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Tire rotation

I just bought a 2006 Mazda MX5 from a dealer. The tires are in mint condition but I wonder about tire rotation. I have no idea if the previous owner ever rotated and I’ve heard horror stories about rotating after waiting too long.The car only has 23K on it.

Take it to a good, local tire shop for an inspection/rotation. Any good tire tech should be able to tell you, based on wear patterns, whether or not there has been regular rotation and what/how to put yourself on a schedule for it.

If they weren’t rotated regularly you might as well start. If they were then doing it now won’t hurt either way even if its a little early.

Rather than worry go ahead and have the tires rotated. It should cost you as much as thirty dollars. If it helps you sleep it’s worth the money.

I would rotate the tires in accordance with the instructions in the owner’s manual. If the tires are in mint condition there’s no reason to suspect problems.

Another reason to rotate your tires is galvanic corrosion at the wheel. If you have aluminum wheels (many newer vehicles do), and you drive in an area that uses road salt or is exposed to sea air, the corrosion created between the aluminum wheel and the steel hub will create a chemical ‘glue’ (actually an ionic bond). This bond can make it difficult or impossible to change a tire on the roadside if you have a flat. Regularly rotate or at least unmount and remount each tire to break this bond. Don’t forget to rotate in your full size spare or check the air pressure in your temporary spare regularly!

I’m with McP on this. If the tires are in “mint condition” that would suggest to me that nothing needs to be done at thiis time. Begin periodic rotations per the owners’ manual if you’d like.


Just rotate 'em. The only real problems are on vehicles with AWD, and your MX5 doesn’t have it.

I Know I’m Fairly Unique, But I Don’t Rotate Tires. I Have Saved A Ton Of Money And A Ton Of Inconvenience Over Many Decades. It’s Boring, But Tires Usually Last Us At Least 80,000 To 100,000 + Miles.

I years past I followed the rotation recommendations, but that’s when cars and tires weren’t made as well as they are now. I came to realize that for me it wasn’t necessary.

I replace tires in pairs or fours when they are worn. I like leaving the tires right where they are. That way I get a “read” on suspension/steering and alignment. If everything reads right, there’s no need to go screwing around.

Cars that have design flaws or cars built to be “maintenance headaches” probably need rotations. Some car manufacturers make problematic models that wear tires unevenly.

Sounds like you’ve got a well made, straight vehicle.

Check and maintain tire pressures regularly and have the steering, suspension, and brake components safety checked if too much time elapses.


This thread is a year old. I don’t think the OP is coming back.

CSA, I have been the same way, either due to laziness or something else. Just leave them there. My tires always last much longer than their rating. Usually change them in pairs which is less of a dent on my pocket too.

I always rotated mine, too. But, my Yokohama warranty expires the minute I cross the border into Mexico. So, some time ago, present time minus a set of tires that just wore out, I bought new tires, and decided not to rotate them any more. Here in Mexico it will be by hand with the original equipment jack.

They wore out this summer. When I got back to the states, I took the car to the dealer and among other tasks, asked him to check the condition of the front end, steering and suspension parts. They told me they were fine, which is amazing considering the primitive, rocky roads I drive on in the mountains.

So, I took it to Pueblo tire and told them to install new tires all around. They indicated their inspection of the old tires indicated no front end alignment needed.

I cannot say this for sure, but I suspect the real reason for rotation is an alignment that may not be perfect, and thus will wear very unevenly. As CSA (?) said, if things are correct, no rotation needed.

Once, maybe 5 years ago, I hit a hidden piece of road south of Tampico that actually destroyed a tire. All it needed was at that time a front end alignment. Still no front end repairs five years later.

Miatas don’t have a spare.

After 7 years I hope they would have found that out.

I get free balance and rotation for life from the dealer I purchased the tires from, but I rotate my own by myself and tighten with a torque wrench because of a history of broken and crossthreaded studs from the dealers air wrenches. Also, on the Miata, there is a caution of warping the aluminum wheel if the studs are not tightened evenly. The Miata calls for 80 foot-pounds of torque whereas my other cars all call for 100 foot-pounds, but the tire dealers do not make a distinction.

For every set of tires I have bought the instructions are to rotate every 6000 miles. Usually free and I always rotate front to back which is far less confusing to keep track of.