Tire Rotations

Having your tires rotated is an important part of keeping your car maintained. Although the consequences usually are not as severe as other items such as changing your oil or flushing your coolant, it can be a safety and performance issue. Luckily, rotating your tires is a quick and easy process that any Utah auto repair shop can do in about 5 minutes or less. 

There are various ways to do a tire rotation, but the one that I favor is the modified X. In short, with a modified X you take the tires on the drive axle and move them kitty corner to the other side of the vehicle. The non-drive tires move straight forward to the drive axles without crossing.

Here is how to do the modified X pattern on a front wheel drive car. If you have tires that need to be oriented a certain direction, such as rain tires, do not cross them, keep them on the same side of the car just swap the front and the rear tires. For a rear wheel drive vehicle the modified X is reversed compared to the front wheel drive.

To begin the rotation you’ll need a spare tire, lug nut wrench, and jack. Start with the driver’s front tire. Take off the wheel covers (if you have them) and loosen the lug nuts. Raise the vehicle until the tire is about an inch off the ground and take the tire off. Replace it with the spare, finger tighten the lug nuts and lower the vehicle. Don’t worry about tightening the spare tire since you won’t be going anywhere.

Take the tire you just took off and move to the rear passenger tire. Loosen the lug nuts, raise the vehicle, take the tire off, replace the tire, finger tighten the lug nuts, lower it, and now tighten the lug nuts all the way. Now with the rear passenger tire, change that with the front passenger tire.

Take the front passenger tire and change it with the rear driver’s tire. Take the rear driver’s tire and change it with the spare tire (front driver side). Now is also a good time to check your tire pressure.

I highly recommend using a torque wrench to make sure your lug nuts are tight enough. You can pick up a cheap torque wrench for around $20-$30. Call your dealer or do a search on the net for the setting you need, but as a general rule of thumb 90 foot pounds is a good number to use.

If you want to speed the process up a floor jack would definitely help. If you want to be as fast as your Utah auto repair company, your next step would be to purchase an air compressor and a good impact wrench. But you may need to watch out as your neighbors may be coming to you instead of their Utah auto repair garage.

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01 Jun, 2010

Preventative Maintenance

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