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Tire Rotation & Alignment

Tire Rotation

Since each tire performs different tasks (such as steering or front versus rear wheel drive), tires wear at different rates. Rotating your tires at recommended intervals extends their useful life and achieves more uniform tire wear.

It's important to rotate your tires according to the correct tire rotation pattern. Front tires encounter different tasks than the rear tires. And a front-wheel-drive car's tires perform different tasks than those on a rear-wheel-drive car. Your owner's manual specifies which rotation pattern is right for your vehicle.

Your vehicle's front and rear tires may also use different pressures – make sure to adjust individual tire pressure to the recommendation for each wheel position. See your Owner's Manual for recommendations.

Wheel Rust or Dirt

Rust or dirt may not allow proper tightening of the lug nuts and a wheel may loosen over time. When you have your tires rotated, be sure to remove any rust or dirt from places where the wheel attaches to the vehicle and torque the wheel lug nuts to the specification in your Owner's Manual. In an emergency, you can use a cloth or paper towel, but be sure to use a scraper or wire brush later to remove all rust or dirt and torque to specifications.

Also, remember that rotating your tires won't correct wear problems caused by worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.

Wheel Alignment & Tire Balance

Scheduled alignment and balancing are not needed, since your vehicle's wheels were aligned and balanced at the factory. But if you notice unusual tire wear or that your vehicle "pulls" one way or the other, the wheel alignment may need to be reset. If you notice your vehicle vibrating on a smooth road, your wheels may be out of balance.

A tire that is out of balance often affects ride quality and can shorten the life of tires, bearings, shocks, and other suspension components. A speed-dependent vibration – becoming noticeable around 45 mph and increasing as speed increases – is probably balance-related.

Tire Alignment

Alignment is critical for ensuring that you get maximum wear and performance from your tires. Poor alignment results from your car's suspension and steering system becoming out of adjustment with each other. The biggest indicators of your vehicle being out of alignment are a "pulling" one way or the other as you drive or unusual tire wear. Improper tire inflation can also cause unusual tire wear.

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