The objective of this procedure is to show you how to rotate tires to meet the manufacturer's requirements. Some tires are directional; they are designed to turn in one direction only. The majority of tires can be mounted and run in either direction.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
- Rotate tires to meet the manufacturer's requirements.
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:
- Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
- Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
- Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
- Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
- Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators
If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
- Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.
Points to note
- Some tires are directional; they are designed to turn in one direction only. They cannot be moved from one side of the vehicle to the other, otherwise they will rotate against the direction of their design.
- Other tires are asymmetric; the tread differs from inside to outside. Asymmetric tires must be mounted on the rim correctly.
- The majority of tires can be mounted and run in either direction.
- Remember to adjust air pressure on each tire to recommended levels.
Part 2: Step-by-step instruction
- Prepare the vehicle
Prepare the vehicle by removing any hubcaps or lug nut covers, loosen the lug or wheel nuts while the vehicle is still on the ground, and raise the vehicle to a comfortable working position.
- Remove the tires
Consult owner’s manual for the recommended rotation sequence, and check and compare the type of tire fitted with the original specification. If the original wheels and tires have been changed for aftermarket replacements, locate the recommendations for wheel rotation according to the aftermarket manufacturer. Check to see that radial tires are not mixed with bias tires on the vehicle. If there is a mixture, the bias tires should be installed on the front and the radials on the rear.
- Rotate the tires
Note that some vehicles have smaller size tires on the front, and these must not be rotated to the rear. Normally the wheels and tires are rotated by moving the front tires to the rear, and the rear to the front. However, in some arrangements, they are moved diagonally so the procedure should only be carried out in accordance with the vehicle’s shop manual, owner’s manual or the type of tire fitted.
- Tighten the wheel studs
Refit the wheels. Screw on the wheel nuts or studs. It is a good practice to put them on finger tight first before tightening further. Do not put the nut or stud into the socket of an impact wrench and power them on directly. This practice can lead to the wheel nuts or studs going on cross-threaded. Once the nuts or studs are ready to be torqued down, refer to the shop manual for the correct torque and tightening sequence. Typically, the lug nuts are tightened in a diagonal sequence on four stud wheels, and in a star arrangement for five stud wheels until all of the nuts are tight. However, there are exceptions, so the manufacturers recommendations should be referred to. This should be done to a specification of 50% of the recommended torque for the first stage,and then to 100% of the specification at the second stage, using the same tightening sequence for the particular wheel.