Reversing Radial Tire Rotation?

Old 04-17-19, 11:48 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 1,102
Received 8 Upvotes on 7 Posts
Reversing Radial Tire Rotation?

Is it just a wive's tale that they shouldn't be reversed? Wife is headed to the dealer to have snows swapped for highway tires and I noticed that last fall they did not label the tire location as they always had before. Is this a problem?
Old 04-17-19, 11:55 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,784
Received 871 Upvotes on 762 Posts
I had also heard that but haven't heard it in decades. I assume it either wasn't true or is no longer true. I've been rotating radials [switching sides] for over 20 yrs with no issues. The only time it makes a difference is if the tire has tread design that only goes one way .... and there will be arrows on the sidewall to indicate that.
Old 04-17-19, 02:05 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,190
Received 1,281 Upvotes on 1,219 Posts
I think Mark is right - feel free to change direction unless the sidewall says otherwise because of the tread pattern only being designed to work in one direction.
Old 04-17-19, 04:03 PM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 8,161
Received 77 Upvotes on 70 Posts
Might have had a little affect when radials first came out. We heard that a lot 30, 40 years ago.but when I quit Auto mechanics 20 years ago had mostly died out.
Old 04-17-19, 04:45 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,745
Received 1,210 Upvotes on 1,098 Posts
Higher end tires are directional, meaning they go one direction due to tread patterns.

Really only need to go front to back, keeping the higher wear from drive wheels balanced between both tires!
Old 04-18-19, 07:39 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,677
Received 63 Upvotes on 54 Posts
Going front to back does not change wear pattern. Tire has to be rotated 180 degrees to have even pattern, especially rear ones, as now they do a lot of negative camber on the rear end.
I always rotate tires front to back and criss cross.
Old 04-19-19, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,902
Received 73 Upvotes on 66 Posts
When in doubt check the owner's manual, which can usually be gotten by the way at the manufacturer's website if you don't have it, but I'm pretty sure, except for ones that are clearly marked on the sidewall, radials can, and should, be reverse rotated, just like bias tires were. I thought at the time and still think that a lot of the misconceptions came from (hopefully not driven by the manufacturer's themselves) some of the early failures of radial tires, most notably the 500's. I experienced one of those firsthand, the day that an almost brand new tire went flat, only a couple hundred miles on it as I recall, so I jacked the car up, reached in on both sides to take it off, just like you're supposed to, and cut the fingers and palms on both hands on the exposed steel cords. Never will forget that, but it's off track a little bit, so back to the point, I think those kinds of things were what lead to past misconceptions, uncertainties, and whatnot.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: