Tire Rotation

I bought my car 3yrs ago; it might have around 35000 miles. Recently I took my car to have the oil changed and the person who changed it pointed out that my front tires looked wear out; therefore, I should rotate the tires. Should I rotate the tires even though my car has all these miles on?

If the tread is worn to near teh tread bars (those lateral “bars” across the tread that tell you when it’s below the minimum 3/32"), and the other two are worn more than 60% (at 35K they probably are), then I’d just get four new ones. If the others have less than, say, 40% wear you can just get two new similar tires (same tread type, speed rating, size and load rating) and just replace two.

Rotating them will get you nothing. This is a safety issue, and in my mind safety is worth a few hundred bucks every 35,000 miles.

If you rotate the new ones every 10,000 miles you’ll get more wear out of them overall.

Rotation might have worked well for you if you had done it from the start. Then you’d have even wear all around and could replace all four tires together. At this time you are best off simply replacing the front pair whenever you get around to it. The back pair likely has plenty of life left to it.

Regular tire rotation is needed to get an even wear. Also follow the manufacturers advice on how to rotate, basically there are 2 ways the do it, one is directional i.e. front set to back and vice versa and another is Cross Rotation in which when the back comes to the front it is fitted to the side which is diagonally opposite to the old position of that tire.
However for Cross rotation the tire has to support that, some tires can only accommodate directional change.
But now you seem to tell that back and front are in different conditions. Better to take an expert opinion in your particular case.

Actually, he has given you bad advice, because the “better” tires should always be mounted on the rear. Hence, rotating the badly worn tires to the rear at this point is…pointless.

As was already stated by another board member, you should buy 4 new tires, and you should rotate them according to the pattern and the schedule that you will find in your Owner’s Manual.

And, while you are at it, take a look at all of the other service procedures that are listed in the manual. If you have been ignoring the tire rotation, there is a good chance that you have been skipping other services, and that omission could shorten the life of your engine or your transmission.

I never cease to be amazed at how few people actually use the incredibly valuable resource that is sitting in the glove compartment.

Most manufacturers are not recommending cross rotation any more with radial tyres.

Be aware that you are getting sharply conflicting advice in this discussion. One camp endorses tire rotation, the other insists that better tires go on the rear. You can’t do both. Since the front tires wear out faster than the rears, those who accept the current trend of keeping better tires on the rear can never rotate. Just pick one plan for yourself and stick to it.

Follow the advice in the first response about those tread bars. That will provide you with an estimate of how soon you need replacement, front and rears.

You do rotation to save the tires. It has nothing to do with the age of the vehicle.

By rotating, one should not be in a position of having 2 tires that are markedly better than the other 2 tires. That is why I suggested that the OP spring for the cash for a set of 4 new tires and begin rotating them according to the manufacturer’s schedule.

On the other hand, if someone has missed one or two rotations, and winds up with 2 tires that are visibly better than the other two, that person should put the better tires on the rear and forget about rotating until the time when 4 new tires are mounted on the car.

First thing to make a good decision here is to know the tread depth of the front and rear tires. Tires gauges read in 32nds or in mm. Most new tires have 11/32" tread depth. Tires are considered worn out when the tread depth is down to 2/32", but most tire stores will try to sell you new tires when you are down to 4/32". When the tires get below 4/32", there is an increased risk of hydroplaning.

With FWD, I don’t subscribe to the best tires on the rear theory. I also don’t subscribe to the theory that rotating tires often increases there life, mine have been lasting much longer since I stopped rotating so often. I got 84k miles on the original tires on my Saturn with only one directional rotation. I don’t do cross rotations ever with radial tires.

If your front tires have at least 5/32" tread, then rotate them to the rear, you’ll get another 35k out of the set. If you are below 4/32", just replace the front tires, but put them on the rear and rotate the rear to the front. I say this because the rears are three years old now and its best to start wearing out the oldest tires first. I would not replace all four as there is no reason to throw out two perfectly good tires.

I recently rotated the replacement tires on the Saturn, they had 55k on them. The fronts were at 6/32" and the rears were at 9/32" when I did the rotation. Now with the “better” tires on front, there is no degradation in handling what so ever, even in heavy rain, and I am a rather aggressive driver, or was up to recently when I got too many tickets. But I do corner and brake hard. I believe long tire life comes from proper inflation, really good alignment and very few rotations.

Thank you all for the suggestions