On front wheel drive cars, it is especially important to rotate your tires periodically because the front tires wear faster than the rear. Uneven tire tread thickness, front to rear, will give you uneven braking and poor handling, especially in the rain. If you don’t rotate the tires, you’ll wind up replacing them two at the time, which means you’ll always have uneven tread thickness. Replacing tires in a matched set of four will keep the handling and braking traction of the car balanced.
On certain cars, you may experience an additional problem when you do not rotate the tires: tire noise or humming on smooth roads. If you notice a humming noise, check the rear tires for a “saw-tooth” wear pattern on the inside and outside shoulder of the tire. You can detect this by running your hand back and forth along the edges of the tire tread. Be careful not to cut yourself on debris or exposed steel belt wire. If it feels smooth in one direction, but jagged in the other, you may have found some of your noise. This condition happens on some front wheel drive vehicles with tires that have tread blocks on the shoulder of the tire. Rotating this tire to the other side of the car should even out this type of wear and quiet down the humming. Check your owner’s manual for the proper rotation method. Most front wheel drive cars require the following rotation method:
Warning: If you have directional tires such as Goodyear Aquat reads they must never be crossed over to the other side of the car. You can tell by the fact that they will have a clearly marked arrow on the sidewall showing the direction of rotation.