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Tire rotation


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17 replies to this topic

#1 David Peters

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:38 PM

I'm approaching 7,500 miles on my new 05 Forester XS. Should I take it to a dealer for the rotation or is any tire shop okay? I just need rotation not re-balancing...........what is a fair price for this service ? Thanks.

#2 ballitch

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:41 PM

make sure the shop you take it to uses laser alignments, not a measuring tape, i use les schwab up here in the PNW......in cali i have no clue of were you would take it besides the dealer.




~Josh~

#3 SevenSisters

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 08:52 PM

1. You should have a full size spare to rotate, but that's another thread.
2. Lug nut torque is important so don't let someone use an impact wrench to tighten the nuts.
3. Check your owners manual for the proper rotation pattern and make sure they follow it.
4. If you are mechanically inclined and have the tools (Torque wrench, sockets, jack, stands), this is an easy job that will allow you to look at the brake condition and suspension.

Newspaper should be full of rotation ads. Maybe $30-40??

#4 Tiny Clark

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 01:42 AM

Doing it yourself would be the novel approach.

#5 kickson

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 11:25 AM

I'm not sure what a fair price is, but I took my outback in for the 15k maintenance yesterday and the dealer did the rotation and balancing for $30. I would think rotation alone should be inexpensive.

#6 BulletRide

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 11:42 AM

I'm not sure what a fair price is, but I took my outback in for the 15k maintenance yesterday and the dealer did the rotation and balancing for $30. I would think rotation alone should be inexpensive.


rotation is free in many places...but not if only want that done


canadian tire is the best place to go...if theres any near you

#7 kickson

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 07:08 PM

I've got a quick question regarding rotating tires. Is it okay for a plugged tire to be rotated to the front? I had a flat over a month ago that either got plugged or patched, but I heard that at least for a FWD that it's best not to rotate it to the front. Does the same go for AWD?

#8 SevenSisters

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 08:14 PM

If the tire was just plugged, save the receipt so your wife can sue the dealer after you have a blow out.
Any tire repair should involve demounting to inspect for damage and a proper patch in addition to a plug to seal water from rusting the belts.
If it was done right, it won't hurt to run it on the front, assuming you didn't run it flat for any time.

#9 zooma37

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 10:57 PM

I have another question regarding tire rotation. Tires are always supposed to rotated front to back and back to front - never crossed. Correct?

#10 Tiny Clark

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 01:10 AM

I've heard both rotation theories zooma. The never-crossed one came out with the influx of the radial tire. But I've also heard it doesn't matter.

I have two sets of tires and don't mark them at all. I've never had any problems, and I'm not sure if they get run the other direction or not. I also don't buy the most expensive tire either.

As far as plugging, I've been doing this for nail holes for at least 10 years, and never had a plug fail, no matter the position, and I usually run at 85-90 on the autobahn.

#11 grossgary

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 01:27 AM

i've plugged dozens of holes myself with no problems. take your time and cut the plug down flat to the lowest part of the tire to prevent it from pulling out. i wouldn't trust a shop to do a plug, i'd make them patch it. they'll get some hee haw new guy to do it.

i agree, if you took it some place, they should dismount the tire and patch it. being a new car i would think there's some kind of warranty on the tires. or they would at least fix that (the right way) for free. common place and easy to do.

at 215,000 miles i've never gotten an alignment (owned car since 105,000) and drive a sensitive first generation 4EAT AWD automatic transmission. i always swap front to back, keep tires on the same side. so long as the tires are wearing evenly, that's what matters. actual tire rotation patterns and all are a waste of my time, that's why it's confusing listening to different people. tire condition is key. the transmission couldn't give a s!!t which tire you put where. OMG YOU ROTATED INCORRECTLY YOUR ATF IS GOING TO BOIL!!! it only cares about the actual tread pattern on the tires. sometimes tire wear or transmission power distribution dictate different rotating patterns but in my experience my XT6 has excellent wear patterns at 215,000 miles with no alignment ever. and i go offroading all the time, smashed the front control arm in half in the snow, installed all new suspension bushings, ball joints, axles and hubs rebuilt...and still no alignment. perfect wear patterns on my tires right now that have 40,000 miles and need replaced.

and yes use a good torque wrench and do it yourself. very easy to do. why have your tires balanced. i bet they aren't balancing them. they'll charge you for balancing but since it doesn't need done they'll look at them for about 10 seconds maybe spin them once on the machine and say they're fine, because they probably are. but if it makes you feel better that it says "tires balanced" on the invoice, then go ahead and take care of your vehicle as it is a good one.

#12 Speedwagon

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 03:01 PM

First off, tire rotation is completely dependent on the tires you have on your car. I run Firestone Firehawks, which are directional. That means I can only rotate front to back, unless, of course, I want to dismount and remount the tires on the opposite side. BUT, some tires are directional, and SIDE SPECIFIC. So then there is only the one option, front to back, never swapping sides. And on certain cars, you just can't rotate. Different size front to back, with directional or side specific tire.

Most tires are just standard tread, and can handle being rotated anywhere on the car. If it doesn't say anything on the sidewall about direction or side, you are good to put it anywhere you want.

Secondly, almost no shop will use a torque wrench on your wheels. Normally though, they are supposed to use torque sticks on the impact gun. These are set rates, and the stick used on a Subaru is 80ft/lbs. If you are unfamiliar with these, the stick is about 8 inches long, and at the set rate, it flexes causing the gun to 'bounce' and stopping the tightening.

Also, no shop should be doing an on rim tire plug. I believe it is standard practice at all tire shops to dismount the tire and plug from the inside.


And last.. dang it's been a long time since I've been over here.. :)

#13 OswaldtheBold

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 08:57 PM

First off, tire rotation is completely dependent on the tires you have on your car. I run Firestone Firehawks, which are directional. That means I can only rotate front to back, unless, of course, I want to dismount and remount the tires on the opposite side. BUT, some tires are directional, and SIDE SPECIFIC. So then there is only the one option, front to back, never swapping sides. And on certain cars, you just can't rotate. Different size front to back, with directional or side specific tire.

Most tires are just standard tread, and can handle being rotated anywhere on the car. If it doesn't say anything on the sidewall about direction or side, you are good to put it anywhere you want.

Secondly, almost no shop will use a torque wrench on your wheels. Normally though, they are supposed to use torque sticks on the impact gun. These are set rates, and the stick used on a Subaru is 80ft/lbs. If you are unfamiliar with these, the stick is about 8 inches long, and at the set rate, it flexes causing the gun to 'bounce' and stopping the tightening.

Also, no shop should be doing an on rim tire plug. I believe it is standard practice at all tire shops to dismount the tire and plug from the inside.


And last.. dang it's been a long time since I've been over here.. :)

Both tire shops I've dealt with here (Big O and Discount Tire) use "torque sticks" to snug up the lug nuts, then tighten with a torque wrench. Discount even writes the specified torque on the work order before the car goes in the shop. If you go to a tire shop and don't see them using a torque wrench , and using it properly, leave promptly and shop somewhere else!

#14 Speedwagon

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 09:03 PM

What do you fear will happen if they do not use a torque wrench?

#15 Tiny Clark

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 04:34 AM

The rotors can warp from stress, if the wheel nuts are too tight when they get hot, for one thing.

#16 grossgary

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 05:51 AM

can toast wheel bearings on an SVX.

#17 Speedwagon

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 07:44 PM

can toast wheel bearings on an SVX.


How does theh wheel bearing come into play in this? You are attaching the wheel to the hub, all of which is outside the bearing.

And torque sticks are fairly accurate. If you feel the need to worry about such things, be my guest. But I have seen no evidence of such things happening, and I've tightened with torque sticks, and just with the gun. I also drive pretty hard. I have never had warped discs. But I also let up on the brakes when I come to a stop, and don't let hotspots happen.

#18 scooby dooo

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 08:02 PM

when i had my bfg traction control tires installed at sears i was amused to see that they used an impact wrench to mount the rims and then use a torque wrench to make sure they were sufficiently tight...right idea wrong execution i guess

1. You should have a full size spare to rotate, but that's another thread.
2. Lug nut torque is important so don't let someone use an impact wrench to tighten the nuts.
3. Check your owners manual for the proper rotation pattern and make sure they follow it.
4. If you are mechanically inclined and have the tools (Torque wrench, sockets, jack, stands), this is an easy job that will allow you to look at the brake condition and suspension.

Newspaper should be full of rotation ads. Maybe $30-40??






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