Tire Rotation On AWD

What Vehicle is an AWD?

The most common forms of all-wheel drive are:

4×4 powered by two axles each on both wheels.

The all-wheel-drive mechanism is helpful in sloppy conditions and when driving over moderate off-road terrain.

All-wheel-drive vehicles are vehicles with a power train and the capability of functioning with all its wheels when needed or all the time.

It keeps you moving through mud, sand, and other loose surfaces.

Most AWD systems deliver power primarily to one set of wheels, front or rear at a time.

The most common forms of all-wheel drive are 4×4 (four-wheel or 4WD) reflecting two axles with both wheels on each, 6×6 (six-wheel or 6WD) reflecting three axles with both wheels on each, and 8×8 (eight-wheel or 8WD) reflecting four axles with both wheels on each.

You will get to know more about tire rotation on AWD (all-wheel-drive) in this article.

tire rotation awd

Any Difference Between 4WD and AWD?

Specifically, an all-wheel-drive system uses a center differential to distribute the engine’s torque between the two axles, while four-wheel drive relies on a transfer case, which functions as a locked differential.

Four-wheel drive is great for off-roading and other low-traction scenarios, since the system sends a fixed amount of power to each tire. Whichever tire has the most traction is guaranteed to get the power it needs, helping prevent the vehicle from getting stuck.

But four-wheel drive often doesn’t work on the road for the exact same reason it works so well off-road.

In a corner, the wheels of a car spin at different speeds.

With four-wheel drive selected, the system tries to get each wheel spinning at similar speeds, which makes on-road cornering difficult.

That’s why most four-wheel-drive systems can be operated in a two-wheel-drive mode, which is recommended for road use.

All-wheel-drive systems are great for road usage because they can actively send power to the wheel (or wheels) that need it most.

Some all-wheel-drive systems have a fixed torque split between the front and rear axles, but those don’t have the same issues with cornering as four-wheel-drive systems since they rely on a differential rather than a transfer case.

Do you rotate tires on All-Wheel-Drive Vehicle?

It is necessary because regardless of tire and vehicle type, each wheel position on an AWD platform sees varying degrees of driving traction and steering.

Regular intervals of tire rotation between every 5,000 to 7,500 miles will maximize tire life and provide the best available traction and handling balance for the vehicle as well as rest of mind for the driver.

More importantly, AWD (all-wheel drive) or four-wheel drive autos need tire rotation the most because there is a huge difference in the tread depth on the 4 wheels, putting an additional strain on the car’s drive train.

When and what is the correct pattern to rotate tires?

The first to take note of is close monitoring of variation in tread depth to ensure that it does not go over a recommended amount as specified by the tire manufacturer.

The amount of forces acting on the tread is astounding due to a vehicle’s weight, speed, and traction requirements.

As far as tire wear is concerned, the mechanism that induces tire wear is slip.

As elementary physics taught on friction, the force required to move an object along a surface equals the coefficient of friction multiplied by the load on the object.

Therefore, continuous pressure in tire on same spot for over a long period is not only unsafe but highly damaging.

Considering that a vehicle’s weight distribution is generally on the front axle and on the rear axle, the re­duced load on the rear tires can sometimes result in higher irregular wear be­cause there is not enough weight to prevent straight-ahead rolling slip.

An improper rear alignment will certainly guarantee irregular wear.

Regularly scheduled tire rotation is critical for long and even wear.

Allowing each tire to run on every wheel position during the life of the tire will mix up the duty cycle for the tread pattern and prevent irregular wear patterns from setting in and reducing overall tread life.

Irreg­ular wear patterns also produce unnecessary and elevated tread noise.

The best practice is to rotate your tires every 8,000-10,000 kilometers (to maximize tire life, provide the best traction and handling) or every other oil change.

For front-wheel drive vehicles, the Forward-X rotation is recommended.

For rear-wheel-drive vehicles, the Rear­ward-X or X-rotation is best.

This as­sumes that the front and rear tire sizes are the same.

Where you have different sizes with non-directional tread patterns, rotation from side to side is the only option.

Asymmetric tread patterns can be considered non-directional.

Front-to-rear rotation is applicable for directional tread patterns with the same size front and rear.

Simple tire rotation does not apply to directional tread patterns with different front and rear sizes. The only option is to have the tires dismounted and remounted on the opposite side of the vehicle.

For rear-wheel drive or AWD/4WD, we advise that you take the two rear tires to the front fixing the one from right to the left, and taking the front tires to the rear fixing the one from right to the left and the left to the right.

It is however necessary you check your owner’s manual for guides on how often you should rotate your tires.

tire rotation on All Wheel Drive

Is tire rotation necessary?

Rotating tires is necessary to equalize wear. Front tires wear a lot faster than rear tires because as you make turns there is more pressure on the outer edges of the front tires.

It is important to rotate your tires so they wear evenly as front tires wear more on the sides from turning, while rears wear down the middle.

Front tires wear a lot faster than rear tires because as you make turns there is more pressure on the outer edges of the front tires.

In addition to normal driving, things like three-point turns, parallel parking, U-turns, etc. put additional stresses on your front tires that your rear tires don’t have to deal with.

If you don’t rotate your tires, there is a tendency that you replace those front tires while in that case, the new tires always go on the rear.

For a full-time all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, it’s usually a good idea to rotate or replace all four tires at once to avoid overworking the transfer case that connects the fronts and rear drive axles as well as to ensure that all four tires wear at the same rate.

How much would tire rotation cost?

The cost of rotating your tires can vary widely depending on where you’re having the service done. In general, you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $50 for tire rotation, although you can probably find a lower price if you shop around as location and its economic dictates will determine pricing by the service provider.


There is a wide disparity between having a regular tire rotation and leaving the tires to wear.

Though the former cost you a little more, the latter is dangerous and can cost a life.

Apart from the discomfort and delay a burst in the tire can cost you while on your regular pleasure cruise or a critical business assignment, it affects your total psyche and may cause further damage to your car if results in an accident.

Always check your owner’s manual for guides on how often you should rotate your tires.

We hope you will find this article informative and helpful for tire rotation on AWD.

If you have any comments or questions, kindly leave them in the box below, we will be glad to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *