Discount Tire Rotation Cost: The Real Cost
When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, your tires are one of the most maintenance-heavy parts, along with oil changes. Not only is their maintenance important because they are your contact point to the road, but also because they are a wear heavy part. With wear heavy parts we need to do as much as possible to make them last!
One of the best things you can do to improve wear on your tires is to rotate your tires and what better place to do it than Discount Tire. If you bought your tires from them the rotation is free along with tire balancing. If you did not buy your tires from Discount Tires you can still get the same tire lifetime service for $22 per tire.
What Does Discount Tire Offer?
Discount Tire offers free rotation and wheel balance for any customers that have bought tires from them. Though their policy is to only provide this free service to returning customers, they are known to sometimes not charge for a tire rotation.
If they do charge you, which they will most likely do if you have not bought your tires from them, they offer a lifetime of tire maintenance service which includes balance and rotation in addition to TPMS Rebuild kits (or rubber valve stems), flat tire repair, air pressure checks, and tire condition inspections, all for the price of $22 per tire.
If your tires did not come with a warranty like the above from the tire dealership, then this is not a bad deal. On average a set of tires will be rotated around 10 times. At an average of an hour per rotation, you are paying around $8.8 per rotation which is more expensive than say Walmart, however; you get all the other benefits included in the package.
What Is a Tire Rotation?
I once had someone tell me that their tires rotate plenty when they drive. Though a good joke, this is not what is meant when talking about rotating tires. When you rotate your tires, you are switching the tires’ positions with each other.
There are a few different ways in which tires are swapped, most common is the front to back and the back to front but crossed over. Others include the straight front to back, left to right, back to front and front to back but crossed, and variations of these but involving a full-size spare tire.
Why Should You Get Your Tire Rotated
Tire rotations are done in order to prolong the tread life of your tires. But why does this help? Aren’t all four tires on the same road anyway, all going at the same speed? Well, yes, but your wheels have different jobs.
The front wheels are always used for turning, and depending on your vehicle, some or all of your wheels deliver power from the engine to the road surface. Additionally, the braking percentages are different for each wheel, again depending on what kind of drive system your vehicle has.
For example, the front-wheel-drive car typically has 80% braking in the front and 20% in the rear. All these factors affect your tires in different ways. Your driving tires will always experience more wear due to putting down the power and because they usually have a higher percentage of braking.
Your tires also experience a different kind of wear when used for turning. The outer edge of the tire will be worn away much faster compared to the more even wear of rear-wheel tires. All in all, your front tires will most likely be worn out before your rears.
Rotating your tires will not only result in a more even level of wear but also a more uniform wear pattern across all tires. So how often should you rotate your tires?
How Often Should You Get Your Tire Rotated?
A good rule of thumb is that every time you get your oil changed, you should rotate your tires. But how many miles does that translate to? A few years ago, you had to get an oil change every 3,000 miles, however, with modern lubricants, that number has been increased substantially.
Today, oil servicing is recommended by manufacturers at around 5,000 to 7,500 miles. This number can even be double that at 15,000 miles if your vehicle takes full-synthetic oil. Synthetic oil’s mileage is quite high for rotating your tires, however, if your driving style isn’t too aggressive, then the average mileage of 5,000 to 7,500 miles is a good rotation cycle.
Unfortunately, that average distance does not apply to all vehicles. For front-wheel drive (FWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles, this amount does hold true, however, all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles’ tires need to be rotated more frequently. Typically, between 3,000 and 5,000 miles.
This means that if you are driving an FWD or RWD vehicle you can get your tire rotated every time you get an oil change. But, if you are driving a 4WD or AWD vehicle, you might want to get your tires rotated in between oil changes as well as when you get an oil change.
Are There Any Negatives to Getting Your Tires Rotated at Discount Tire?
There have been some complaints online about Discount Tire’s free tire service that has me a little worried. Though I have not experienced this myself from Discount Tire, I have experienced the following at other establishments. Luckily, I am a mechanic so I could pick up on it.
People online say that there is no such thing as “free” service from Discount Tire. That they will always poke and prod your vehicle for issues so they can offer to fix it and make a buck. I’m sure that anyone that has gone to Jiffy Lube knows what I’m talking about.
That being said, not every location will do this, there are always going to be a bad apple in the bunch, it doesn’t mean that all companies or shops do it.
In conclusion, Discount Tire will balance and service your tire for free if you bought your tires from them. If not, you can still go to them, but you’ll most likely have to buy the $22 per tire care package. This is pretty cheap when you do the math of total tire rotations and all the other services that come along with the package.