Tyre Rotation: Complete Guide for Car Owners

April 21, 2023

Have you ever heard of what tyre rotation is? Having well-maintained tyres is an important part of car maintenance. It saves money in the long run and reduces the likelihood of purchasing new ones. So, car owners must know how to perform tyre rotation correctly.

Here, you will learn the importance, patterns, and steps to perform tyre rotation. Read on to learn more.

What Is Tyre Rotation? 

Tyre rotation is a procedure that involves changing the position of tyres to make them last longer. It is an essential maintenance practice that helps ensure the vehicle’s safety and the manufacturer’s tread warranty. Also, it keeps the optimal performance of the car and its safety for drivers.

Why Is Tyre Rotation Important?

Tyre rotation helps to ensure even wear on your tyres, improving their lifespan. The notable importance of tyre rotation also includes the following:

1. Better Control

Constantly adjusting your steering wheel to keep the vehicle moving in a straight direction can be tedious. Regular tyre alignment for your car can make driving more pleasant and provide better control. Furthermore, it enables your car to better maintain its intended course without much effort from the driver.

2. Increased Longevity

Rotating your tyres at regular intervals ensures an even distribution of wear. This also helps tyres avoid premature wear and tear regardless of steering or non-steering positions and the driver’s demands.

3. Prevents Uneven Tread Wires

Regularly rotating your tyres ensures wear patterns are evened out and balanced. The handling of front and rear tyres differ for every vehicle type. This is because weight, acceleration, braking, and steering influence the front and rear tyres. This is especially necessary for front-wheel-drive cars that experience more wear on the front tyres.

4. Increased Gas Mileage 

Worn tyres put a strain on your engine and decrease fuel efficiency. Rotating your tyres helps your vehicle’s engine function more smoothly, decreasing the gas needed to move the vehicle.

Tyre Rotation Patterns

Most tyre rotation patterns are only suitable for vehicles with non-directional tyres having the same dimensions. Here are the tyre rotation patterns to follow:

Forward Cross 

The forward cross pattern is the most suitable for front-wheel drive cars with non-directional and uniform tyres.


  • Front tyres move to the rear and switch sides
  • The rear tyres move to the front on the same side


The X-pattern is a good option for front-wheel drive and most vehicles. It is recommended for 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles such as sedans and lightweight trucks.


  • Front tyres move to the rear and across to the opposite sides
  • The rear tyres move forward and across to the opposite sides of the vehicle

Rearward Cross

Rearward Cross is an ideal tyre rotation pattern for rear-wheel, all-wheel, or 4-wheel drive vehicles. This is because the rear wheels receive the majority of wear in these cases. The rearward cross pattern is the opposite of the forward cross pattern.


  • Front tyres cross diagonally to the rear
  • The rear tyres move directly forward to the same side
side-to-side and front-to-back patterns explanation guide


The front-to-back pattern is the best for directional tyres. Directional tyres are designed to rotate in the same direction because of their tread pattern. So, you should only rotate directional tyres from front to back and vice versa on the same side of the vehicle.


  • Front tyres move to the rear on the same side
  • The rear tyres move to the front axle on the same side


The side-to-side pattern is the least effective way of rotating tyres because there isn’t much change in the tyre locations. However, this best applies to differently-sized tyres in the front and rear axles, like sports cars and medium-duty vehicles.


  • Two rear tyres of the same size switch to the opposite side from one another
  • Two front tyres of the same size switch to the opposite side from one another

When Should You Rotate Tyres?

Regular tyre rotation extends the life of your tyres and improves your car’s overall performance. Here are signs that tell you it’s time to rotate the wheels:

High Speeds, Heavy Loads, and Long Distances

Driving at high speeds and long distances and carrying hefty cargo can cause additional strain and require more frequent rotations. Rotating your tyres as needed can minimize stress and promote a longer lifespan.

Uneven Wear

Uneven wear is caused by several factors, such as incorrect tyre pressure, misalignment, or overloading. It compromises tyre portions and causes blowouts, just like bald tyres. Regularly rotating your tyres helps ensure even tread depth, allowing for enhanced performance and improved fuel economy.

Humming Sound

Humming tyres are caused by faulty wheel bearings and uneven tyre wear. You can often notice this sound even when driving on even road surfaces. This can be solved by inspecting your wheel bearings and rotating your tyres according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How to Perform Tyre Rotation at Home

If you have the right tools, rotating tyres at home only takes 20 minutes. Follow these steps to complete the task correctly and safely:

different tyre types and sizes image with a branded madman motors watermark

Step #1. Identify the Rotation Pattern

The first step is to identify the possible rotation pattern for your vehicle. It will depend on your tyre type and whether your vehicle is front or rear-wheel drive.

  • For directional tyres, the front tyres must be rotated with the back tyre on the same side
  • For non-directional tyres, you must rotate based on whether you have rear or front-wheel drive
  • For front-wheel drive vehicles, the rear tyres move diagonally to the front, and the front tyres go straight back
  • For rear-wheel drive vehicles, the rear tyres go to the front, and the front tyres move diagonally to the back
image of Winter Tires Replacement by a professional


Step #2. Loosen the Lug Nuts

Park your vehicle on a flat and level surface before loosening the lug nuts on all wheels. Turn each lug nut counterclockwise without removing them yet. This will help you remove the lug nuts easier once the wheels are suspended in the air in the next step.

Man is jacking up broken car, wheel replacement. Tire replacement concept.

Step #3. Jack up the Car

Locate the jack points under the vehicle to place the jack stands. Jackpoints are usually reinforced metal parts of the frame behind or in front of the tyres. You can check the owner’s manual to properly place the jack stands if you can’t find them. Use four jack stands to have one next to each tyre to lift the vehicle.

Man is removing the lug nuts take take the tires off the car

Step #4. Remove the Lug Nuts

Once your car is lifted, use a wrench to remove the lug nuts completely. Pull the tyres off the vehicle to remove them. Keep the lug nuts in a container to avoid misplacing them.

man moving the tires to New Locations following the Rotation Pattern

Step #5. Move the Tyres to New Locations

Move the tyres to their new locations using the appropriate pattern for the tyre type (e.g., directional and non-directional tyres).

 man Screwing the Lug Nuts in Until they Feel Snug

Step #6. Screw the Lug Nuts Back

Screw the lug nuts back until they are tight. Tighten them by hand before using a lug wrench. But don’t fully screw them yet to avoid overtightening.

Man is jacking up broken car, wheel replacement. Tire replacement concept.

Step #7. Lower the Vehicle to the Ground

Return your jack to its original position under the vehicle, making sure it is pressing firmly against the frame. Raise the car to remove the jack stands previously placed beneath its wheels. With caution, lower your automobile back onto the ground until it rests securely on all four tyres.

lug nuts tightening guide in a star pattern

Step #8. Tighten Lug Nuts in a Star Pattern 

Ensuring that lug nuts are evenly tightened is important. This is because unevenly tightened lug nuts can bend or twist the brake rotor. Tighten the lug nuts following a star pattern, and don’t stop until you feel resistance or hear the wrench clicks. These ensure your wheels are secure and safely attached to the vehicle.

Note that each vehicle has different torque requirements, so check the manual to know what you need.


When Shouldn’t Tyres be Rotated Front to Rear?

You shouldn’t rotate the tyres from front to rear if the wheels have different sizes on the front and rear axles. Rotating them would be ineffective since tyres are specifically designed for a particular direction of rotation.

Again, tyres with different widths and diameters on the front and rear cannot be swapped from one side to the other. This type of configuration is commonly referred to as staggered wheels. Staggered wheels provide more traction to wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles when accelerating and cornering.

What Is the Difference Between Wheel Balancing, Tyre Rotation, and Wheel Alignment?

While wheel balancing, tyre rotation, and wheel alignment contribute to a smoother ride, they are not the same.


  • Tyre balancing corrects the weight imbalance on your tyre assemblies;
  • Tyre rotation involves the movement of tires according to different patterns;
  • Wheel alignment corrects the tyres’ angles so they always come in contact with the road correctly. It also involves checking and adjustment of the suspension.

How Often Should I Rotate My Tyres?

Rotating your tyres every 5,000 miles is a reliable rule of thumb. However, the need for tyre rotation varies based on the vehicle, driving habits, and type of tyre.

Regularly rotating your tyres can help you detect any signs of uneven tyre wear in its early stages. Going through extended periods without a tyre rotation may develop into a wear condition that cannot be reversed or remedied. This can lead to an unexpected need for new tyres.

Mad Man Motors provides tyre rotation services and assistance if you need help. Our experts will gladly advise a suitable car service tailored to your needs.

Other Factors that May Cause Fast Wearing of Tyres

  • Tyre Quality and Design: A manufacturer’s tyre quality and design have a long lifespan of up to 80,000 miles. However, it is common for most tyres to have an average use life between 60,000 and 70,000 miles. Also, risky driving practices can dramatically reduce the durability of tyres.
  • Poor driving style: Poor driving style contributes to the fast wearing of tyres. This includes hitting curbs and speed bumps at high speeds and braking without considering the road conditions. Driving vehicles with heavy loads not built for carrying heavy cargo can contribute to premature car tyre failure. Poor driving habits can also affect vehicle suspension systems.
  • Location: A tyre’s life expectancy can be reduced when exposed to prolonged exposure to sunlight and higher temperatures. They can also increase the risk of wear-and-tear damage to tyre treads.

How Much Does a Tyre Rotation Service Cost in Australia?

A tyre rotation service costs $60 for rotation and rebalancing services. However, this may vary between dealerships and mechanics. The cost also depends on vehicle types and models.

Additionally, many mechanics offer a package deal for tyre rotation, wheel balancing, and alignment services. This is a great deal for customers as they get a discount for all the services instead of availing them separately. So, it is worth considering if you need more than one of these services to save money for the long term.

Keep Your Wheels in Good Shape with Tyre Rotation

Tyre rotation is an important aspect of car maintenance that should not be overlooked. It helps ensure your tyres wear evenly and last longer while improving your car’s overall performance and safety. Regular tyre rotations also help you avoid costly repairs and save money in the long run.

As a car owner, following your vehicle’s recommended tyre rotation schedule is important, according to the owner’s manual. This depends on factors such as your car type, the size of your tyres, and driving habits.

If you need more help, Mad Man Motors provide top-tier mechanical services, from tyre rotations to oil and filter changes. Contact us immediately to start!

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