Last Updated on 12 months by Ollie Barker
Tire rotation is one of the important car maintenance routines when you have your car serviced but how to tell if dealer rotated tires. In this article, I’ll share with you 3 methods from easy to hard so you can keep track of your tires.
What is tire rotation?
Tire rotation is an important part of regular car maintenance which is recommended to do every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Tire rotation aims to prolong tire life by giving them equal wear. As we drive our cars around town and drive on different roads, the front tires take a different kind of beating than the back tires which makes it important for them to be rotated periodically.
To remind of you this, you can check your tire rotation indicator sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb or door edge. It is designed to tell you when and how often your tires should be rotated. This can be done at any time of the year and usually says, “Check tire rotation every _______ miles.” This is the number of miles your car has been driven since you last rotated your tires. There are a few things to note about this sticker. It can get dirty making it harder to read so it is best to check at least every 3,000 miles.
How to tell if the dealer rotated tires?
There are a few ways you can do to tell if the dealer rotated your tires:
- Use your own marking
- Check tire code ways
- Use valve stem cap
Before taking your car to the mechanic, you will be marking the tires with letters such as RL, FR, and RR. If the tires are marked in one way or another that means they were rotated.
#2 Tire Codes
This is one of the easiest ways to tell if your tires have been rotated. Every tire has imprinted codes on its sidewall. The chance that all 4 tires of yours are the same is very less likely. Thus, you can remember the codes to see if your tires have been rotated.
#3 Use valve stem cap
By removing the valve stem cap on one of your tires and you can tell if that specific tire has changed. Usually, this method is not well recommended as the dealership might remove the caps to check for pressure. However, if you aren’t able to do the 2 methods above, then this one can come in handy.
Is tire rotation necessary?
When rotating your car tires, you might be wondering if tire rotation is necessary. The following are some good reasons why you should rotate your tires.
#1 Consistent tire wear
When rotating your car tires, the pressure in both of them will be equalized. That way the two front tires won’t wear more than the two back ones which can help save on the cost of replacing your tires.
#2 Take care of your tires regarding tread wear
When you rotate your tires, it helps extend the life of your tires by preventing uneven tread wear. This can also save you some cash in the long run.
#3 Prevent rust and corrosion
A well-balanced tire rotation can also help prevent rust and corrosion on your wheels. That way there won’t be a danger of your vehicle being pulled over by a traffic officer because they think a tire is unsafe.
#4 Increase your fuel efficiency
According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Energy, a properly balanced tire rotation can help increase your fuel efficiency by 4 percent.
How do I know if my tires need to be rotated?
Now that you know the benefits of rotating your tires, it’s time to find out how you can tell if your tires need to be rotated. As we drive our cars around and the engine puts pressure on the front tires, the front tires will wear more than the back ones. This is why car manufacturers suggest rotating tires every 3,000 miles. Though this is not a hard and fast rule as some cars could go for 5,000 or even 7,000 miles before needing tire rotation.
How to rotate your tires yourself
Rotating your tires is not difficult at all and you don’t have to take your car to the mechanic on a regular basis. It is recommended that you rotate your tires either every 6,000 miles or after every fourth oil change. Follow the steps below to rotate your tires:
#1 Jack up your car and put it on jack stands
Park your car on a flat surface, apply the parking brake and block it with wheel chocks. Then, use the tire iron to loosen both lug nuts of one of your wheels. Once they are loosened, you can take off the wheel completely.
#2 Mark the tires
Mark the tires with letters such as RW, RL, or FR to help you remember which tire is on which side. You can also use a marker to draw an X on one of your wheels. Then, after you have marked your tires you can either put the wheel back on or get a new wheel depending on the situation.
#3 Rotate all four wheels
After marking your tires and taking them off, put them back on in the same order as they were taken off. The tire with the X on it can be put in any of the four holes.
#4 Put your tires back on
After you have marked your tires and taken them off, put them back on in the same order as they were taken off. The tire with the X on it can be put in any of the four holes. After putting all your wheels back on, tighten their lug nuts by hand but do not over tighten them or you won’t be able to take off your tires again without aid from an external source.
With the 3 methods provided, you can check if the mechanic did a good job doing your tire rotation. Whether you do it yourself or take it to a mechanic, regular tire rotation is one of the most effective ways to extend your tires’ life and increase fuel efficiency.
The other option if you want to keep your tires rotated on a regular basis is to invest in tire rotators. These are an easy and cheap way of keeping the life of your tires extended.