What Tire Rotation Pattern Should You Use?

Rotating tires


Maintaining your vehicle’s service schedule is an essential part of keeping your Kia in top condition on the Live Oak roads. One of those services is regular tire rotation, a process that can be performed either by a service center or at home, depending on your level of expertise and comfort with vehicle service. Your tires should be rotated every six months or 6,000 miles in order to properly maintain them. 

Although you can rotate your tires yourself, you’ll need to follow a specific pattern that depends on the type of tires your vehicle uses and its drivetrain. What is the proper tire rotation pattern? The service team at Rountree Moore Kia has everything you need to know in the guide below, including how to rotate your Kia’s tires, what rotation pattern to follow, and the difference between directional and non-directional tires.

How to Rotate Tires

What exactly does it mean to rotate your tires? How does rotating your tires help maintain them? These are common questions that Macclenny-area drivers ask, and we’ve got the answers.

Rotating your tires means moving your car;s tires to different positions on the vehicle. Since your back tires may wear out at different rates from the front tires, regularly rotating them ensures that tread wear is evenly distributed. Rotating your tires yourself is a straightforward process, but there are important directives to follow, especially since tire rotation patterns differ depending on the kind of vehicle you drive.

What is the Proper Tire Rotation Pattern?

As stated above, the proper tire rotation pattern you should use depends on your Kia model and drivetrain. Here are some of the most common rotation patterns:

  • Forward Cross: Used most commonly on front-wheel drive vehicles, this type of rotation involves moving the back wheels to the front and vice versa, then switching the left-right orientation of the tires. This means you’ll bring the rear left tire to the front right side, and the rear right tire to the front left side. However, as the name suggests, you only switch the placement of the rear tires. When you move the front wheels to the back, keep them on the same side.
  • X-Pattern: WIth this pattern, you perform the rotation as you would with the Forward Cross, but switch the placement of the front wheels when you move them to the back as well. This means that all wheels take the opposite of their original placement, like an X.
  • Rearward Cross: This pattern is a mirror of the Forward Cross, ideal for rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. You’ll bring the front left tire to the rear right side, and the front right tire to the rear left side. Then, move the rear tires forward and keep them on the same side.

Not sure which rotation pattern is needed for your Kia model? Check your owner’s manual or contact our service center to speak with a technician.

Directional vs. Non-Directional Tires

There’s another element to the tire rotation process that you’ll want to keep in mind: the direction of your tires. This is important to know, because tires with a one-way pattern are specifically meant to go on the left or ride side of the vehicle, while non-directional tires can be placed on either side. Directional tires can be identified by an arrow or triangle marking on the sidewall, indicating which side they should be placed on and which direction the wheel should turn. Whether or not your tires are directional will affect the rotation pattern that you use. You have two options:

  • Directional Tires: Swap the front right tire with the rear right tire, and the front left tire with the rear left tire.
  • Non-Directional Tires: The side and direction of your tires don’t matter, so you can follow any tire rotation pattern you want.

Schedule Kia Tire Rotation Service in Lake City 

Tire rotation is an important part of your vehicle’s maintenance, and will ensure that your tires have long and productive life spans on your Kia. If you have any questions about tire rotation, or want more information about servicing your car, feel free to contact our dealership or visit us near Gainesville anytime!

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