We all know that a well-kept car will last the longest. If you spend your time and money keeping your car nice, you’re going to get the most out of it. This is true for every part of your car, including the tires. You’ve probably heard that rotating your tires will help make them last longer, but most of the time the information is pretty vague as to how much tire rotations matter. To help you discern just how important this small maintenance job is, we decided to take a closer look at how tire rotations impact tire life.

Tire Life Depends on a Variety of Factors

tires with a high mileage rating

Some tires are formulated to last longer than others. The life of a tire depends a lot on its composition. Tire compounds vary dramatically depending on intended use (like with seasonal tires) and price. You can get tires that are designed for regular road cars that will last for 60,000 miles or all the way up to nearly 100,000 miles. Also, different tires are designed to wear differently and some cannot be rotated to any location on the car due to their tread pattern. All of these factors impact tire life.

man checking tire labels

Other factors include your vehicle’s alignment and overall condition. If your car has suspension issues or other damaged parts, your tires could wear out before they’re supposed to. One of the best ways to make sure you get the most out of your tires is to take good care of the rest of your car.

Lastly, taking care of your tires will improve performance and longevity. Keeping them properly inflated helps, too, and so does having them rotated and balanced. You can do this yourself or hire a pro for a small fee. Tire rotations are generally pretty cheap and depending on where you bought your tires, free tire rotations sometimes come with the sale.

Rotating Tires Can Help Them Reach Their Full Mileage Rating

A man with glove performing a tire rotation

Unfortunately, no matter what you do, your tires will never outlast their rated mileage. As we discussed above, different tires are rated for different mileage, and some simply won’t last as long as others. No matter what the tire is rated at, it will be very difficult and honestly dangerous to exceed the rating stated by the manufacturer.

Rotating your tires regularly will make them last longer. That said, according to How Stuff Works, the tires will still only be able to meet their maximum mileage rating at best. Don’t expect to get 100,000 miles out of a tire rated for 60,000 just because you rotated and balanced your tires regularly and made sure everything else in your car was in tip-top shape. Stick to the manufacturer recommendations when it comes to mileage.

Try to Rotate Your Tires at Least Twice a Year

Tire rotation done by a mechanic

Tire rotation and balancing should be done regularly, but just how regularly depends on who you ask. Some recommend every six months or so, but that doesn’t take into account how much people drive. If you’re driving a lot of miles every year, rotating the tires twice a year simply isn’t enough.

Most tire manufacturers recommend you rotate your tires every 7,000 miles or so. That’s a better recommendation than six months because that goes by how much use you’ve gotten out of the tires and not how much time it’s been. Still, if you have trouble remembering to rotate your tires, every six months is better than not doing it at all. Another way to remember is to just have your tires rotated and balanced every time you get an oil change. This helps make it easy to remember and rotating your tires more often than needed won’t hurt them.