If you care about safety and saving money, regular car maintenance should be high on your priorities list. Unfortunately, tire rotation is often overlooked in this department.
Periodic tire rotation can extend the service life of your tires, improve fuel economy, and enhance the safety and handling of your car. If you’re worried that it’s going to put a dent in your wallet, keep reading as we answer the question: how much does tire rotation cost?
The Short Answer
If you do it yourself, the cost of a tire rotation will depend on whether or not you already have the necessary tools. If you do, then the job would only cost you some time. Otherwise, the total cost will vary according to the prices you end up paying for each item.
If you seek professional service, you should expect a total cost between $40 and $80 for a tire rotation job, including the labor rate.
When Should You Rotate Your Tires?
Generally speaking, if you ask: how many miles for tire rotation? the answer is that you should rotate your tires at least every 6 months or every 3,000 miles to 8,000 miles. What you may not know is that this time frame can vary depending on several factors including the frequency of driving, the model of the vehicle, and whether your vehicle is front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive.
If you can’t keep track of your vehicle’s mileage or you tend to forget schedules, keep an eye out for the following signs as they usually mean it’s time for you to do a tire rotation:
- If one side of the tires looks more worn than the other.
- Your car often starts to shake violently when you drive at a speed faster than 45 miles per hour.
- Your tires don’t hold air as efficiently as they used to and tend to lose pressure frequently.
Why Rotate Your Tires Periodically?
Periodic tire rotation helps prevent flat tires on the road by making sure that no two tires are enduring a disproportionate amount of wear and tear. It also gives you a chance to inspect your tires, locate any damage, and even inflate them.
Additionally, tire rotation can result in less noise on the road, better traction on slippery surfaces, and less stress on the drivetrain.
You might also be interested in our blog – How Often Do You Rotate Your Tires?
How to Rotate Tires
How to do a tire rotation? The following is a simple guide to the rotation patterns of tires depending on your car’s type of drive:
- For front-drive vehicles: switch the back tires with the front ones on the same side, then put the back tires at the opposite front corners respectively.
- For rear-drive vehicles: switch the front tires with the back ones on the same side, then put the front tires at the opposite back corners respectively.
- For all-wheel-drive vehicles: you’ll switch all four tires in a scissor-like configuration where the right front goes to the left rear and vice-versa, and the left front goes to the right back and vice-versa.
Before all else, you need to make sure whether or not you can even rotate your vehicle’s tires.
Sometimes vehicles are equipped with directional tires where the tread pattern is meant to work in one direction only, indicated by an arrow on the sidewall or by a V-shaped tread pattern.
You can easily swap such wheels and tires from front to back, but you can’t swap them from one side to the other without dismounting the tire from the wheel.
Some cars have the same size tires on all four corners, but with slightly different offsets. In this case, you can swap wheels from side to side if the tires aren’t directional, but you’ll have to dismount the tires to swap them from front to back.
How Much Does a Tire Rotation Cost?
It’s time to crunch some numbers, so let’s take a closer look at how much a tire rotation can cost.
If You Do it Yourself
The easiest way to save money when it comes to tire rotation is by simply doing the work yourself. You may ask: how long does it take to rotate tires? The process shouldn’t take you much longer than half an hour and it’s pretty straightforward.
As for the cost, in this case, it’ll depend on whether or not you already have the necessary tools. These include a breaker bar, sockets, trolley jack, 4 axle stands, torque wrench, and latex/nitrile gloves.
Now if you do have the equipment, rotating your tires would only cost you some time, which should take much longer than half an hour even for a beginner. If not, then the total cost will vary according to the prices you end up paying for each item.
A rough estimate here is around $400 to $500 for brand new equipment. This may sound a lot, but you get to keep it all forever and use it whenever you want.
Such an investment is worth it for many people who drive frequently. If that’s not you, then you may want to consider the next option.
If a Professional Does it
If you seek professional service to do a tire rotation, you should expect to pay around $10 to $20 per wheel. The pricing for this job factors in labor, which means it really comes down to the labor rate at your local auto shop.
Consequently, you’re looking at a total cost somewhere between $40 and $80 for a tire rotation job.
So how much does tire rotation cost? Well, it depends on who’s going to do the job.
If you’re relying on yourself, then the cost of a tire rotation will change according to tool availability. If you already own the required tools, then you’ll only have to invest some time. Otherwise, the total cost will equal the prices you end up paying for each item.
On the other hand, if you seek professional service, you’ll get charged around $40 to $80 for a tire rotation job, including the labor rate.
But if you decide to rotate tires on your own, here are our guides to help you: