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Why Rotate Tires?

tire rotation, rotate

Why rotate tires? Next to inflating your tires to the proper air pressure, tire rotations are an easy and inexpensive way to extend the life of your tires—whatever kind of vehicle you drive, and whatever kind of tire you drive on.

Regular tire rotations—moving a tire from one position on your vehicle to another—will help you get maximum life out of your tires by equalizing tread wear and ensuring optimal performance of your ride.


If your car is front or all-wheel drive, the most common wear happens on the shoulders. With rear wheel drive, your back tires will wear faster, as this is where your drivetrain is delivering power. By alternating the tire position on the vehicle, every 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres—or every other oil service—the tire’s manufacturer mileage guarantees will remain valid. If you don’t perform regular rotations, those same warranties may become void.

By rotating your tires, you’ll not only balance the front-to-rear and side-to-side wear rates, you’ll reduce the likelihood of tire noise and you could potentially ride on your tires for thousands of kilometres longer before needing to replace them.


The way your tires are rotated depends on vehicle’s drivetrain—front wheel, rear-wheel, or four-wheel—as well as the type of tires you drive on:


Most manufacturers recommend moving your front wheels directly to the rear (i.e. on the same side of the vehicle), and then moving the rear tires up front by crossing them over to the opposite side of the vehicle. See Figure 1

Rear- and all-wheel:

It’s the exact opposite for these configurations—the rear wheels are rotated directly to the front and remain on the same side, whereas the front wheels are crossed over to the opposite side of the vehicle as you move them to the back. Read our post Tire Rotations for AWD Vehicles.  See Figure 1 below

fig. Figure 1.1

Directional Tires:

By their very nature, directional tires such as Nokian all-weather tires can only run on one side of the vehicle, and can therefore only be rotated front to back. See figure 2 below.

fig. Figure 2


A qualified technician will ensure the rotation service is done correctly and adheres to your tire manufacturer’s warranty. If you purchased your set from Kal Tire, our Customer Care Plan includes free tire rotations. Ask for one next time you bring your vehicle in for an oil service or regularly scheduled maintenance.


If you switch to winter tires every fall, and back to all-seasons in spring, it provides an ideal opportunity for tire rotations. If you’re putting more than 20,000 kilometres on your odometer every year, you’ll want to perform another rotation sometime in early summer.

If your vehicle is starting to shake and vibrate, it might not be just your tires. To learn about wheel alignment, read Why is Wheel Alignment so Important?

Are you noticing uneven tread wear patterns in your tires? Perhaps it’s time you visited the experts at one of our Kal Tire locations for a quick inspection to see if we need to rotate tires on your vehicle. We also provide service and repairs for wheel alignment, brakes, batteries, oil changes, and steering and suspension.