Vehicular maintenance is never a fun task. If you live in an area without mass transit, Uber, Lyft, or other ride-sharing services, you will likely use a vehicle to get from point A to point B.
We know vehicles need maintenance. But if you’re like me, you may never pay attention until that “oil change” light comes on. And what about your tires? Think of tires like the shoes of your car. If your sneakers are worn and have lost tread, you know it’s time for a new pair. However, if there were a way to extend the life of your shoes and avoid the cost of a new pair, wouldn’t you do it? That’s the concept of tire rotation. However, if you’re a novice, you may have some questions. I certainly did!
Tire rotations are definitely not a task to be ignored.
Tire rotation is recommended every 5,000-8,000 miles. A set of tires kept in great shape will ensure a safe ride wherever you decide to go. They are the barrier between your four-ton vehicle and the road. Knowing the basics of tire construction can assist in a better understanding of tire rotation.
For our purposes, we’re sticking to the nitty gritty of what we need to know. The tire tread is the part of your tire that comes into contact with the roadway. Rotation can depend on the type of tire rotation pattern, and tire rotation patterns can depend on the type of drive your vehicle has. There are front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive vehicles. Your owner’s manual, a quick Google search, or your technician can tell you what type yours is. Properly maintaining your tires extends their life, evenly distributes wear, and reduces the risk of tire-related emergencies, such as blowouts.
Having a reputable technician regularly rotate your tires allows for the opportunity to see wear and tear early on before it escalates and you find yourself shelling out your hard-earned money on a new set of tires.
There’s one issue, though – who can remember all this? Sure, you can bookmark this (wink, wink). But with work schedules, class loads, doctor appointments, and the like, it’s difficult to remember to take your vehicle in. Yes, some newer vehicles have a light to remind you about tire rotation, but not all of us have or can afford vehicles with bells, whistles, and shiny indicator lights. So, it’s up to us to remember.
Here are a few tips to recall when to take your vehicle in for its next rotation.
- Keep an eye on your odometer. Your technician will recommend how many miles is optimal to bring it in, so make a mental note of their recommendation.
- Smartphones are awesome and equipped with a calendar we can make appointments on, or you can choose something like a Google calendar.
- If your technician’s location offers service reminders via email, take advantage.
You may be wondering, “Goodness, how long is this going to take? I have things to do.” Luckily, it typically takes less than an hour, and unless they find other issues, you’re in and out. So not only are you extending the life of your tires, you’re keeping things legal too. Unsafe tire conditions can lead to accidents. Plus, a law enforcement officer is within their realm to issue tickets or citations for shoddy, damaged, or even underinflated tires (tire pressure is a different topic for a different day). US states and Canadian provinces each have their own regulations regarding tires, which you can find here.
We know the ins and outs of our phones, laptops, and even gaming consoles. So shouldn’t we also have a basic understanding of how our vehicles work and their necessary maintenance? After all, we depend on them to get to work, places of worship, school, and countless other destinations.
So, consider this a gentle reminder to see if your tires need to get rotated so you can (safely) drive off into the sunset!
Photo by Blake Carpenter on Unsplash