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Registered User
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Santa Clarita, CA, USA
Posts: 303
Tire Rotation Question

Buddy Jon had vibration in his steering... balanced tires some time back... no change in vibration... Tie Rods looks and felt great... no play in the wheel bearings.... Not sure how much play in the steering rack is allowable..

In any case, we dropped it off for an alignment at a local tire shop,... daughter of the owner, who runs the place when he is away, went out and looked at the tires and said, "There is some scalloping... your tires are bad" Now I am no expert, and Jon worked at a tire shop some 30 years ago when he was a teenager and we could not see or feel any scalloping...

Owner's daughter tells us... "X" rotate the tires... front right to left rear and front left to right rear"... Jon and I say, "Is that O.K. if they are radial"... looking at Jon's gray hair... she says... 'in the old days, you couldn't do it, but now you can. ... So thinking about my car I pipe up and say, "so how about if you have a directional tread pattern and an embossed arrow on the side of the tire indicating a prefered direction of rotation?" She says, "You can cross rotate those also, except for.... blah blah blah special tires... and the directional tread tires will run better in the rain when they run the opposite direction"...

So we go home, cross rotate Jon's tires and what was a very strong vibration is gone!... I look at the directional treads on my tires... and they do look like they would run better in the rain if they were reversed...

O.K. tire experts....How about some confirmation or backup information on all this..

- Dave

---still learning stuff
Old 09-30-2002, 12:24 PM
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Never left, but not right
Zeke's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Long Beach CA
Posts: 30,972
Well, she's right on the X rotation. You can do it anyway you like nowdays. AS far as directional tires, I'd stay with manufacture's specs. If you run a tire in the wrong direction, what would be a tendency to evacuate water out to the edges, could turn into a tendency to collect the water under the tire tread. Certainly depends on the tire in question.

Last edited by Zeke; 09-30-2002 at 06:04 PM..
Old 09-30-2002, 12:42 PM
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Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Savannah, GA, USA
Posts: 653
Interesting post. This is one of things I've wondered about with street tires. Normally with X-pattern tire rotation you cross the fronts to the rear and move the rears directly forward. I would not do this with with directional rotation tires. And what if you have 205's on the front and 225's on the rear? No rotation. Something to consider.

Old 09-30-2002, 05:32 PM
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kellzey's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 1,409
My Boxster is my first car with fatter tires in the rear than the front and with unidirectional tires.

Stupid me.. I bring my car in to the Porsche dealer for a small warranty repair item and tell them to rotate the tires while they have it. They look at me and laugh. And I'm like... you should do it every 3k to 5k miles... and they laugh again. Then then give me the 411 on the different dimension tires. Duh!

So, brilliant me says.. well then can you just swap the tires left and right?... and then I get the 411 on the directional tire business.

So long story short... tires stay put until replacement time.
Old 09-30-2002, 06:28 PM
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