Tire Rotation Q&A

How do I know when I should get my tires rotated and balanced?
— Good Question on Regular Vehicle Maintenance

18Berning’s Auto Repair Answer:

The interval for tire rotation could depend on a recommendation from either the tire manufacturer or the vehicle manufacturer. The interval is typically around 5,000 miles but could range from 3,000 to 8,000 miles. The background question for vehicle owners is why do tires need to be rotated?

Front tires wear differently than the rear tires because steering wears the shoulders faster up front. Rotating the position of the tires allows for more even wear among all the tires. Now the suspension set-up on certain vehicles may also affect the relative wear between the front and rear. There are several rotation patterns – your friendly Berning’s Auto Repair service professional will see that you get the correct pattern for your particular vehicle.

Wheels and tires are not perfectly balanced due to slight variations in the manufacturing process and the placement of tire pressure monitoring sensors. So weights are strategically placed on the wheel to ensure that the tire spins true. When a wheel is out of balance it is essentially bouncing thousands of extra times every mile. Now this can result in an uncomfortable vibration for drivers and passengers in the steering wheel or through the seats. An unbalanced tire will also wear quicker and it is hard on your shocks and struts.

You should have your wheels balanced if they detect a vibration or uneven wear. A wheel balance check every year is a good idea. Because tires cost so much, it’s a great idea to do everything you can to make them last as long as possible. Proper tire inflation, regular tire rotation and wheel balancing are important keys to long tire life. The team at Berning’s Auto Repair in St. Michael can survey your tires for signs of uneven wear and diagnose and correct the problem.

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