How To: Rotate Your Vehicle’s Tires

How To: Rotate Your Vehicle’s Tires


[Mechanical SFX] Hey everybody, John here from O’Reilly
Auto Parts to show you how to rotate your tires. You’ll need a few tools and
you’ll need to know whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or
all-wheel drive and whether or not your tires are directional or non directional
so that they can be rotated in the right pattern. Directional tires are typically marked with an arrow showing the direction or
words like, “this side out”. Most original equipment and replacement tires are non
directional which means their orientation on your vehicle is not
important. If your vehicle is front-wheel drive it’s typically recommended that
you take the front tires straight back the rear left tire to the front right
and the right rear tire to the front left. If your vehicle is rear-wheel drive
it’s typically recommended that you take the rear tires straight forward the left
front tire to the right rear and the right front tire to the left rear. If
your vehicle is all-wheel-drive it’s typically recommended that you
rotate the tires in a double cross pattern where the front right and left
rear tires trade places and the front left and right rear tires trade places.
If your vehicle has directional tires it’s typically recommended that the
front tires go to the rear and the rear tires go to the front unless the tires
are removed from their rims so that the direction can be changed. Today I’ll be
rotating the tires on this 2002 PT Cruiser which is front-wheel drive. It’s
generally recommended that you rotate the tires every five to seven thousand
miles. As always, know the manufacturers recommendation for your vehicle both for
tire rotation patterns and for proper jack and jack stands under your vehicle.
And if you aren’t completely comfortable doing the tire rotation yourself we
would be happy to recommend a professional technician in your area.
Start by inspecting your tires for any uneven wear or exposed wires. If you see
either of these things we recommend that you take your vehicle to a professional
rather than doing the rotation yourself. Once you’ve inspected your tires, here’s
what you’ll need to do. Set your parking brake. Put the vehicle in park or in gear
if it’s a standard. If your vehicle has locking lug nuts make sure that you have
the special socket before getting started. Remove all your hubcaps or wheel covers. Loosen the lug nuts on all four wheels but don’t remove them yet. Use
your floor jack to raise the vehicle and set it on the jack stands at each of its
four corners according to manufacturer’s specifications. For detailed instructions
on how to lift and support your vehicle, check out our video. Once your vehicle is
set securely on stands, remove the lug nuts completely. If you have a lug nut
that you can’t get off, it’s best to take your vehicle to a professional
technician to avoid damaging the bolts. Remove your tires and set them next to
their new wheel wells according to your rotation pattern. With all of your wheels off, it’s a good
time to check your front suspension parts for any looseness and also
visually inspect your brake components. Put each tire on its hub and finger
tighten the lug nuts so that there’s no wiggle room at all. Once you’re certain that all the wheels
are seated flat against the hubs it’s safe to lower the vehicle. Use a torque
wrench to tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern on all four wheels to the
foot-pounds recommended by the manufacturer. Reattach your hub caps or
wheel covers. If you notice any knocking or increased
vibration once you start driving use a torque wrench to make sure that the lug
nuts are tightened to the torque specification recommended by the
manufacturer. As a safety precaution, after driving 50 miles or so make sure
that your lug nuts are still at the recommended torque specification even if you don’t notice a problem. If they’re properly secured you should be good to
go until your next tire rotation. And that’s it. You’ll find everything that
you need for this and other jobs at your local O’Reilly Auto Parts store or online
at OReillyAuto.com. Our DIY videos are designed to help answer questions that we get in our stores each and every day. If you found this one helpful, subscribe to our channel to see all the latest. We’ll see you again soon.

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  1. You don't need a floor jack and four jack stands to rotate your car's tires. Frankly, having the car up on four jack stands is foolish.

    You can use the jack that came with your car, remove one tire, temporarily mount the spare tire in its place and then proceed rotate the tires from there. When you are finished, put the spare and jack back in the trunk.

    Also, don't carry the tires like the guy in the video. Roll them, don't carry.

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