Tires can get expensive, so we all want to do as much as we can to extend their life span. To ensure that you get maximum usage out of your tires there are a few key things you can do, namely maintaining proper tire pressure and rotating your tires. For this article, we will focus on rotating the tires.
Walmart will perform the most basic tire rotation for $2.50 per tire. This does not include balancing though, which is important. Walmart does however offer a lifetime balance & rotation package for $14.00 per tire which is a very good deal!
Why Is Walmart a Good Choice to Rotate Your Tires?
Walmart is a good choice because it is affordable. Most places will rotate your tires for $25 to $50 for all four wheels, still far more than Walmart at $10 for all four wheels. In addition, the $14 per tire lifetime balance and rotation package will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Just remember the balance and rotation package is for the lifetime of the tire and you can only get a rotation and balance done under that package every 7,500 miles. With tires lasting about 50,000 miles, this will get you 6 to 7 rotations and balances.
When Should You Get Your Tires 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? The norm use to be that every 3,000 miles you get an oil change, however, modern lubricants have had a major impact on this number.
Nowadays manufacturers recommend oil services about every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. If your vehicles takes full-synthetic oil, then the mileage between changes can be as much as 15,000 miles. 15,000 miles is a bit too far for a tire rotation, however, depending on your driving style and quality of your tires, 5,000 to 7,500 miles is about the average distance between tire rotations.
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. 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.
You could use Walmart for any drive type vehicle; however, you might just get your tire rotated at the same place you get an oil change. If you do have a 4WD or AWD vehicle Walmart’s balance and rotation package is a good choice to get those tires rotated in between oil changes.
Why Should You Rotate Your Ties?
As you drive around your tire experiences wear, this is totally normal, but not all of your tires will experience the same amount of wear. FWD vehicles will experience more wear on the front tires and vise versa with RWD vehicles. Additionally, left and right tires will experience different wear due to the weight distribution of your vehicle.
If you do not rotate your tires, the tire or tires which are experiencing the most wear will need replacing far sooner than the others. They will also need replacing far sooner than they normally would need to be replaced is you maintain tire rotation cycles.
Rotating your tires simply spreads the wear evenly between all four tires, allowing you the get the most out of their life span.
Can You Rotate Your Own Tires and How Should You Rotate Your Tires?
You can most definitely rotate your own tires! Rotating your own tires isn’t too hard and you won’t have to buy too many tools. If you have a spare tire and tire changing kit in your car, you should have all you will need. The only downside is that you will not be able to check the balance of your wheels unless you have a wheel balancer.
As long as your wheels were balanced when you got them, you haven’t lost any weights, and you don’t feel any vibration while driving, you probably don’t need your wheels balanced. If you do want to go all out and do it yourself, you could balance your own wheels by buying the equipment from a hardware store.
Before you go ahead and play musical tires, you need to do two things. Firstly, you need to identify whether your vehicle is an FWD, RWD, or AWD/4WD. Next, you need to check if you have non-directional tires, directional tires, or staggered wheels (different size fronts to rears).
This is important because your tire rotation pattern will be different based on these factors. The basic wheel rotation method for non-directional and non-staggered wheels are the forward cross, rearward cross, and X-pattern. directional staggered wheels only have one pattern each, no matter the drive configuration.
- Forward Cross – The forward cross is used for FWD vehicles. The front wheels are brought directly back, and the back wheels are brought forward and swapped left to right, right to left.
- Rearward Cross – The rearward cross is used for RWD vehicles. It is the same as the Forward cross except the front wheels are crossed from left to right and vise versa.
- X-Pattern – The X-pattern is used for AWD and 4WD vehicles. With the x-pattern both front and back wheels are swapped from left to right.
- Front to back – The front to back pattern is used on all vehicles with directional tires. The front wheels are simply swapped with the back wheels.
- Side to side – The side-to-side pattern is used on all vehicles with staggered wheels, these should all be RWD though. The left-hand side wheels are simply swapped with the right-hand side wheels.
If you want to get your tire rotated but you didn’t want to do it yourself, but still want it done for cheap, Walmart can do it for the low low price of $2.50 a tire. Alternatively, you could get a tire rotation with your oil changes which might save you a trip, or you could just do it yourself for the even lower price of free. Just make sure you don’t forget to rotate your tires!