There was a time not so long ago when everyone rotated tires. It was something you did, every year (or more often, if you drove a lot). These days, thanks in large part to advances in tire technology, few people even think about rotating their tires. That’s a shame, though, because even with tire lifetimes now measured by the tens of thousands of miles, there are a lot of benefits that come along with rotating your tires (or, more likely, paying someone to rotate them).
Improve the Lifetime of Your Tires
Tire technology may have improved the usual lifetime for many passenger tires into the tens and twenties of thousands of miles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve on those estimates yourself. Rotating your tires helps make sure that the normal tire wear of driving around is spread evenly across all four of your tires, potentially adding thousands of miles to your tires’ lifespan. With tire prices always increasing, this can save you hundreds of dollars in tire replacement costs over the life of your vehicle. Given how cheap and quick it is to rotate your tires, it seems like a no-brainer.
Improve Your Fuel Economy
Your car gets optimal fuel economy only when the tires are in their best shape. When they are wearing unevenly, the engine has to work harder to push the car forward and keep it stable and in control. This makes your gas mileage drop pretty quickly. While the savings may not seem like much, a couple of cents per tank of gas, they can quickly add up over the life of your vehicle. This is especially true for larger cars where a dip of even a few miles per gallon can mean big costs at the pump.
Improve Ride Comfort and Handling
Rotating tires can save you money, but it can also save your life, or at least your sanity. Uneven tread wear will manifest itself in a bumpy or shaky ride, and can even prove to be unsafe. If the uneven wear is bad enough, you can start to see your car pulling in one direction or another under acceleration or braking, and you’ll almost definitely begin to feel things vibrate while driving around. Even if it doesn’t get to a point where it’s really dangerous, driving a car that doesn’t quite seem to want to do what you tell it to can be a major headache.
Rotating your tires isn’t a critical car care function. More often than not, by the time uneven wear gets bad enough to pose a safety risk, most drivers will just go ahead and replace their tires. Still, regularly rotating the tires every 7,500 miles or so is a good way to push off having to make that tire switch a little bit longer, and can put quite a bit of money back in your pocket. Think of it as preventative maintenance for your wallet, rather than for your vehicle.