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#4451747 - 07/06/17 09:08 PM "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life?
tombo Offline


Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 9
Loc: 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?

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#4451752 - 07/06/17 09:12 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 10988
Loc: 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.
_________________________
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#4451759 - 07/06/17 09:22 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
40w8 Offline


Registered: 12/24/14
Posts: 77
Loc: 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.


Edited by 40w8 (07/06/17 09:23 PM)

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#4451765 - 07/06/17 09:24 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: '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.

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#4451769 - 07/06/17 09:29 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41777
Loc: 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.

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#4451773 - 07/06/17 09:29 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32635
Loc: 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.

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#4451790 - 07/06/17 09:39 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: eljefino]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: 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.
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#4451793 - 07/06/17 09:41 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
E150GT Offline


Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 1096
Loc: 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...
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#4451805 - 07/06/17 09:47 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: 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.
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2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
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#4451835 - 07/06/17 10:18 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9563
Loc: 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
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#4451866 - 07/06/17 11:01 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
raytseng Offline


Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 2333
Loc: 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.

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#4451896 - 07/06/17 11:26 PM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
Ducked Online   content


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4352
Loc: 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.


Edited by Ducked (07/06/17 11:30 PM)

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#4451947 - 07/07/17 01:42 AM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1351
Loc: 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.


Edited by Oro_O (07/07/17 01:42 AM)

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#4451964 - 07/07/17 04:25 AM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
40w8 Offline


Registered: 12/24/14
Posts: 77
Loc: 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.

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#4451973 - 07/07/17 04:57 AM Re: "Optimal" Tire Rotation = 1/4 of Expected Life? [Re: tombo]
gfh77665 Offline


Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 3793
Loc: 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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