How To Rotate Tires Yourself

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Spare tire
4 jacks
Tire iron
What You'll Need
Spare tire
4 jacks
Tire iron

If you are interested in getting the most value out of your tires, tire rotation is an important thing to consider. Your tires will be worn out differently depending on where they are located, and to prevent them from wearing out too quickly, it is important to rotate them. Luckily, this is a procedure that, if you are prepared and know what you are doing, you can do easily in your own garage. If you are unsure of how to best rotate your tires, what follows should help.

Step 1 - Getting Ready

First, get all of your equipment together. If your spare tire is not designed for long term use, leave it where it is. Otherwise, take your spare tire out of the trunk.

Step 2 - Setting Up

Pick a wheel and remove the hubcap. Next, use your tire iron to loosen the lug nuts. Don't remove them, but give them a few twists until they turn easily.

After that, set up your jack under one wheel, and crank it up until it rises to touch the frame of your car. Making sure it is secure, continue cranking until the wheel is far enough off the ground to work on.

Once this is done, repeat the process for your other wheels.

Step 3 - Removing Tires

Now you can safely remove the wheels. Start on the right side, and use your tire iron to completely remove the lug nuts, then remove the wheel and set it down flat. Remove both wheels, and keep them close to where you got them, because you need to keep track of which one is which.

Step 4 - Rotating

This is where the spare comes in. Slide the spare tire onto where your rear tire used to be, and line up the holes for the bolts. Use the lug nuts, and tighten them for a few turns by hand, then finish them up with the tire iron. Don't tighten them as hard as you can yet, that comes later.

If you don't have a functional spare tire, or your spare tire isn't meant to be used as anything but an emergency halfway measure to get you home, skip this part. Instead, just move your front tire to the back, and your back tire to the front.

Now, perform this step again, using what was your rear tire to become your new front tire.

Finally, repeat steps 3 and 4 for your tires on the left side. However, instead of bringing in the spare tire, simply switch them — rear becomes front, and front becomes rear.

Step 5 - Finishing Up

Finally, crank the jack all the way down until it doesn't even touch your car, for all four jacks. You can now use your tire iron to fasten the lug nuts as tightly as they will go. Store your "new" spare tire and clean up.

Thanks to your efforts, your harder working front tires will now be in a place where they will wear more slowly, and your newer, less worn rear tires will wear more quickly.