Rotate tyres to make big gains
Tyre experts – and this includes tyre manufacturers – all say that tyre rotation should be on the list of general car maintenance. But what is tyre rotation, and why should you rotate tyres? Read this to learn how to protect your quality tyres.
Reasons to rotate quality tyres
When you rotate tyres, you reduce uneven wear. There are a number of reasons that tyres wear unevenly, including:
1. When you drive around a corner, the front tyres wear more on the outside ‘leading edges’. The faster you drive round corners, the greater the lean and the worse the wear. The rear tyres don’t suffer from the same forces, and so wear more evenly when cornering.
2. If your tyres are poorly aligned, you’ll also suffer from uneven wear on the tread. You’ll know that your alignment is out if the:
- tyres are wearing unevenly
- vehicle pulls to one side
- steering wheel isn’t centred when you’re driving in a straight line
- steering wheel vibrates when driving
(I’ll talk some more about tyre alignment in a future post)
3. Some people come in with tyres that are worn on both sides (shoulders). This is caused by under-inflation.
4. If your tyre is wearing straight down the middle, your tyre is overinflated.
5. Other tyre wear patterns that we see include an uneven wear across the tyre at regular or irregular intervals, or in spots. If this is the sort of wear that your tyres are suffering, then you’ve most likely got a mechanical problem (it could be related to suspension or unbalanced wheels, for example). Or it could be that you simply brake hard and fast all the time.
The risks and costs of uneven tyre wear
If tyres aren’t maintained well (and this includes tyre rotation practices), it will increase the costs of motoring and the risks of being involved in an accident:
- Poor alignment reduces steering ability and cuts the life of your tyres
- Underinflated tyres can reduce tyre life by 15% or 20%, and makes your engine work harder. That’s going to add to your fuel bill and increase engine maintenance costs
- Overinflated tyres reduce grip on the road, make your brakes work harder, and increases the risk of blowout
There are a number of strategies you could use to reduce tyre wear. For example, you could drive only in a straight line, never taking a corner or bend. Or you might drive real slow around corners.
More practical strategies include regular checks on tyre pressure and a tyre rotation strategy combined with wheel alignment.
What should you do when you rotate tyres?
To rotate tyres properly, you’ll need to remove all tyres from your vehicle and move them to different positions. How you do this depends on the type of vehicle you’re driving and the wear that you’re experiencing.
When you reposition the tyres, you should check tyre pressures and adjust as necessary.
Finally, brakes and alignment should be checked (it’s easier to check brakes when the tyres have been removed).
The benefits of tyre rotation
By instigating a ‘rotate tyres regularly’ policy, you will find you suffer less wear on treads. That will lead to lower costs of tyre changes, better fuel consumption, and, most importantly, a safer and more balanced driving experience.
If you’d like to know more about tyre maintenance, or how the tyres on your vehicle should be rotated, give us a call on 3333 5510.
Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,
The team at Darra Tyres