What is a tire rotation?
For those that may not know, a tire rotation is the act of moving the location of the wheels and tires of your vehicle to a different location on the vehicle. Different vehicles are designed with different weight, steering, and drive-axle configurations. This means that all tires don't wear evenly on all four corners of the vehicle.
Different types of vehicles have different tire rotation techniques or recommended rotation patterns.
Step 1. Find a flat surface to work on your car: You should not raise your car on any type of inclined surface because this will increase the chances of the car tipping over or a wheel getting away.
Step 2: Jack the vehicle up on four-independent jack stands: In order to rotate all four tires at the same time, you'll have to raise your vehicle on four independent jack stands. Check with your vehicle service manual to locate the best location to place jacks for safety and proper support.
Step 3: Mark the tires destination with chalk: The professionals do this - why not you Before you start the rotation, mark the location that the tire is being rotated to with chalk on the top or the inside of the tire. This will reduce confusion when you take your tires to be balanced and return to place them back on the vehicle.
Refer to your rotation guide for reference. Mark the tires with these letters for the following location:
Step 4: Remove the hub or center cap: Some vehicles have a center or hub cap that covers and protects the lug nuts from being removed.
Step 5: Loosen the lug nuts: Using either a lug nut wrench, or an impact air/electric wrench, remove the lug nuts on one wheel at a time.
Step 5: Remove wheel from the hub: Once the lug nuts have been removed, take the wheel and tire off the hub and let it sit on the hub until all four tires have been removed.
Step 6: Check tire inflation: Before moving the tires to their new location, check the tire pressure and set the tire pressure to the recommended settings. You'll find this information in the owner manual or the side of the driver door.
Step 7: Take tires to tire shop to be balanced: If you have access to a truck or another vehicle, it's a good idea to have your tires professionally balanced at this time. Typically when tires ride on the rear of the vehicle, they can fall out of balance when the tires/wheels hit pot holes or other objects.
Step 8: Take tires to their new destination and place on hub: Once you've had your tires balanced and air pressure checked, it'll be time to rotate the tires to their new location. Hopefully you wrote down the location of where you should rotate the tires in step 3 above.
Step 9: Install lug nuts on each wheel: This is where most accidents occur. When you install the lug nuts on each wheel, the goal is to make sure the wheel is installed flush onto the wheel hub correctly; not to get out of the NASCAR pit stall quicker than the neighbour. In all seriousness, most accidents involving wheels are due to improperly installed wheels, cross threaded lug nuts or improper torqued lug nuts.