Cars aren’t light objects, and when you don’t rotate your tires, the tire treads will eventually wear down unevenly. This can lead to an unstable driving surface, leaving your vehicle vulnerable to hydroplaning, blowouts, and punctures. Despite how common tire rotation procedures are, not everyone knows when it’s time to get their tires rotated. In fact, one of the most common tire myths that has stuck around for years is that you only need to get your tires rotated once a year, which isn’t necessarily true. To help you stay safe, here’s how to tell if your tires need to be rotated.
If you notice that the tread of your front tires is wearing out faster than your rear ones, you should rotate your tires. This is because the front of your car is heavier due to engine placement, and the front tires do most of the brake work when stopping.
Wear can also appear as an uneven and irregular wear pattern on the side of one of your front tires. However, if your tires reach this point, they’ll likely need to be replaced entirely.
Typically, the first sign that people notice is new or increased vehicle vibration, as most don’t check the tread of their tires on a regular basis. Because weight and friction aren’t evenly distributed amongst your tires, this will cause uneven wear and create an unstable tire surface. Because of this uneven surface, vibration and shimmying begin to occur. While vibration isn’t always an indicator that your tires need rotating, it is a sign that, at the very least, your tires need an examination.
Loss of Pressure
It’s natural for your tires to lose pressure over time, but you need to inspect any rapid loss of pressure. Unfortunately, rapid loss of tire pressure can be due to many different things, such as a pinhole puncture or a stuck nail. However, if one tire is losing pressure faster than the others, this is also a sign that your tires need to be rotated. Don’t just check the pressure of the worn-down tire either—a perfectly even tire can lose pressure as it picks up the slack for the worn-down tire.
Knowing how to tell if your tires need to be rotated is critical to maintaining the integrity of your vehicle and keeping you safe. If any new sound, vibration, damage, or loss of pressure occurs, don’t wait. Get your vehicle inspected by a professional as soon as possible.