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Tire Rotation

I requested tire rotation and the mechanic suggested alignment service. At the end, he said that because of alignment, they didn?t need to rotate tires. I haven?t rotated my tires in the past 14 months. Do I need tire rotation in addition to alignment?

There are 2 reasons to rotate tires:

  1. Prevent irregular wear from becoming a problem. Irregular wear is both a function of alignment and the amount of miles you put on the vehicle. It’s just a matter of time before your vehicle will develop irregular wear and you want to catch irregular wear before it becomes visible. Once it starts, it becomes increasingly difficult to remove.

  2. To even out the rate of wear. FWD vehicles wear the front tires 2? times faster than the rear. RWD vehicles tend to wear the centers of the tread in the rear and the shoulders in the front. What you want to happen is all 4 tires wearing out evenly at the same time. That maitains the front to rear handling balance of the vehicle.

Did you NEED an alignment? Were the tires worn irregularly? Did the vehicle pull?

If the answer was yes to either of those questions, then , Yes!, you NEEDED an alignment.

If the answer to both those questions was NO, then you didn’t NEED one, but getting one may have been a good idea.

But your mechanic was in the best position to know for sure and since he suggested it, I’ll take on faith that the vehicle needed it.

Do you NEED a tire rotation? I wonder what the mechanic saw that you tell him not to rotate. One possibility is that the front tires were much more worn than the rears and that rotating the tires would have put the most worn tires on the rear - an unsafe condition.

Again, your mechanic was in the best position to make this judgement, and second guessing him - particularly over the interwebz - well, we just do not have enough information to do that!

Aside from cost and the chance of something going wrong I rotate, seems like a poor place to try and save money at. Can’t say I have seen the situation where all was well “until you decided to rotate”.

Tire rotation is done according to mileage, not time. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation. It should be somewhere between 5000 and 8000 miles. I have not ever heard of a reason for an exception to rotating tires as per the owner’s manual on a front drive car.

Do what your owner’s manual specifies. Mechanics’ opinions typically vary.

The need for an alignment without knowing the ability of your mechanic to judge tire wear including that tires may or may not have been rotated and whether or not you have hit a parking curb or a very deep pothole with the brakes heavily applied is a guessing game. It is useless to second guess here if you need an alignment. Did your mechanic specify rear wheels as well as fronts? Our cars in recent years; owned six different since 1996 have not needed alignments as indicated by normal tire tread wear and normal steering.

Ask your mechanic why your wheels need an alignment. Is it due to odd tire wear or is it just a precaution? If it’s just a precaution, I’d be inclined to skip the alignment; would want a solid reason for doing it.

the tires need rotated according to maintenance schedule to keep tires wearing evenly to get the most mileage from them. the only reason i can think of is that maybe they want tires to wear faster. Do they sell tires?

If you car is pulling then I would definitely look into an alignment. In my experience I have done more rotating and balancing of tires, esp since my car is prone to nails and flats.
Also, right after having my tires rotated, i noticed my car was pulling to the right. I took it back to same dealer (honda) and they told me i needed alignment. Showed them proof that they did the alignment 2 months prior. SO they had to fix the pulling…

in the end, keep all your receipts and service record straight and if you dont do alignment, notice how you car handles right after!