Tire Rotation Process | Which One Is The Best

Last updated on January 6th, 2024 at 12:18 pm

tire rotation process

The tire rotation process includes changing the tire place and fitting it into another place or axle. The reason for doing all this effort is to properly distribute forces among all four tires of the car so that all tires wear off evenly and equally as the expiration date arrives for the tire tread.  

The term tire rotation is not as complicated of a thing as mechanics and car professionals show it to you; it is as simple as changing your flat wheel with your spare wheels; however, instead of one tire, you have to change all four of your car wheels. 

There are different processes of tire rotation, and different tread pattern tires require different methods to rotate them. But worry not; in this article, we will explain each method and also tell if you have a certain tire, and which method of rotation you should choose. So, let’s start with the processes: 

Tire Rotation Processes

There are five types of methods of performing tire rotation X-pattern, Rearward Cross, Staggered cross, Forward Cross, and spare wheel cross.  

1. X-Pattern Rotation

x-pattern tire rotation process
Tire Rotation in X-pattern

The X-Pattern rotation is the process of replacing the tire in x ways; for example, the right side front axle wheel will switch place with the left side rear axle, and the left side front axle wheel will switch place with the right side rear axle wheel. The reason for doing X-Pattern is to utilize all sides of tires, which can not be utilized if they work only in one direction.

2. Forward Cross rotation

Forward Cross Tire Rotation Process
Tire rotation in a forward cross

The Forward cross-rotation process moves the front tires in an X shape similar to X-Pattern. However, the rear axle tires move in a straight direction. For example, the right-side front axle wheel will replace the left-side rear axle, and the left-side front axle wheel will go to the right-side rear axle wheel. However, the left side rear wheel will go to the left side front wheel, and the right side rear wheel will go the right side front wheel.

The reason for doing that is when you drive a front wheel-based car; the front tires drag a lot more than the rear tire. That is why when the rear wheel tire comes in the same direction, they will have good tread, and when the front tire changes direction, they will also have better tread. 

3. Rearward Cross rotation

Rearward Cross Tire Rotation Process
Tire rotation in rearward cross

The Rearward Cross rotation is the exact opposite of the Forward Cross. What we do with the front axle tires, we do the same with the rear axle tires, and what we do with the rear axle tires in the Forward Cross, we do with the front axle tires in the Rearward Cross. 

The reason for performing this method is when you have a rear wheel-based vehicle, and the reasoning is the same as well. The rear tire wears off more improperly in rear-wheel cars, and the change of direction delivers proper performance and longer tread durability among all tires. 

4. Staggered Cross rotation

Staggered Cross Tire Rotation Process
Tire rotation in staggered cross

Staggered Cross rotation is when you rotate tires side by side. For example, the front axle right-side tire will switch with the left-side front axle wheel, and the same goes for the rear wheel tires. The reason for doing that is when you have different size front and rear tires, you can not exchange tires with different sizes. Most performance tires and sports car drivers follow this process. 

5. Preferred five/spare rotation

Spare Wheel Tire Rotation Process
Tire rotation including spare wheel

The Preferred five/spare rotation process includes rotation with the spare wheel as well. It is quite different than other methods when you include a spare tire with tire rotation in an X pattern rotation; the rear axle tire moves in a cross or in an x-direction; however, the left side front axle tire comes to the place of the left side rear axle tire and the right side front axle tire switch with the spare wheel. 

This process includes every five tires to drive on every axle of the tire, which is very good for improving the tread and performance of all tires. 

Asymmetric and symmetric tires

You have all these three choices of tire rotation until you have an asymmetric or symmetric tread pattern on the tire. Due to their imbalanced design and blocks, these types of tires can change direction and can be placed on either side of the car, right or left; it doesn’t matter. 

However, the car variant and wheelbase also play an important role; even though you can choose any rotation pattern, however, the process you choose according to the car wheelbase will be more effective and give better results. 

Directional tires

For directional patterns, there are no other choices than the X-pattern rotation. The tread of direction tires is different and can only be moved in one direction after it starts moving. 

If you, by mistake, choose other rotation patterns or change the direction of directional tires, the tire will wear off rapidly, and the performance will get worse with time. That is why if you have directional tires, with whichever wheel-based vehicle, rotate them straight for improved performance. 

How often does the tire rotation

It is recommended that after every 5K miles, you should rotate all of your car tires. However, sometimes, it depends on the situation as well; if you have high-performance tires and you drive mostly in extreme conditions, then you should rotate after every 2500 miles for long-term tread performance and equal wear of tires. 


Choosing the right tire rotation process is quite important due to its importance and benefits, and also, if you pick the wrong tire rotation process without noticing the tread pattern of your tires, the tires won’t get any benefit from rotation; instead, they will wear off more quickly. Tire rotation is beneficial, but if negligent, drivers lose their tires after rotation. So make sure you choose the right process and perform it with proper guidelines to maximize the performance of your tires. 

Leave a Comment