Informational Guide

How Long Does A Tire Rotation Take?

Your car’s tires must be in good shape to provide on-road safety. One way to ensure maximum effectiveness is to have a regular tire rotation service. How long does a tire rotation take? In this guide, we review the steps to this essential service and examine when it is time to rotate tires. 

Tire rotation requires that you move the tires to a new location on the vehicle. There are different patterns on how the tires should be moved, but the basic principle remains the same. At varying points of the car, pressure is applied differently to the tires.

This pressure causes the tires to wear in an uneven pattern and can cause them to crack. Read through our guide on how to fix cracked tires here.

By moving the tires around, you help the tires wear more evenly. By maintaining better tire tread, you can go longer between replacements. Additionally, a tire that is wearing evenly also provides better protection and a smoother ride.  

How many times can you rotate your tires? There’s no limit to the times you can rotate the tires. Continue rotating them regularly until it is time to replace them.  

importance of  tire rotation

When Is It Time To Rotate Tires? 

  • Mileage  
    Should you follow tire rotation time or miles? It's best if you have the tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. However, some people choose to bundle it with other maintenance services, requiring them to figure out the oil change and tire rotation time instead.
  • Vibration  
    When is it time to rotate tires? If the tires aren't wearing the right way, vibrations can be caused. These vibrations are easily fixed by rotating the tires at different wheels to readjust where the pressure of the vehicle lies.
  • Uneven Wear  
    When pressure is applied to the tires, the tread begins to wear. If the wear is uneven, it’s best to rotate the tires so the tread can be used elsewhere, thereby prolonging the life of the tires.
  • Fuel Efficiency  
    Whenever the tires aren't in optimal condition, the fuel economy of the vehicle can be affected. So not only does the tire tread need to wear evenly, but air pressures should also be checked when fuel economy drops. 
  • Mechanical Problems  
    If you have the vehicle in to repair mechanical problems, you might consider having the tires rotated as well. Bundling services can reduce how long you are waiting, especially when you look at the average tire rotation and balance time. 
tire on a rotation machine

How Long Does A Mechanic Take To Perform A Tire Rotation?

How long does it take to do a tire rotation? If you take the vehicle to a tire shop or mechanic, the job itself will be done very quickly. This is because these locations contain advanced equipment that ensures the tires are moved fast. For example, the Costco tire rotation time might be thirty minutes or less. However, you have to factor in the time it takes to get the vehicle into the shop and any delay caused by other customers. 

Some people prefer to have the tire rotation at the same time as other services to avoid excessive time at the shop. After all, many services can be performed together. For example, how long does an oil change and tire rotation take? In the shop, the average time for an oil change and tire rotation should be between thirty minutes and an hour.  

How long does a tire rotation and balance take? This tire rotation time frame should also be less than an hour. Because the balance requires sophisticated equipment, this is one bundle you probably won’t be able to do at home. 

How long does a tire rotation and alignment take? This average tire rotation time may take slightly longer than an hour, only because of the complicated measurements that must be performed during this service.  

You might also need to visit multiple locations to get these services done. Not all locations will bundle jobs. For example, when you answer how long does a tire rotation take at Discount Tire, you see that this business will not provide an oil change.  

mechanic doing a tire service

Tire Rotation Patterns Explained 

X-Pattern or Forward Cross Pattern 

The forward cross pattern is used with front-wheel-drive cars. Front tires move straight back, while the rear tires move to the opposite sides on the front. The X-pattern is an alternate option where the front tires move back in an X and the rear tires also come forward crisscrossed.

Rearward Cross Pattern 

Rear or four-wheel drive vehicles can use the rearward cross. The rear tires are transferred straight to the front while the front tires move to the opposite rear sides. 

Front To Back Pattern 

Directional tires can only move front and back while remaining on the same side. Therefore, you will not crisscross the tires during the rotation. How long does it take for a tire rotation when moving front to back? These are usually the quickest tire rotations.  

Side To Side Pattern

If the front and rear tires are different sizes, you can only move them side to side. Both front tires will be swapped for one another, while the rear tires are also moved. This pattern only works if the tires are not directional.  

How To Do A Tire Rotation At Home (Step By Step DIY Guide)

How long does a tire rotation and oil change take? If you feel that the waiting time could be an inconvenience, consider doing it at home instead.

  1. 1
    Determine how the tires will be rotated. 
  2. 2
    Park on a level surface and lift the vehicle with a jack. 
  3. 3
    Secure the vehicle on jack stands. 
  4. 4
    Remove the lug nuts to get the wheel off. 
  5. 5
    Transfer each tire to its appropriate location. 
  6. 6
    Torque the lug nuts back to proper specs. 
  7. 7
    Gently lower the vehicle and take it for a test drive.  

If you don’t have the appropriate tools or expertise to complete the tire rotation, take the vehicle to a professional. Cutting down the tire rotation time will mean nothing if you perform the task in an unsafe manner.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much does it cost to rotate your tires?

The total cost for a tire rotation should be less than $50. However, some tire shops include the rotation with other services or as a package when you purchase the tires.  

What happens if you do not rotate your tires? 

If the tires aren't rotated, the tread will wear unevenly. Over time, you will notice issues with the ride, especially when traveling over bumps, and the tires will wear out prematurely.

Does rotating tires extend life? 

Yes, by moving the tires to a new location, you ensure that the tread wears evenly. It’s possible to extend the life of the tires by spreading out the wear appropriately.  

How many miles before you should rotate your tires? 

It’s recommended to have the tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. You might need to do it more often if you are hard on your tires. You can pair this service with other maintenance tasks, such as the regular oil change.  


How long does a tire balance and rotation take? When you bundle services, you can still expect to be in and out of the shop quickly. For example, the average wait time for an oil change and tire rotation should still be just thirty minutes to an hour, allowing you to get back on the road quickly.