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Final Segment – Tire Rotation

Portions of this post are compliments of our friends at Tirerack.

Four (4) Tire Rotation

What tire rotation pattern should be followed? The Tire & Rim Association has identified three traditional rotation patterns covering most vehicles (equipped with non-directional tires and wheels which are the same size and offset). The first being the “Rearward Cross” (Figure A); the second being the “Forward Cross” (Figure C); and the third is the “X-Pattern” (Figure B). The X-Pattern can be used as an alternative to A or C.

Today’s performance tire and wheel trends have provided the need for two additional tire rotation patterns.
  • The “Front-to-Rear” (Figure D) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with the same size directional wheels and/or directional tires.

  • A “Side-to-Side” (Figure E) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with different sized non-directional tires and wheels on the front axle compared to the rear axle.


If the last two rotation patterns do not provide even wear, dismounting, mounting and rebalancing will be necessary to rotate the tires.

Vehicles that use different sized directional wheels and tires, and/or wheels with different front and rear offsets with directional tires will require dismounting, mounting and rebalancing to rotate tires.


Five (5) Tire Rotation

While many vehicles are equipped with temporary spares that cannot be included in a tire rotation program, if the vehicle’s four wheels and tires on the ground match the spare wheel and tire (if non-directional and not branded “for temporary use”), they should be included in the tire rotation pattern. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire rotation procedures, or if not available, insert the spare in the right rear position at every rotation. Place the tire that would have gone to the right rear in the trunk as the spare until the next tire rotation.

  • On front-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tires in a forward cross pattern (Figure F)

  • On rear-wheel or four-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tires in a rearward cross pattern (Figure G)


Five tire rotation results in equally distributed use that will help maintain equivalent tread depths on all five tires throughout their life. When applied to many four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, this is required to prevent driveline damage if a flat tire forces a new spare to be put into service with partially worn tires on the other three wheel positions.

Once again, any time you make adjustmnents to tie rods, suspension, wheels, rims and tires, please use your QuickTrick™ alignment product to check your measurements and adjust if needed!
Be safe, Be fast & Be careful!
See you next week!
Mr QuickTrick™

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