How to Rotate Tires on Front Wheel Drive Cars

by William Zane

Rotating the tires on a car is the process of switching the wheels to opposite corners or sides of the vehicle. This ensures that the tires wear evenly and will last as long as possible with a minimum of unusual wear, which can drastically shorten a tire's lifespan. The rotation process differs depending on whether the vehicle is front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. Tires should be rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Park the vehicle on a flat, level surface. Engage the parking brake and place it in gear if it is a manual. Ensure that it is in "Park" if it is an automatic. Loosen the lug nuts that hold the wheels on with a lug wrench or a socket.

Raise the vehicle with a floor jack. When rotating tires, you must support the entire vehicle on jack stands, because all four wheels are being moved to different corners. Lower the vehicle onto jack stands at all four corners. Finish removing the lug nuts and the wheels.

Install the wheel that was on the right rear of vehicle on the left front of the vehicle. Slide the wheel onto the hub and tighten the lug nuts.

Install the wheel that was on the left rear of the vehicle on the right front of the vehicle. Slide the wheel onto the hub and tighten the lug nuts.

Install the wheel that was on the left front of the vehicle on the left rear of the vehicle. Slide the wheel onto the hub and tighten the lug nuts.

Install the wheel that was on the right front of the vehicle on the right rear of the vehicle. Slide the wheel onto the hub and tighten the lug nuts.

Lower the vehicle off the jack stands back onto the ground. Tighten the lug nuts for all four wheels in a criss-cross pattern with a torque wrench to the manufacturer's recommended settings.

Items you will need

About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com