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Detailed Guide Tire Rotation And Why To Rotate Your Tires On AWD

To maintain optimal performance, you must be fully informed of what maintenance items your vehicle needs and when they are required. The maintenance of your vehicle’s tires is sometimes disregarded. Tire rotation is definitely something you’ve heard about, but do you need to get your tires rotated if you have an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle? We gathered information about tires from a variety of professional sources so that you can get a definitive answer before your tires have accumulated a significant amount of road mileage. 

What is a tire rotation?

Tire rotation is the procedure of regularly shifting the arrangement of each of your vehicle’s tires. Tires should be replaced every 5,000 miles or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Many of you will know when your vehicle’s oil needs to be changed. Rotating your tires daily also allows you to physically inspect them for damage, check their air pressure, have them rebalanced if they’re vibrating, and check their tread depth.

Is tire rotation necessary?

It is vital to rotate tires to ensure that wear is evenly distributed. Because there is more pressure on the outer edges of the front tires when you make turns, front tires wear far faster than rear tires.

Because front tires wear more on the sides from turning, while rear tires wear down the center, it’s necessary to rotate them to wear evenly. Because there is more pressure on the outer edges of the front tires when you make turns, front tires wear far faster than rear tires. Things like three-point turns, parallel parking, U-turns, and other maneuvers place additional stress on your front tires that your rear tires are spared from. If you don’t rotate your tires, the front tires are more likely to be replaced, whereas the rear tires are continuously replaced.

To prevent overworking the transfer case that connects the front and rear drive axles and to guarantee that all four tires wear at the same pace, Rotating or replacing all four tires at once is usually a great idea for a full-time all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.

See more at: Detailed Guide About How Do Torque Sticks Work

What is tire rotation on AWD?

The following are the most common all-wheel-drive systems:

 4×4 propelled by two axles on each of the two wheels. When traveling in sloppy circumstances or over modest off-road terrain, the all-wheel-drive system comes in handy. All-wheel-drive vehicles have a powertrain that allows them to operate with all four wheels when necessary or all of the time. It lets you go through dirt, sand, and other loose surfaces with ease. The majority of AWD systems send power to only one set of wheels, either front or back.

  • 4×4 (four-wheel or 4WD) indicates two axles with both wheels on each
  • 6×6 (six-wheel or 6WD) indicates three axles with both wheels on each
  • 8×8 (eight-wheel or 8WD) indicates four axles with both wheels on each

Benefits of rotating tires on AWD

Proper tire rotation is the second most cruel maintenance item for any vehicle, even AWDs, after monitoring tire pressure. The reason that the tire should be rotated:

  • Preventing uneven wear is essential.
  • Extend the lifespan of your tires
  • Improve traction, handling, and noise on the road.
  • You can enjoy smooth, safe driving and cost savings with long-lasting tires when your tires are in good shape.

The components of your AWD system will be less stressed if all four tires are as uniform as feasible. If the diameter difference between two tires on the same axle is merely 1/16 of an inch, one tire will spin at a significantly different rate than the other. This can put additional strain on the AWD system, perhaps leading to failure.

Why should you rotate AWD tires?

  • Part-time: One axle obtains power under typical driving situations. The driver can activate the other axle with a button push in slick conditions (or lever).
  • Full-time: At all times, all wheels are propelled.
  • On-demand: Power is immediately transferred to the other axle when the vehicle’s sensors identify slick road conditions until the road conditions return to normal.

Each wheel position will experience a variable degree of steering, weight dispersion, and traction, regardless of your car’s AWD system. Tires wear out more equally when permitted to run in all-wheel positions, reducing the possibility of uneven wear.

How should AWD tires be rotated?

When the seasons change, it is not as simple as taking off your tires, storing them, and putting them back on in any order you want. In fact, there is a specific procedure for rotating tires on an AWD vehicle, and it is critical to follow it.

On an all-wheel-drive car, you must rotate the tires in an “X” pattern, with the left front tire going to the right rear and vice versa and the right front tire going to the left rear. Additionally, if your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system, it must be reset after each tire rotation. Tires mounted on a rear-wheel-drive, or front-wheel-drive car will not be rotated in the same way as those put on a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

It’s also feasible to rotate the front tires in an “X” pattern (left front tire to right rear, right front tire to left rear) and put the rear tires on the front while maintaining their original side (left rear tire to left front and vice versa on the right).

Difference between 4WD and AWD

A central differential distributes the engine’s torque between the two wheels in an all-wheel-drive system, whereas a transfer case acts as a locked differential in a four-wheel-drive system.

Because the system distributes a fixed amount of power to each tire, four-wheel drive is ideal for off-roading and other low-traction situations. The tire with the most traction will obtain the power it needs, preventing the car from being stuck. However, four-wheel-drive doesn’t always operate on the road because it does off-road. A car’s wheels spin at various speeds in a bend. When four-wheel drive is chosen, the system attempts to spin each wheel at the same speed, making on-road maneuvering difficult. As a result, most four-wheel-drive systems can be switched to a two-wheel-drive mode, which is more suitable for road use. 

All-wheel-drive systems are ideal for use on the road because they can deliver power to the wheel (or wheels) that require it the most. Some all-wheel-drive systems feature a set torque distribution between the front and rear axles, but because they use a differential rather than a transfer case, they don’t have the same cornering concerns as four-wheel-drive systems.


There’s a big difference between rotating your tires regularly and letting them wear out. Though the former is more expensive, the latter is riskier and can result in death. Apart from the inconvenience and time lost while on a daily pleasure cruise or a necessary work trip, a burst tire affects your entire psychology and may damage your vehicle if it causes an accident. Always refer to your owner’s manual for information on how often to rotate your tires.

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