How to Rotate Radial Tires

by Dan Ferrell

Rotating the radial tires in your car helps increase their service life. It helps your tires develop a uniform wear. The common rotation is a simple crisscross pattern in most cases, with minor changes depending on your car wheel drive and tire configuration, which you can do by following these steps.

Loosen the wheel lugs on all four tires using a lug wrench.

Raise the front and rear of your car using a floor jack and safely support it on four jack stands.

Remove the front and rear tires. If you have a front-wheel drive model, install the left-rear tire (driver side) on the right-front side (passenger side). Install the right-rear side tire on the left-front side. Install the front tires on the back without switching sides.

Install the front-left tire on the right-rear side if you have a rear wheel drive model; then install the front-right tire on the left-rear side. Install the rear tires on the front without switching sides.

Switch sides between the front-left and rear-right tires if you have a four-wheel drive model; do the same between the front-right and left-rear tires.

Switch both front tires to the rear and the rear tires to the front on the same side if you have directional tread tires installed on your vehicle. The rotation-arrow marking on the tire sidewall will let you know if you have directional tread tires. The arrow marking tells you which way the tire should rotate at all times, even after tire rotation.

Rotate in your spare tire if it is a regular radial tire. Install the spare in the right-rear side, and the tire that would have filled that position will be your new spare until the next rotation.


  • check Rotate the tires at the recommended manufacturer interval.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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