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How to Cross Rotate Your Own Tires (With Video)

Hardlymoving writes about do-it-yourself automobile maintenance on various makes and models.

Cross Tire Rotation Pattern

Cross Tire Rotation Pattern

Summary

To even out the wear on all four tires, it's necessary to remove and remount the tires to different corners of the car every 6000 to 8000 miles. Just moving the tires from the front to the rear or vice versa will not result in even tire wear. A cross tire rotation pattern, where the front tires are moved to the opposite side on the rear and the rear tires move to the front on the same side, will result in all tires travelling to each corner of the car after four tire rotations with 24 to 32 thousand miles of wear.

To perform this cross rotation, all four wheels must be off the ground. This do-it-yourself article provides a easy method of doing this with only two jack stands and one hydraulic jack.

This three-minute video will provide you with visual step-by-step help for completing this service. The steps are also described lower down in the article.

1. Raising the Front End of the Car

If you are crossing the front tires to the rear, you will begin by lifting the front end of the car.

Before starting, engage the parking brake.

All cars have lift points to raise the wheels off the ground. On the Toyota Camry, there's a central lift point on both the front and rear end where two wheels can be lifted together. If you have a car with no central lift point, each corner must be lifted and then supported with a jack stand.

  • Position the hydraulic jack under the front end's center lift point and jack the car up.
  • Afterwards, position jack stands on each corner and lower the car on the stands.
  • Relieve the tension on the lug nuts. If you do not have a powered impact driver tool, use your lug wrench assisted with a breaker bar. See the video below.

Video: How to Use a Cheater Bar for Removing Lug Nuts (1.5 Minutes)

2. Removing the Front Tires

  • Unbolt the lug nuts on the front wheels.
  • Move each front tire to the rear of the car on the opposite side.

3. Raising the Rear End of the Car

  • Locate the central lift point at the car's rear end.
  • Position the hydraulic jack at the lift point and raise the rear end.

As you are lifting the rear end, you will notice the front end tilting downward. This is the reason you remove the front tires before raising the rear end! If you don't remove the front tires first, this step may tilt the front end enough to put the tires in contact with the ground.

4. Exchanging the Front Tires With the Rear Tires

  • Remove the rear tires and move them to the front.
  • Mount the front tires (which had been previously moved to the rear) on the rear hubs. Make sure the wheel is on the center ring of the wheel hub. You can keep the wheel centered by placing your toe on the bottom edge of the tire to prevent the tire from slipping off.
  • Screw on one lug all the way with your lug wrench or long socket.
  • Install the remaining lugs.

5. Mounting the Rear Tires to the Front End

  • Lower and remove the hydraulic jack from the rear end. This will raise the front end of the car and allow ground room to mount the rear tires to the front.
  • Mount the rear tires to the front.
  • Start by installing one lug nut all the way followed by the remaining lugs.

6. Removing the Front-End Jack Stands

  • Position the hydraulic jack at the front end's lift point.
  • Lift the car off of the jack stands and remove the stands.
  • Lower and remove the hydraulic jack.

7. Applying Final Torque to the Lug Nuts

The tension on the lug nuts should be about 80 lbs. High and uneven lug nut tension can warp the brake rotors. You may be able to detect warped rotors if when you apply the brakes your steering wheel shakes (front rotors) or your seat shakes (rear rotors).

Even lug nut tension can be assured using a torque wrench (see the video below). Mechanical 1/2" torque wrenches can be purchased for around $20.

The final torque to the lug nuts should be applied using the "star" pattern, to ensure a uniform distribution of load across the wheel hub. In the star pattern, the lugs are tightened in an alternating pattern (first tighten one lug in the 180-degree position, then pick the next one to tighten in as close to the 0-degree position as possible).

Video: Why and How to Use a Torque Wrench (6 Minutes)

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 hardlymoving

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