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"Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? #4451747
07/06/17 08:08 PM
07/06/17 08:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 9
St. Louis, MO
tombo Offline OP
tombo  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 9
St. Louis, MO
I was musing about tire wear while driving home from work today and it occurred to me that in a perfect world, one would rotate tires exactly four times over the life of a tire. My thinking is that if it's rotated, say, 6 times over the life of the tire, the wear will not be even at the tire's end of life, and thus it could have lasted a bit longer if the wear was more even. Given that OEM tires seem to last only about 28-30K for many people, that would equate to 7K - 7.5K per rotation. On the other hand, if one bought a set of tires that was expected to last, say, 50K miles, the ideal rotation frequency would be 12.5K miles. Is there a flaw in my logic?

Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451752
07/06/17 08:12 PM
07/06/17 08:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,622
Santa Barbara, CA
bdcardinal Offline
bdcardinal  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,622
Santa Barbara, CA
That's what I do. Rotate every oil change at 5K miles. I usually get 20-22K out of a set of tires on the Mustang.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451759
07/06/17 08:22 PM
07/06/17 08:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 81
Texas
40w8 Offline
40w8  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 81
Texas
I'm of BMW's opinion that rotation should only be done to save tires under bad alignment conditions.

I have a car with staggered that can't rotate; a X1 s28i with 225/45r18 and 255/40r18 tires.

Rears wear faster, so I'll get new set when they are really worn.

My other car, RX8 has had good alignment, and wears very even.

Times that I rotated seemed to upset tires; they have to wear in at new angle.

Discount tire will rotate my new Michelin PSS set for free if I wanted it.

I realize that 30k warranty is dependent on them rotating, but I wouldn't push that warranty.

I know the mileage will be my doing.

Last edited by 40w8; 07/06/17 08:23 PM.
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451765
07/06/17 08:24 PM
07/06/17 08:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,684
'murica
Ethan1 Offline
Ethan1  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,684
'murica
What does the number 4 have to do with anything? In a "perfect world", the tires would wear evenly at each corner. In the real world, they wear differently even if the suspension is in good shape.

Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451769
07/06/17 08:29 PM
07/06/17 08:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
We typically get around 80,000 miles out of a set of tires. I rotate them generally when I remember which is somewhere between 10 and 20,000 miles, sometimes skipping once or twice.

Optimally I think you would rotate as often as possible so that the difference in trade would be as small as possible from axle to axle. Assuming there is a consistent wear difference, optimally you rotate your tires every time you drive the car.

Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451773
07/06/17 08:29 PM
07/06/17 08:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,594
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,594
ME
I muse (without much to back it up) that wear accellerates once it's been bad for a while. So very frequent rotation might stave off feathering etc which is hard to fix once it starts.

That said I'm lazy and wait for summer/ winter changeover and throw the slightly deeper tread up front.

Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: eljefino] #4451790
07/06/17 08:39 PM
07/06/17 08:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: eljefino

That said I'm lazy and wait for summer/ winter changeover and throw the slightly deeper tread up front.

Not lazy, efficient! I do the same on the Focus as all my tires are directional for it.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 218km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 15km 0W20
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451793
07/06/17 08:41 PM
07/06/17 08:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,374
San Antonio, TX
E150GT Offline
E150GT  Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,374
San Antonio, TX
Hmmm.. I rotate every 5-7k miles. Ive got 37k on my current set and hope they last for 50k. I have rotated more than 4 times now...


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 57k 10w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 31k 5w30
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451805
07/06/17 08:47 PM
07/06/17 08:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,953
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,953
Connecticut
Been lazy in the past about rotations. Usually 2-4 per tire set getting 40K-65K miles. This last set I'm doing every 6K-7K and seeing how they make out. Up to 24K miles so far. The UV cracking may end up taking them out first.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451835
07/06/17 09:18 PM
07/06/17 09:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,929
Florida, Cape Coral
Eddie Offline
Eddie  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,929
Florida, Cape Coral
All depends on the cost of rotation to me. Original tires get rotated when I measure a tread depth difference of 3/32 inch and of course I pay for these rotation. On placement tires with free rotation every 7,500? miles, I get them rotated at 7,500-8,000 miles which equates to the Tombos comment of 1/4 life. Ed


CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451866
07/06/17 10:01 PM
07/06/17 10:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,407
CA
raytseng Offline
raytseng  Offline
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,407
CA
the issue is the purpose of rotating tires is not for performance but to eek out the last bit of tire life. when you rotate tires the tires contact patch is decreased. you can think of it like grating carrots and you turn the carrot the other way so you dont end up with the triangle chunk at the end.

so for the hypothetical posed by the OP the problem with the strategy is it is trying to minimize the rotations which means at the time of rotation the contact patch reduction is going to be more pronounced than if you rotated for an 8x cycle for example.

Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451896
07/06/17 10:26 PM
07/06/17 10:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
I "rotate" tyres by putting the better tread at the back at the start of the rainy season , since that's supposed to reduce your chances of a spin.

The rainy season is not so clear-cut with current climate, but still roughly corresponding to "summer", as in now.

The back wears less since its a FWD, so at the start of the dry season, roughly corresponding to "not summer" (I'm from Scotland, so I can't really call it winter) I move the better tread to the front, because tread depth now doesn't matter much, and it'll get more wear.

Main objective is optimising grip. Wear evening-out is secondary. Interval is seasonally determined.

Last edited by Ducked; 07/06/17 10:30 PM.
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451947
07/07/17 12:42 AM
07/07/17 12:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,490
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,490
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted By: tombo
Given that OEM tires seem to last only about 28-30K for many people, that would equate to 7K - 7.5K per rotation. On the other hand, if one bought a set of tires that was expected to last, say, 50K miles, the ideal rotation frequency would be 12.5K miles. Is there a flaw in my logic?


Ginormous flaw is disregarding the different physics at each corner and how it influences relative wear rate. Starting a wear pattern and not correcting it before it goes too far is what this thinking leads to. The "carrot" analogy above by raytsengwas brilliant. Every few thousand is optimal, and varies by tire type and vehicle. No set rule.

Last edited by Oro_O; 07/07/17 12:42 AM.
Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451964
07/07/17 03:25 AM
07/07/17 03:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 81
Texas
40w8 Offline
40w8  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 81
Texas
My alignments are close enough to watch tire wear, and check how alignment is working. I don't want to even it out unless it's really bad.

I've had 2 front wheel drive cars in which I'd drive to 5/32nds on front rotate that to back and use the newish back tire at 8/32's until both worn out.

Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo] #4451973
07/07/17 03:57 AM
07/07/17 03:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,987
Southeast Texas
gfh77665 Offline
gfh77665  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,987
Southeast Texas
I rotate once, halfway through when the tread gets to 50%. One and done. Thats all. Still get 50,000 -70,000 miles out of every set.

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