How to Rotate Tires with Two Jack Stands

How to Rotate Tires with Two Jack Stands

No matter your best efforts at balancing and alignment, your car tires will wear differently. That's especially true of front tires. As you drive, twisting and turning your steering wheel, uneven pavement grates away the rubber on your front tires. On front-wheel-drive cars, where the same tires that are steering are also providing the power, wear is particularly rapid. By rotating your tires, you can ensure that wear patterns are applied evenly, extending the life of your tires. And assuming you don't drive only in a left-hand circle, you shouldn't need to switch the sides of the tires, just swap the fronts for backs.


• Jack

• 2 jack stands

• Lug wrench

1 Determine if your tires are interchangeable. For most models, a front tire can be a back and a left can be a right, but a few models use different sizes on the front and back, and some tires change tread from the inside to the outside, making them usable on only one side of the car. If you have noninterchangeable tires, they will not be able to be rotated and will instead need to be replaced.

How to Rotate Tires with Two Jack Stands

2 Park the car on a flat, level surface and engage the parking brake. Place the jack underneath the appropriate jack point (see Step 5, How to Change a Flat Tire), lift the back tire and then rest the car onto a jack stand. Repeat the procedure in the front so that both of the wheels on one side are off the ground.

How to Rotate Tires with Two Jack Stands

3 Swap the tires. Following the instructions in How to Change a Flat Tire, remove, switch, and reattach the front and back tires. Jack a wheel up off its stand, remove the stand and then lower the jack. Repeat with the second jack.

4 Repeat Step 3 to rotate the tires on the other side.

Most manufacturers recommend rotating your car's tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles.