Want to save some money? Try rotating the tires on your car yourself. This will save you not only the money you’d spend having someone else do it, but it will help extend the life of your tires, so that you don’t have to buy news ones as frequently. Although the process is time consuming, it is nothing that you can’t do yourself, or with the help of a friend or family member.
You will need a car jack and you may want to invest in a hydralic floor jack for this as regular jacks are only designed for quick tire changes in emergency situations. As you learn to do other repairs, you’ll be grateful for the ability to raise the car easily and securely. You’ll also need jack stands to hold the car up. In addition, you’ll need a lug wrench and a torque wrench.
1. Figure out if you have directional or non-directional tires. Directional tires have to stay on the same side of the car, so you’ll just be moving them from front to back. Non-directional tires can be mounted on either side, but you’ll need to know if your car is rear-wheel or front-wheel drive. Refer to the manual for the proper cross pattern to use when rotating the tires.
2. Make sure the parking break is on.
3. Loosen the lug nuts on all the wheels and tires . Don’t completely remove them, just loosen them to make it easier to unscrew them later.
4. Determine the pattern for removing and switching the tires. This is especially important if you only have one or two jack stands, as you will want to minimize the up and down of the car. Using four jack stands isn’t 100 percent safe, but it does speed up the process.
5. Unscrew the lug nuts and remove the tires, rotating them as you go. When each tire is placed in its new position, screw the lug nuts back on as tightly as possible.
6. Remove the car from the jack stand and tighten the lug nuts once the tire is on the ground. By using a diagonal or star pattern, you will ensure that the nuts are are tightened evenly on each tire.