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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all

So seeing lots of conflicting old info on here about proper tire rotation. Is there a definitive answer now?

Running 4S tires, so backs moved straight to the fronts and then left front to right rear and right front to left rear, correct?

edit: or is it different given we are primarily FWD?
 

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I'm pretty sure they are directional, so it would be swapping front/back, but no switching sides.
 

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I'm pretty sure 4S is bi-directional, so I follow AWD guideline as described by OP.
 
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Yeah pretty sure they are not directional, so swap sides to your hearts content. I think how to rotate gets over thought out sometimes, I'd say as long as you pick one method and stick to it everytime it should be fine.
 

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On a symmetrical tire:
Awd/4wd - rotate in an X pattern
2wd - the driven wheels move straight front or back, the non driven wheels cross sides to the next axle (say a focus ST, the fronts would go straight back, the rears cross to the front).

on a directional tire, you just move straight front to back and vice versa

On symmetrical staggered setups, you just rotate side to side along the same axle, no front to back.

on directional and staggered you get no rotations lol.

source: I’m an instructor
 

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Yeah pretty sure they are not directional, so swap sides to your hearts content. I think how to rotate gets over thought out sometimes, I'd say as long as you pick one method and stick to it everytime it should be fine.
Ya, I think folks over think the whole tire rotation thing. The whole point of it is to get your tires to wear out evenly so they last longer. As long as you are doing it the same way on regular intervals, you'll be fine ;)
 

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For a long time BMW actually had a recommendation to not rotate the tires as this can cause performance issues right after the tires were rotated. And in addition, if you have to pay for the rotation any savings from the tires lasting longer are lost because of the payment for the rotation.
Rebalancing is another issue altogether and you should always have the tires balanced.
 

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And in addition, if you have to pay for the rotation any savings from the tires lasting longer are lost because of the payment for the rotation.
Rebalancing is another issue altogether and you should always have the tires balanced.
Unless you get your tires from a reputable shop (Costco, kal tire etc) many times they include free balancing and rotation with the life of the tire. So other than your time, it’s free. Definitely worth factoring in to the overall cost versus going to a mom and pop shop and receiving initial savings, but paying way more overall after 5+ years of tire life
 

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IMO, if you rotate the tires every 4-5k miles in either x pattern or 2 wheel pattern it doesn't matter. The key is exposing the tires to different locations on the car. Conversely, if you are someone that infrequently rotates the tires you will get premature tire wear no matter which way you go....the key is frequent rotation coupled with a good alignment and balance. KISS
 

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I also think there some overthinking. If it’s a max economy car and you want to maximize the use of the tires then swap/rotate as prescribed.

On a performance car driven properly on max performance tires the wear pattern between front and rear is different enough that you ruin your handling when rotating and in addition the tires will wear more rapidly until they sit decently again, so the life extension is less clear.

If the goal is max performance then you never rotate, just monitor wear and change as needed, also depending on the season. Clearly on a road car safety comes first: if you are at the wear marks on pouring rain you put everyone in danger.

If the car is reasonably balanced and driven, whenever an axle is worn out the other should not be that far behind anyway 😏

As a side note for those with much stiffer springs and dampers: all the energy not dissipated by the dampers is going to the tires instead, and that contributes to their rapid destruction and strange wear patterns doing autox or at the track (not mentioning the reduced grip but that’s for another conversation.)
 

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Unless you get your tires from a reputable shop (Costco, kal tire etc) many times they include free balancing and rotation with the life of the tire. So other than your time, it’s free. Definitely worth factoring in to the overall cost versus going to a mom and pop shop and receiving initial savings, but paying way more overall after 5+ years of tire life
I completely agree and this is one reason I don't buy from TireRack - they have an installer network but once you factor in the total cost over the life of the tires it's more expensive than most of the dedicated tire chains. And I don't even understand people that buy from the car dealers with the markup and poor understanding of how to install/balance a tire.
 

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Michelin PS4S are not directional tires.

Since like most of of RS owners in the snow belt area's I switch out for winters every year, I don't bother with rotating them in any pattern.

Instead, I measure tread depth at each corner when I take the tires off for the season. Inner, Middle, Outer.

Whatever corner has the MOST wear, gets the tire with the MOST tread left next season. I then give each corner of the car the tire that matches the wear rate most. 2nd most worn gets tire with 2nd most tread left...etc down to the least worn corner.

This pretty much keeps the wear even as I work through the tire's life.
 

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Speaking of over thinking...if you DO want to over think tire rotations, this is the way to go! 😂
Instead, I measure tread depth at each corner when I take the tires off for the season. Inner, Middle, Outer.

Whatever corner has the MOST wear, gets the tire with the MOST tread left next season. I then give each corner of the car the tire that matches the wear rate most. 2nd most worn gets tire with 2nd most tread left...etc down to the least worn corner.
 

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There’s one minor detail..., one, “Doh”, one, “not me“, no one has mentioned.
I know “this guy”, who rotated his tires, and was sure he did something wrong, cuz the car just wasn’t right. Something was jenky. TIRE PRESSURE!
I don’t know why I hang with that moron...(ahem)
 

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Unless you get your tires from a reputable shop (Costco, kal tire etc) many times they include free balancing and rotation with the life of the tire. So other than your time, it’s free. Definitely worth factoring in to the overall cost versus going to a mom and pop shop and receiving initial savings, but paying way more overall after 5+ years of tire life
I like costco, but they can go F themselves in the tire department. They refused to mount the tires I payed for because I have 18" rims on the car, and they won't mount tires that are smaller diameter than stock.... Then they tried to just let me have the tires to get mounted elsewhere, and couldn't understand why that was a bullshit offer since they do their 1cent mounting as part of the deal, so it wasn't a deal if I had to go pay someone else extra to mount.... So they had to spend 15minutes doing the refund (even the guy at the counter was asking the tire tech about the policy and how it made any sense), and then pay to ship them back. I'll stick with America's Tires, since they have always been top tier in the past 2 decades I've used them with multiple cars.
 
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Speaking of over thinking...if you DO want to over think tire rotations, this is the way to go! 😂
Takes 10 seconds to note it down. Considering I'm taking the tire off, cleaning it, and then storing it for the season, it barely takes any time at all.

Its not like the corners that wear the most change much with my daily drive.

Its also why I can get so many miles out of a set. Because they wear very evenly.
 
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Takes 10 seconds to note it down. Considering I'm taking the tire off, cleaning it, and then storing it for the season, it barely takes any time at all.

Its not like the corners that wear the most change much with my daily drive.

Its also why I can get so many miles out of a set. Because they wear very evenly.
Not knocking ya, totally agreeing with you! My point was that if someone was so concerned about the "right" way to rotate tires, the best practice to get the most out of your tires is to do what you are doing and inspect the actual tire and place them on the appropriate corner. Will work every time no matter what type of tire, drive layout (FWD/AWD/RWD), etc. ;)
 

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I like costco, but they can go F themselves in the tire department. They refused to mount the tires I payed for because I have 18" rims on the car, and they won't mount tires that are smaller diameter than stock.... Then they tried to just let me have the tires to get mounted elsewhere, and couldn't understand why that was a bullshit offer since they do their 1cent mounting as part of the deal, so it wasn't a deal if I had to go pay someone else extra to mount.... So they had to spend 15minutes doing the refund (even the guy at the counter was asking the tire tech about the policy and how it made any sense), and then pay to ship them back. I'll stick with America's Tires, since they have always been top tier in the past 2 decades I've used them with multiple cars.
youre not wrong, but Costco’s philosophy is to cater to the 99% of customers who not only don’t know anything about cars, but also keep them stock. If your business is based on high workflow and great warranties, you don’t want to toss the unknown variable of modified cars into the mix. The logic being that they trust OEM engineers way more than us weekend hobbyists lol.

you’re not wrong but neither are they. They will do optional sizing (say you went down to 18” but ran the winter size 225/40r18) but they’d never install my tire size of 265/35r18
 

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Simple answer don’t rotate. This was necessary many years ago when tyre and suspension technology were in their infancy but not now

1/ Roads are cambered to drain water and you drive on one particular side of the road.
2/ Modern day cars have independent suspension

couple this together and each tyre will wear slightly differently, start swapping them about and it can induce steering wander, vibration and all sorts

bit extreme but have you ever noticed why on race cars they don’t swap tyres around

if your front tyres wear before the rears, suck it up buttercup and buy a new pair
I never rotate mine
 

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I am no expert but once a tyre has rotated one way I don't like reversing it. Front to back only at the most. The fact that the RS doesn't wear horribly different at either end from my experience I don't move them. They get replaced as a set of four with even wear across the tread and pretty much the same front and rear.
 
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