What Happens if You Don’t Rotate Your Tires? | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What Happens if You Don’t Rotate Your Tires?

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When you don’t have your tires rotated, you risk unevenly worn tires. This can cause a number of problems like making it difficult to drive in inclement weather, lean one way or the other, and more. Here’s what a tire rotation does for your car — and why you shouldn’t skip it! 

Tire Rotation

The front and rear tires have varying steering and braking functions and bear the weight of different loads. Over time, these differences cause the tires to wear unevenly in different patterns. Tire rotation switches up the spots of the tires so that they don’t wear unevenly, and because of this, increases the lifespan of the tires. 

Having your tires wear evenly is also important for balanced handling, U.S. News explains. For example, if you don’t rotate the tires on a front-wheel-drive car, then eventually the front tires will lose much of their tread and need to be replaced. Here’s what they say you need to know about how your car drives and what that means for your tires: 

  • Front-wheel drive: tires on front-wheel-drive vehicles wear out the front tires at a faster rate than the rear tires. This is because the front tires transfer power to the street and steer your car. It’s important to move the back tires to the front and the front tires to the back to keep an even wear. Further, on this type of car, it’s also important to place the tires on opposite sides. For example, the rear right tire should go to the front left. 
  • Rear-wheel drive: this kind of vehicles provide a more balanced wear than the front-wheel-drive cars, however, the different functions of the front and rear tires means there’s still a risk for different wear patterns. You should still get your tires rotated even if you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. For these cars, we move the rear tires to the front but keep them on the same side.
  • All-wheel drive: also known as four-wheel-drive, all-wheel vehicles may present the strongest need to have its tires rotated. This is because these cars are typically in front-wheel-drive a majority of the time. For these cars, we follow the same rotating process as rear-wheel-drive vehicles. 

Risks of Not Rotating Your Tires

When you have your tires rotated, you are extending their lifespan. Additionally, it can also help you preserve traction, balance, and maneuverability according to Talk Carswell. If you don’t rotate your tires, however, they explain the consequences: 

  • They won’t last as long. You can’t drive on uneven tires for long. They will have to be replaced more frequently if you don’t have them rotated. 
  • There’s more risk for accidents or problems. Not rotating your tires could lead to significantly less tread, which, in turn, causes imbalance in the car. This means that your car will be more difficult to control, especially when you drive in inclement weather. Further, low pressure tires can also lose grip and stability of braking, which can expose you to dangers while driving. 
  • You’ll lose your warranty. If you recently bought new tires, you should know that some tire brands require car owners to regularly rotate the tires to keep the warranty valid. This means you risk having your warranty denied in the event something happens to your tires. 

Can I Rotate My Own Tires?

Your tires are the most important safety feature in your car, and due to this, we don’t recommend that you rotate your own tires. It’s important to bring your car in and let a professional check the tires. If it has been a while since your last tire replacement, the tires could be so worn that you need new ones altogether, and only rotating them won’t help the problem. 

Let Scott’s Rotate Your Tires

If you’re overdue for a tire rotation, call Scott’s Auto Repair. With two convenient locations in Fort Collins and Loveland, we are here to help keep your cars running in tip top shape! Contact us to make an appointment or just stop on by. 

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