4×4 tire rotation is a safety measure that must be performed. There are defined formats on how and how often to do it. Especially, because the tires of 4×4 vehicles must overcome obstacles and irregularities of the terrain. Therefore, the first recommendation is to use the 4×4 tires indicated by the vehicle manufacturer.
In any case, according to the activity carried out with the vehicle, tires of different dimensions are usually fitted on the front and rear axles.
This can generate problems in 4×2 drive axles with the possibility of changing it to 4×4. It can also mean damaging the center differential, in the case of a vehicle with permanent or semi-permanent 4×4 transmission. All this should be taken into account when deciding to perform a 4×4 tire rotation.
Types Of Tires For 4×4 Vehicles
According to the activity to be carried out and the type of road where the vehicle will be driven, the use of one or another type of tire is recommended.
Rotating Road Tires
These tires have the particularity of reacting with ultra-precision in curves and straight lines. They are used for driving in cities and on highways.
Rotating Mixed Use Tires
Mixed tires are used on 4x SUV-type vehicles. They are characterized by very carved grooves and a sharp tread pattern. In addition, they have a structure with reinforced sidewalls. Being multi-purpose, they can be used safely on the road and on other terrains.
Rotating All-Terrain Tires
These all-terrain tires for 4×4 are designed for off-road use. Therefore, they have large rubber knobs and a high void ratio of about 50%. In addition, the tread height is 13 to 17mm and both the structure and sidewalls are reinforced. All these features make these tires very efficient off-road. Learn more about all-terrain tires.
Modifications That Can Be Made To 4×4 Tires
Within the legal regulations, it is allowed to fit tires with different dimensions. Their measurements can be found in the vehicle’s technical data sheet, although generally the diameter of the design should not exceed +/-3%.
If other tire sizes are chosen, they must be homologated with the relevant certification in order to be accepted at the MOT.
This is done to ensure that the tires correspond to the weight and load of the vehicle and are compatible with the vehicle’s axles and suspensions. As for the load index and speed code, they can be equal to or higher than those indicated by the vehicle manufacturer.
Benefits Of 4×4 Tire Rotation
4×4 tire rotation is the action of exchanging the place of the front and rear tires in different ways to extend the service life of the tires and other benefits that we name below.
More Even Tire Wear Without Tire Rotation
Tires wear in a pattern determined by inflation pressure, shock absorber condition, driving style, among other factors. With a well-performed rotation, more homogeneous wear is achieved, extending the tire replacement time.
Increased Safety Rotating Tires
By rotating the tires, more homogeneous wear is achieved, allowing better maneuverability and more balanced traction.
Money Savings Rotating 4×4 Tires
Extending the service life of tires means that less is purchased in a given period of time. An effective use that results in significant cost savings.
How To Rotate 4×4 Tires?
In case the vehicle has front and rear tires with the same dimensions, two patterns of 4×4 tire rotation can be performed.
One is to swap the right rear wheel with the tire located on the left front of the vehicle. At the same time, the right front wheel is swapped with the left rear tire.
The other is to move the rear wheels to the front axle on the same side. The tires that were on the front axle are moved to the rear but crossed.
Instructions On How To Perform 4×4 Tire Rotation
This task can be done at home with the following tools: strong hydraulic jack, cross wrench or power wrench with a socket wrench of the same size as the hexagonal of the bolts, 4 stands or trestles.
The first thing to do is to put the parking brake and the transmission in “Park”. Then, lift the front of the vehicle with the jack. Use the front differential or a cross member of the frame as a support point for the jack.
Then place the jack stands under the axle and lower the front part so that it rests on the jack stands.
The front wheels must not touch the ground. Now repeat the same procedure for the rear of the vehicle. It must be fully supported on the supports and with all four tires free without touching the ground.
Use the wrench to remove the four tires. For a better organization, leave the wheel and its nuts together. Make the tire changes according to the chosen rotation format and place the wheels on the corresponding axles.
Finally, tighten the nuts of the wheels positioned according to the crossing pattern instead of circular. Use the torque wrench to tighten the final nuts.
Once all the tires are properly tightened lower the vehicle starting with the rear of the vehicle and then the front. Now that you know how to rotate 4×4 tires, you will be interested to know why the 4-wheel drive is important.