How To Rotate Radial Tires? (Explained For Beginners)

At this time, many people might be struggling financially, and they are looking for ways to save money; and one way that a driver can save money is if they do their maintenance. If you have a major repair, you might have to consult an expert, but for small things like rotating your radial tires, you do not necessarily need professional help. Let us discuss how to rotate radial tires. 

So how to rotate radial tires? You have to Find out if your tires are multidirectional or unidirectional, rotate your unidirectional tires, rotate your multidirectional tires, rotate your multidirectional tires on rear-wheel-drive cars, and then rotate the tires on your vehicle with different sized front and rear tires.

Tires are expensive, and they are not cheap. If you do not give extra care, you can be burdened by the price of tires. If you get a new set of tires each year, you might be able to spend at least eight hundred dollars ($800), and this will depend on the size and the brand of your tire. 

You can extend the life of your tire and improve the performance of your radial tires by regularly rotating them. All the tires will not wear evenly because each one of the tires has different tasks and performance. If you wish your tires to have a long life, you must rotate the tires every five thousand miles (5,000) to seven thousand five hundred miles (7,500) or eight thousand (8,000) kilometers to twelve thousand kilometers (12,000). 

With that, we have created this article to let you know how to rotate your radial tires. So without further ado, let’s get started.

How To Rotate Radial Tires

How To Rotate Radial Tires?

While driving, your safety will depend on a lot of things. One of these things is your tires. All your tires must be rotated from time to time regularly. 

This is to balance out the tear and wear on your treads. In this way, one tire will not wear out much faster than the rest. You can follow these instructions if you wish to rotate your radial tires. 

1. Find Out If Your Tires Are Multidirectional Or Unidirectional

A lot of the radial tires that are sold today are unidirectional. Unidirectional tires mean that they must only be rolled in one direction. On the other hand, unidirectional tires typically have av-shaped or an asymmetrical treat so that they can resist hydroplaning. 

2. Rotate Your Unidirectional Tires

Unidirectional tires are meant to roll only in just one direction, and they must stay on the same side of the car. So if it is time to rotate them, you can swap the front and the rear driver side tires. You can also do the same for the passenger side tires.

3. Rotate Your Multi Directional Tires 

Rotate your multidirectional tires on front-wheel-drive cars. Rotating a car is different for front-wheel drive and rear. If you have a front-wheel-drive car, you can cross the rear tires to the front and slide the front tires back. 

First, take the rear driver side tire into the front passenger side. The rear passenger side tire will go into the front driver side. 

Next, you can slide the front driver side tire into the rear driver side. After, slide the front passenger side tire into the rear passenger side. 

4. Rotate Your Multi Directional Tires On Rear-Wheel-Drive Cars

For a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, you must cross the tires to the back. Then, slide the back tires into the front. 

4. Rotate The Tires On Your Vehicle With Different Sized Front And Rear Tires

If your vehicle has different unidirectional tires, you can rotate them. If your vehicle has a different multidirectional tire, you can also swap the front driver and the passenger side tires. 

What Is The Proper Way To Rotate Radial Tires?

It is essential to rotate your tires by following the exact tire rotation pattern. You can follow these proper steps, and as a result, you can consistently spread the tire wear. You can also reduce the risk of tire breakage. 

With that, you can prolong the lifespan of your tires. You can start the job by loosening the lug nuts on all four wheels. Afterwards, you have to lift one wheel using a car jack. 

Place the jack stand afterward. If you own two stands, you might spend a lot more time adjusting. You can get a tire rotation much after if you have four jack stands. 

You then have to remove all the tires very carefully. Rotate all of them by the pattern of your tire type. If you put the tire back, you can screw the lug nuts as hard as possible.

Can You Turn Radial Tires Around?

Today, most of the tires are already steel-belted radial tires. These tires do not have the same construction. Therefore, it is safe to change their direction of travel. 

It might be safe to swap them left to right, but moving the tires around the vehicle is recommended. If your tires have directional arrows, they can only be rotated back to front. 

What Happens If I Rotate Radial Tires The Wrong Way?

A unidirectional tire is made to optimize its wet grip in one direction. If you reverse the rotation, the wet grip can suffer. If it was not a bi-directional tire, the biggest issue you would face is that they would not efficiently pump water from under them on a wet road.

How Do You Rotate Radial Tires On AWD?

The best choice is to rotate your tires every eight thousand kilometers to ten thousand kilometers, or you can do it after every oil change. For a rear-wheel drive or AWD, the rotation can go as:

  1. The Left Rear Will Go To The Right Front
  2. The Right Rear Will Go To The Left Front
  3. The Right Front Will Go To The Left Rear
  4. The Left Front Will Go To The Right Rear

Can Radial Tires Be Cross Rotated?

You can rotate the tires on your car with different sized front and rear tires. If your vehicle has a different sized unidirectional tire, you can rotate them. If your vehicle has a different multidirectional tire, you can swap the front driver and the passenger side tires. 

Can Radial Tires Be Rotated From Side To Side?

Straight rotation is made in the early years of radial tires. This rotation method will switch the tires from front to rear, but they will not cross side to side. This rotation method will be used for directional tread patterns.


In summary, tire rotation is vital in keeping your tires in good condition. You can even out the wear in all four wheels if you have the time to rotate them. 

Unfortunately, many people might not know how to rotate radial tires. This is why knowing the actual procedure is essential and essential.

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Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more