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Wheel Alignments, Tyre Rotations and Maximum Tyre Lifespans

A vehicle having a wheel alignment performed.

Maximising Tyre Life and Performance with a Tyre Rotation and Alignment

Buying new tyres is one of the least fun parts of owning a vehicle, right there along with filling the fuel tank and paying to have it serviced at a mechanical centre.

Sure, you can save money on your vehicle maintenance by just not driving it, but what can you do to extend the useful lifespan of your tyres and make them last as long as possible?

There are three steps to ensuring long tyre lifespans:

  • Accurate tyre pressure
  • Tyre rotations
  • Wheel Alignments

We’ve covered tyre air pressures in a previous blog post, so let's focus on the other two points.

What is a Tyre Rotation?

Typically on any vehicle, the tyres will wear out at different rates depending on where they’re mounted on the vehicle. For example, many front wheel drive vehicles will wear out the front wheels faster because the front wheels manage all the steering, acceleration and most of the braking forces.

A tyre rotation service involves changing the position of a vehicle's tyres in a specific pattern. Performing a tyre rotation at specific intervals will distribute this accelerated wear evenly amongst all of your tyres. This process typically involves moving front tyres to the rear and vice versa. The rotation pattern varies depending on the vehicle type, tyre design, and driving habits.

What are the benefits of a tyre rotation service?

  • Even Tyre Wear: Promotes uniform wear across all tyres, enhancing their lifespan.
  • Improved Performance: Even tyre wear ensures consistent handling and traction.
  • Enhanced Safety: Reduces the risk of tyre failure and improves overall vehicle safety.
  • Cost Savings: Extend tyre life, delaying the need to replace your tyres.

Technician putting a tyre back onto a vehicle on a hoist.

How Often Should Drivers Have a Tyre Rotation Performed?

Depending on your driving habits and your vehicle, you should have a tyre rotation performed every 5,000 to 10,000kms. The varies depending on how much weight you carry in your vehicle, the tyres of roads you drive on and the exact tyres you use.

Your vehicle owner's manual will give you some basic figures that should be used as a starting point, if you’re interested in extending the longevity of your tyres.

What Happens if You Have Asymmetric or Directional Tyres and Require a Rotation?

While most tyre rotations are straightforward, there are some high performance tyre designs that are known as asymmetric or directional. These tyres must be fitted so they rotate in a specific direction or side in order to work properly.

  • Asymmetric Tyres: these have a specific tread pattern on each side, but otherwise do not require any special tyre rotation procedures.
  • Directional Tyres: Designed to rotate in one direction only, these tyres should be swapped front to back on the same side. If moved to the opposite side, the tyre must be remounted to maintain the direction. Sometimes this is why tyre rotations cost more on vehicles with high performance tyres.

Special care is needed for these tyres to preserve their designed benefits in traction and performance, but don’t panic. Your local Tyrepower store will handle all of your tyre rotation services, ensuring that your vehicle is correctly fitted.

Wheel Alignment Services

A wheel alignment service perfectly complements a tyre rotation service, and so we often recommend having them both performed at the same time.

A wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of your wheels so that they’re set to the vehicle manufacturers specifications. As your suspension wears through normal use, your tyres may wear out unevenly, causing them to require premature replacement.

The benefits of a wheel alignment aren’t only better tyre wear, but also more predictable vehicle handling and increased fuel efficiency.

Car having a wheel alignment performed.

The Synergy of Tyre Rotation and Wheel Alignment

Tyre rotation and wheel alignment services aren’t the same service, and while you can have one performed and not the other, it’s best to have them both performed at the same times to maximise the benefits.

You can contact your local Tyrepower store for expert advice, great prices and a wide range of products to suit your vehicle and your needs. Call us today to book in your vehicle at a time best suited to you.

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