use?

Thanks.

Steve.


Tyre rotation yes/no? - L'escargot
One or two reasons to not rotate tyres/wheels. One is that the tread wears to suit the camber angle of that particular wheel location ~ put the wheel in a different place and you have less tread on the road until it wears to suit again. This can be particularly so if changing from front to back or vice versa. I tried this on a Hillman Imp (eugh !) ~ admittedly an extreme case of differing camber angles ~ and spun off at the first roundabout that I came to.

Also I vaguely remember a tyre manufacturer recommending that you don't change the direction of rotation of the tyre ~ can't remember the reason for this recommendation.

L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Gen
On the other hand if your car is wearing eg the inside of the front tyres then regular rotation will mean that you don't end up using just a quarter of your tyres...can see the point that less grip if you really push the car...but since everywhere I go seems to be either 40/30/20 mph I don't worry too much about that.

As to how does a space saving spare feel. It feels like a bicycle tyre with no grip. Which it hasn't. It also makes your car look stupid. It is also misnamed since it is fitted often to save money for the manufacturer (I've seen fullsized tyres in the space saving spot on some cars). Why give five alloys when can give four and a bicycle tyre??
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Peter D
Two points here 1/. Beware of directionally marked tyres as you must maintain compliance with the arrow and tread symmetry and 2/. You should not reverse the direction of rotation of the tyre as the surface of the tyre aquires a wear pattern and reversing the direction reduces the traction and increses wear for several hundred miles.

I do not rotate tyres. but I guess if you have had a tracking problem that has been but right and the tyres have life in them then swop both of them to the back but not opposite sides. Regards Peter
Tyre rotation yes/no? - L'escargot
Why give five alloys when can give four and a bicycle
tyre??


My 2.0 Focus has a spacer-saver spare, and it's rolling radius is sufficiently different from that of the standard tyres as to activate the traction control. And there's no mention of this in the owner's manual! I notice that now a full-size (albeit steel) spare is available at extra cost.

L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Dynamic Dave
My 2.0 Focus has a spacer-saver spare, and it\'s rolling radius
is sufficiently different from that of the standard tyres as to
activate the traction control. And there\'s no mention of this
in the owner\'s manual!


I would have thought the owners manual would advise for a front punctured tyre to fit the space saver to a rear wheel and in turn fit the rear wheel to the front. That way you\'ve got equal sized tyres on the driving wheels and it won\'t play havoc with the TC or prematurely wear out the differential drive in the gear box.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - L'escargot
>> My 2.0 Focus has a spacer-saver spare, and it\'s rolling
radius
>> is sufficiently different from that of the standard tyres as
to
>> activate the traction control. And there\'s no mention of
this
>> in the owner\'s manual!
I would have thought the owners manual would advise for a
front punctured tyre to fit the space saver to a rear
wheel and in turn fit the rear wheel to the front.
That way you\'ve got equal sized tyres on the driving wheels
and it won\'t play havoc with the TC or prematurely wear
out the differential drive in the gear box.


That's doing it the hard way. When I realised what the problem was I merely switched off the tc. I agree however that the owners manual should advise the best procedure ~ but it doesn't. Unless someone knows different. Mine is April 99.

L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - robZilla
Is it just me or is it also dangerous to put a "space saving" spare wheel on the front if the spare has a significantly different rolling radius from the remaining three wheels, as the front wheels both drive the car and steer the car?

I'm fortunate enough to have a full size spare but if I had a weenie one and I got a front puncture I would be swapping one rear wheel to the front and putting the spare on the rear - don't care how long it takes!
Tyre rotation yes/no? - leatherpatches
I have to do this on a Civic Type R. For this very reason they have deliberately made it not fit on the front (discs are too big, I think).
Tyre rotation yes/no? - NorthernKev {P}
My dad was told yesterday that on modern front wheel drive cars, the wheels wear 'round' across the tread, and the rear wheels wear 'square' across the tread.
This is after noticing that the wheels felt funny after rotating front to back and because the front wheels turn [no puns please] it changes where the rubber is worn...

Kev
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Vansboy
You will notice more wear on the edges, on front tyres, especially if you've got power steering.
The rear, as they stay in line with the cars direction, wear more evenly.
So if you keep an eye on tread depths, you can , as mentioned earlier,'even out' wearing charecteristics.
I favour front to back, swapping, method.Then the tyres will have worn only in the same direction,makes sense to me.
VB
Tyre rotation yes/no? - lezebre
...measure the tread every service so that I can turn up at
the tyre depot with 4 tyres with exactly 1.7 mm tread.


Exactly what you\'d expect from someone who has said here (IIRC) that Yorkshire Bitter is the best kind of real beer!!!!
;)))

Tyre rotation yes/no? - glowplug
Thanks for the info.

Still interested in this 4x4 thing if someone has the time to explain. Last Sunday at the scrapyard the guy was saying about a Subaru (?) owner who wanted 4 matching tyres. I thought the owner was taking the mickey or misguided.

Steve.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - FergusTheDog
Excuse me, but don't all tyres rotate?

Try running an Audi with quattro 4wd, the tyres wear out at roughly the same rate so swapping would be pretty pointless. Guess that's probably true of the Subaru too.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Stargazer {P}
My Subaru Outback used to wear all four tyres at exactly the same rate which due to only half the power going through each wheel (50:50 split front to rear) was low compared to the front tyres of a front wheel drive car.

Also the tyre wear was very even across the tread. The service manual recommended swapping tyres front to rear every 6 month oil change but NOT side to side.

regards

Ian L.

btw the subaru has a diff for each axle and one for front to rear so replacing a single tyre is not a problem. This is not true for at least the earlier versions of the Volvo XC V70 which can wreck the gearbox.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Mark (RLBS)
>Still interested in this 4x4 thing if someone has the time to explain.

Since you have diffs, and at that perhaps either limited slip or locked depending on what you are doing, across all the wheels then all the tyres need to turn at the same speed.

If some of the tyres are different diameters, then either the tyre is going to get worn out as it tries to move at a different speed, or there will be undue pressure on a diff, the gearbox or else where on the drive.

This is worse than on a 2wd since then only the same axle matters, where as on a 4wd you have to consider front and back as well.

As it was explained to me, 4mm difference in tread across all the tyres is the maximum and pushing it even then - bearing in mind that the larger 4x4s have very deep tread on the tyres, and so quite some variance is possible.

And on a large 4x4 which can lock its hubs and diffs, then you would have a similar effect if cornering on tarmac - which is why you shouldn't do it. Although I've often wondered why someone would lock diffs and hubs on the road.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - glowplug
I see thanks for that.
Just out of interest, is there any proven scientific facts here? I'm not saying that you don't know your stuff but the putting pressure on the diff sounds a little like scare tactics to me, if diffs are made to cope with cornering and all how can a tiny amount of variance cause ware?
Could it be the tyre companies cashing in on peoples fears?

Another reason for me to stay away from 4WD!

Steve.
Tyre rotation yes/no? - THe Growler
Just been thru this on my F-150 4WD at service time last week. Ford where I live is very pro-active and the tech when I checked the car in took a look all around before he made me sign the service order.

He picked up exactly that, the big fat Goodyear Wranglers are rounding on the edges of the front tires but remaining square on the back because of the differing differential (does that make sense?) activity. His comment was "we normally recommend at this mileage moving front to back on this model to maintain even wear" (his words). That's what I'm paying him for, and have always had the feeling Ford here are very "engaged" (to use current fashionable management-speak) with their customers, so I went with it.

I don't see any cause for worry if the dealer knows what he's doing. Besides those big mothers cost, so I'm in no hurry to lever open my daughter's inheritance to replace 'em.

Incidentally I do use 4WD now and then on hard surfaces. We have a lot of concrete road (as opposed to tarmac), which gets very slippery in the monsoon downpours after prolonged dry periods. You can find yourself losing the back end gunning up hills because of this,whereas engaging 4 X 4 H ratio stabilises the plot.

Tyre rotation yes/no? - 3500S
First car: 3500S Snr is imparting his years of car ownership advice to 3500S Jnr (Me).

Checking oil, all fluids and tyre pressures every tank fill was his first piece of advice (did I get it in the neck when I managed to blow up a H23 engine for not doing this even at the age of 32).

His second was brim the petrol tank and check consumption for the first sign of any potential nasties.

His last was rotate the tyres.

This I do. I always ask for fronts to back and vice-versa every yearly service. I leave the spare alone except to check the pressure. I reckon I get about another 3-5,000 out of a set of tyres. The wear tends to be more even, I have the MOTs with tyre tread depths to prove it.

Only downside is usually all four tyres need replacing within a vrey short space of time.

Tyre rotation yes/no? - Kimion
It's like moving a house plant to different locations, change it's position to much, and it will die!
Tyre rotation yes/no? - Peter D
Best not to change the direction or rotation of a tyre particularly the driven wheels. The tyre thread adopts a radial where pattern that is the direction of rotation is changed then the grip is deminished for several hundred miles until the paatern is re-established. The chunky-er the type the greater the patternation. Regards Peter
Tyre rotation yes/no? - volvod5_dude
Volvo do not recommend rotating tyres on the new V70. I've never done it anyway in 33years of motoring, cheaper to replace two tyres rather than four.

 

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