How To Mark Tires For Rotation?

If you don’t have an in-depth idea about cars or, at least, car tire rotation, there is a huge chance the car dealer or the repair shop will try to take advantage of your ignorance. There have been many cases when the repair shop got paid for tire rotation, but the rotation was never done.

So, it’s pretty important to know how a rotation is done and check for before and after scenes of a tire rotation. In this piece, we are going to have a look at why and how rotation is done and how to mark tires for rotation to keep track of whether the rotation was actually done or not!

What is Tire Rotation?

Tire Rotation

Before anything else, let’s find out what a tire rotation is. A tire rotation is a process of switching the position of the wheels to minimize the uneven areas of the wear that take place. This has to be done periodically after every 5000 miles of your journey. If you have stretched tires on car, you may have to do it earlier.

Rotating your vehicle tires on a regular basis doesn’t only mean that you will get a better minimization of wear on the tires. It also means that you will get a closer look at the damage that took place on the tires. Plus, you will get to check the air pressure and other balance issues of the tires simultaneously.

Basically, you need to run this process every time you are having an oil change for your vehicle. It’s a healthy way to diagnose issues on your tires and also make sure that the tires are running smoothly.

Reasons for Tire Rotation

There are a few good reasons why you should be going for a tire rotation every 5000 miles.

The most important reason is it is done to make sure that the wear on your tire is evenly distributed. By rotating the tires, you will generally spread the wear all over the tire’s surface, ensuring that the wear doesn’t concentrate only on one place.

Then again, it will improve your vehicle’s braking and cornering performance to a whole new level. Also, smoother tires ensure better performance of the other parts of your vehicle!

How to Know if the Dealer Has Rotated the Tires?

Rotated the Tires 

Okay, now comes the most important part; how would you know if the dealer has actually rotated the tire or not. Well, there are several ways you can find out. Here are some of the ways that we use.

Using the Marking Method 

You can put some marks on the tires with a marker. Yes, that’s the easiest way to find out if the rotation was actually done or not! This will indicate the original location of the tire, and you can easily take pictures for future reference. Once the rotation is done, you can check for the tires’ location and compare if the rotation is done or not.

This means you will have to mark every single tire of the four tires of your vehicle. You can use FR or RL marker for this purpose. Don’t worry; you can easily remove the marks using some rubbing alcohol later on. It’s as simple as that.

Take the Code Note 

Another way to tell if the dealer has done his job or not is to take note of the codes imprinted on the tire. Every tire on your vehicle should have some sort of code to identify it. This is unique to the tires, and you can easily take notes or even snap some pictures on your phone.

Once the rotation is done, you can check the code to match if the tires have actually moved or not. This way, you can easily tell the difference.

Remove the Valve 

Another simple method to tell is to remove the valve stem cap on the tires. However, this won’t give you an accurate idea of whether all the tires have been rotated or not, but you can keep track of the specific tire that you have removed the stem cap from.

Even though the method is not something we would suggest you follow, it’s still is a good guess. You can try it out alongside the other options.

What is the Ideal Tire Rotation Pattern?

Tire Rotation Pattern

Now that you know how to keep track of the tire rotation, you also need to decide which tire rotation pattern you need to adopt. There are multiple tire rotation patterns to choose from – Rearward Cross, X-pattern, Forward Cross, etc. Let’s have a look at each type of pattern separately.

Rearward Cross: The vehicles that come with four wheels, it is recommended for those vehicles to go for the rearward cross pattern. The tires are simply moved to the forward, and the side of the vehicle is kept the same. The front tires are placed on the opposite side of the back axle.

X-Pattern: The X-pattern is recommended for those vehicles that are run on front-wheel drive. The tires here move diagonally, which means the tires are replaced on a cross pattern. That’s why it is known as X-pattern.

Forward Cross: Lastly, the forward cross is the most-used pattern for front-wheel vehicles. The front axle tires are placed on the back, as the rear ones are placed diagonally on the front axle’s opposite side.

Apart from these three, some other patterns are followed and used, like side-to-side and front-to-rear. These are typically for high-performance and directional tires.

Final Words 

So, that’s all you need to know about tire rotation and the facts you need to keep in mind to ensure it’s done correctly. If you know how to mark tires for rotation or other ways to keep track of the tires, it’s going to be super easy for you to know if the repair shop has done its job correctly.

So, next time you visit your dealer, make sure you check out how we have discussed here for a perfect tire rotation!

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