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October 30, 2014

Rotating Your Tires: Part I
Proper tire maintenance is relatively simple and can save you money and many headaches. One of the best ways to care for your tires is to rotate them on a regular basis. It can extend the life of the tires and ensures safe driving.

Whether you are going to do it yourself or take it to a mechanic, it's important to understand why tires need to be rotated. The answer is simple: Front and rear tires wear at different rates and you need to prevent irregular wear on your tires.

Whether you are parallel parking or turning into your driveway, all of those turns you make daily with the steering wheel put more pressure on the front tires. This is even more so on front-wheel drive vehicles due to the added strain of steering, the weight of the powertrain and the front wheels doing most of the braking.

This resistance from braking causes friction, which produces heat and leads to more wear on the front tires compared to the rear tires. In addition, each tire likely supports a different amount of weight, causing each one to have different amounts of wear.

Because of these situations, it is important to rotate your tires several times during a tire's life in order to equalize tread wear and maximize the life of your tires. It's a good idea to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, and more frequently if your do most of your driving around town or if you own a front-wheel drive vehicle. It's a good idea to check your owner's manual for the proper tire rotation schedule.

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