Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that experience direct contact and friction with the road, which means that they are susceptible to a great deal of stress and wear over time simply due to normal operation. Rotating your tires is an essential part of vehicle maintenance. Doing so helps extend the lifespan of your tires and ensures that your tires provide the proper amount of grip with the road, improving your vehicle's performance while driving.
Understanding some of the warning signs associated with tires that are overdue for a rotation can help you know when you should head to a mechanic.
Uneven Tire Wear
The most common sign of tires that need to be rotated is if you notice that your tires' treads are worn on one side, but not the other. This is because of different points of contact with the road over time between the front and back of your vehicle, as well as each side of your vehicle. Further, the front tires of your car will likely wear away faster than the back, simply because they are holding up the weight of the engine and are the tires that direct your car through turns.
Another sign that your tires need to be rotated is if you notice that your vehicle is vibrating or shaking quite a bit while you are driving. This is most often because of the uneven wear across all four tires mentioned above, which can cause your tires to have an uneven grip on the road and cause shakes to travel from your tires up through your car's suspension system. Rotating your tires can help prevent this shaking from happening (and is an important maintenance task, as increased shaking can place stress on your shocks and suspension – which can turn into mechanical issues which are more expensive to fix).
Lost Air Pressure
Finally, the last sign of tires that need to be rotated that you need to look out for is if you notice that a single tire on your vehicle is losing air pressure at a rate greater than the other three. Sometimes, this is because of an actual leak in the tire, which will require it to be patched or replaced, but other times the blame lies with uneven wear causing more pressure to be placed on the tire, forcing air to leak out of the tire at a faster rate than the other ones over time.
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