Front Wheel Drive Tire Rotation Patterns

Front Wheel Drive Tire Rotation Patterns

Tire rotation is an important preventative maintenance step that helps to ensure your tires wear evenly. Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles (or more frequently for aggressive, all-terrain or off-road-focused patterns) allows each tire to spend time at each wheel position on the vehicle.

This helps keep the wear even and maintains the vehicle’s proper handling balance while maximizing tire life and tread warranty coverage. Additionally, if your tires wear out as a set, you can replace them all at the same time instead of having to match up an existing pair.

Tire rotations should be done in accordance with the owner’s manual or as established by the tire industry and diagrams can help guide you if necessary.

Important! Before deciding on a tire rotation pattern, it’s important to determine whether your vehicle is equipped with directional or non-directional tires.

Directional vs Non-Directional Tires

Directional vs Non-Directional Tires Infographic
  • Directional tires are designed to only rotate in a specified direction. This type of tire has a unique tread pattern that is engineered to provide increased traction and performance on wet or dry roads. Directional tires have a V-shaped tread pattern that channels water away from the center of the tire and outwards.
  • Non-directional tires do not have this specific tread shape and can be rotated in any direction. Non-directional tires are usually used for everyday vehicles and are more affordable than directional tires.

Front Wheel Drive Tire Rotation: Non-Directional Tires

Front Wheel Drive Tire Rotation: Forward Cross Tire Rotation Pattern

Forward Cross

This pattern involves moving the front axle tires to the back, while the rear tires are moved up diagonally to the opposite side of the front axle.

X-Pattern Tire Rotation Pattern


This pattern involves moving all four tires to opposite axles and sides so that each tire has been moved diagonally from its original position.

Front Wheel Drive Tire Rotation: 5 Tire Rotation

Forward Cross Tire Rotation Pattern With Spare Tire

Forward Cross

The two rear tires are moved diagonally to opposite sides on the front axle, with the right front tire becoming the new spare tire. The original spare tire is then repositioned to the right side of the rear axle, while the left front tire is shifted directly back into the left rear position.

Front Wheel Drive Tire Rotation: Directional Tires

Front-To-Back Tire Rotation Pattern


The tires are shifted from one axle to another but kept on the same side of the vehicle. The left tire at the front is relocated to the rear left side and the left tire at the back is moved to the front left side.

Differently-Sized Directional Tires

Side-To-Side Tire Rotation Pattern


The tires must be exchanged with their same-sized companions and stay on the same axle. Both rear tires are switched to the opposite side, as do both front tires.

Why Is Tire Rotation Important?

Tire rotation is an important part of vehicle maintenance that helps ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your tires. Here are some reasons why tire rotation is important:

  • Even Wear – Regularly rotating your tires helps to even out the wear and tear on each tire so they all wear at the same rate. This helps maximize the life of all four tires, as well as make sure they last through many miles before needing a replacement.
  • Safe Driving – Having unevenly-worn tires can lead to unsafe driving conditions, such as hydroplaning, loss of control due to poor traction and skidding in wet or icy situations. Rotating your tires regularly ensures that you have good tread depth and grip on all four tires for safer driving conditions.
  • Cost Savings – Regularly rotating your tires helps reduce costly replacements over time, since it helps minimize damage and maximizes their lifespan. By spending a little now to rotate your tires, you can save a lot in the long run from preventative maintenance costs like replacements or repairs due to improper wear-and-tear.