Tire Rotation Patterns

Tire Change

When it comes to tire care, the first thing drivers are usually taught is that they need to stay up to date on tire rotations. This small bit of maintenance is essential to ensuring even tire wear and extending their lifecycle. Plus, you’ll get a smoother ride with safer handling, which helps when driving around town.

We here at Baierl Tires have written this article to teach Wexford, Pittsburgh, and Cranberry drivers what the common tire rotation patterns are. Read on to learn more!

Tire Rotation Patterns for Non-Directional Tires tire rotation service

The most common rotation patterns are for non-directional tires. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, understand that directional tires have a tread pattern that allows them to rotate in just one direction. Non-directional tires lack this movement restriction.

If your vehicle is front-wheel drive, it’s equipped with non-directional tires and wheels. You’ll use the forward cross rotation pattern, where the front tires go straight to the back on the same side.

A vehicle that’s in rear-wheel or four-wheel drive is also equipped with non-directional tires and wheels. Though, this time, you’re going to use the rearward rotation cross pattern, which is the direct opposite of the front-wheel drive car.

Non-directional tires are also the most common. Here are some rotation patterns for these types of tires that are the same size:

Forward Cross

  • The Forward Cross is the first pattern recommended for front-wheel drive vehicles. In these patterns, the front tires are moved directly to the rear of the car. The rear tires, meanwhile, are moved to the front, but at opposite sides.


  • An X-Pattern is also recommended for front-wheel-drive cars. The rear tires are moved to the front at opposite sides, and vice versa for the front tires. They switch in a literal X.

Rearward Cross

  • A Rearward Cross is the exact opposite pattern of the Forward Cross. It is often recommended for rear-wheel drive cars as well as 4-wheel drive cars.

Patterns for Directional Tires

Directional tires, as well as high-performance tires, call for some different patterns to disperse wear and tear easily. These are actually the simpler tire rotation patterns.

Front to Back

  • The standard directions tires should always remain on the same sides of the vehicle but can be moved from front to back. And that’s just what you’re going to do in the average tire rotation.

Side to Side

  • The above only applies if the tires are all the same size. However, if you have a different size on the front and rear axles (sometimes common in sports vehicles), then you don’t want to move them from front to back. They can only switch sides.

Don’t Forget to Rotate Your Spare Tire

tire serviceA lot of bigger vehicles will come with a spare tire on the back. This tire is usually the same size as the others and has a non-directional tread pattern. If this is the case with your car, you’ll want to rotate that tire regularly, too.

If you were to place a completely fresh tire onto an all-wheel-drive car with three worn tires, it would throw your drivetrain off kilter. This would most likely affect your handling, which can be a huge problem on slick, uneven road surfaces.

When You Should Rotate Your Tires

Tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, but you’ll want to refer to your owner’s manual for the exact number of miles. It’s recommended, though, to get a tire rotation every time you get an oil change.

There are three main things that happen during every tire rotation. The first thing is that each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position. Then, air pressure is check in each tire and adjusted as needed.

Additionally, while each tire is off, you’ll want to get the brakes checked. That’s because they’ll be easy to see and reach this point. Furthermore, some automobiles have tire pressure monitoring systems that display when one or more tires are low on air. For those cars, the system will have to be reset. This is so the tire pressure will be displayed properly with the tires’ new locations.

Schedule Your Tire Rotation Today

A good rule of thumb is to have a tire rotation performed as often as your car’s oil is change. So, do you think your car is due for one today?

Pittsburgh, Wexford, and Cranberry Township drivers can contact the Baierl Tires team to set up their next rotation. Schedule your appointment today!

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