How to

How to rotate tires with one jack – Recommendations from an expert

The tires are among the most important parts of the car. Their health and condition determine how smooth your ride can be. This is why you must make sure that they are always in great shape.

But why does the need for rotating tires arise from time to time? Well, this is because the front tires and the rear tires have different thresholds for wear and tear. The front ones usually wear faster, and after a period of time, this causes imbalance. This imbalance then starts affecting the drive and performance. Rotating the tires will help bring the balance back, also ensuring that the tires grip the road well regardless of the conditions.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out with this.

Can you rotate tires with one jack?

Cars usually have a jack, which you can use if you don’t have a dedicated jack for the same. This is because these jacks can only lift the car for a short time. We recommend that you buy a floor jack for this purpose. Don’t worry, it has other uses as well and won’t be a waste. Along with a car jack, you need jack stands. 

You can definitely use just one jack to rotate tires, but remember, you need jack stands for sure. Solely a jack will not help.

Can you rotate tires with one jack

Learning about types of tires

To learn how to rotate tires. you should learn about the types of tires as well. There are two – directional and non-directional. 

Directional tires move either in the right direction or left. They cannot move both ways. This is why they must be rotated accordingly. Their sidewall usually has an indication of their direction. To rotate them, you will need to swap them with the rear counterparts (front left and rear left & front right and rear right).

Non-directional tires can rotate both ways. So, you must use the cross pattern for them. This means that you switch the front left with the rear right and vice versa. 

How to rotate tires with one jack

How to rotate tires with one jack

The entire process will take around 20 minutes if followed meticulously. The steps are as follows:

  1. For your safety, ensure that the parking brake of your car is engaged.
  2. Loosen the tires’ lug nuts one after the other.
  3. Use the car jack to lift one wheel and put the stands underneath. Since you have just one jack and probably 2 stands, you will have to lift and lower the car more times than usual. But that’s okay. 
  4. Switch the tires either in a cross pattern or on the same side, depending on the type of tire you have. 
  5. Tighten the lug nuts once you switch the tires.
  6. Lower your car and use a wrench to tighten the screws further. Tighten them diagonally so that the tightening is even.

Things to remember

Below are a few pointers that will come handy. 

  1. Rotate your tires once every 3000 to 5000 miles.
  2. It is best to have a mechanic help you with this because he knows what he is doing, and it will save a lot of hassle. However, if you are interested in auto works, you can go the DIY route as well. 
  3. Usually, using just one jack can be dangerous, but with jack stands, the process becomes easier and safer. 

We hope this article helps you rotate tires with one jack with ease. If you have any doubts, please ask us. We are looking forward to your comments. 

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