How to Rotate Tires Yourself

mechanic changing a car wheel.

Do you know how to change a tire? If so, you might be tempted to cut costs by learning how to do a tire rotation at home! With a jack, a set of jack stands, a lug wrench, and your owner’s manual, rotating tires is pretty simple! Although you can always schedule service and let our team take care of everything, we know that for many Rumson-area drivers, a job well down by hand is its own reward.

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Know Your Rotation Pattern

The first step to knowing how to rotate tires at home is finding your rotation pattern. It can be found in your car’s owner’s manual, and you should always check that before you get started. However, in many cases, the following general rules will suffice:

  • For FWD vehicles, move the front tires straight back. When you move the back tires to the front, swap sides.
  • For RWD vehicles, just the opposite is true. Move the back tires straight to the front, and swap the front tires left for right when you move them back.
  • If your vehicle has AWD, you’ll likely use an “X” rotation pattern. However, no two AWD systems are identical, so it’s especially important to check your owner’s manual if you drive a car that has AWD!

Your owner’s manual will also provide you with a recommendation on how often to rotate tires. A rotation interval of 5,000 to 7,500 miles is usually appropriate for FWD and RWD cars. AWD vehicles should have their tires rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. 

If you drive in such a way that causes you to accumulate excess wear on the roads near Colts Neck and Red Bank, scheduling more frequent rotations is a smart idea.

How to Rotate Tires at Home: Step-by-Step

  1. Engage your parking brake, and make sure you’re parked on flat and level ground.
  2. Loosen all of your lug nuts, but leave them on for now.
  3. Lift up the first wheel (it doesn’t matter where you start) and place the jack stand on the jack point beneath it.
  4. Move your jack to the next wheel, and repeat.
  5. Once all four wheels are up in the air, finish removing the lug nuts and move all tires to their new locations. See the rotation pattern above or in your owner’s manual for guidance.
  6. Take a moment to ensure that each tire has the proper pressure. Then mount the tire onto it’s new home and tighten the lug nuts as much as you can by hand.
  7. Lower each wheel using your jack, and once the car is safely back on solid ground, tighten each lug nut as much as you can with your lug wrench. Work in a diagonal pattern to ensure an even finish; doing otherwise can lead to brake rotor warp.

Even the best-maintained tires will eventually wear out. If your tread depth is lower than 1/16 of an inch, visit our Eatontown tire store to pick up a fresh set.

Get Assistance With Tire Rotation at Jaguar Monmouth

We think that every driver should know how to do a tire rotation in a pinch, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone! Schedule service today, or explore more of our DIY car care tips to become more confident under the hood.

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