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Motormouth: Rotating tires

Bob Weber, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

Q: I have always been told that tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Now I just saw an article that said to rotate them "only if needed." Is that correct? Is it OK to not rotate them if they appear to be wearing evenly?

T.M., Bemidji, Minn.

A: I used to suggest rotating tires at every second oil change. The 3,000-mile oil changes are gone, but rotation every 7,000 to 8,000 miles is still good. The plan is to have all four tires wear at the same rate and get replaced at the same time. If your car has different size tires on the front and rear, do not rotate. Is your car a Corvette ZO6? If so, the front tires are 19-inch diameter and the rears are 20-inch.

Q: Being a very frugal person, I switched from 4/40 to air-conditioning years ago when I learned that driving with windows open ruins the aerodynamics of an automobile and reduces gas mileage dramatically. Plus, the noise with windows open is hard to live with.

M.H., Chicago

A: You confirm with what I said in this column a couple weeks ago.


Q: Your response about keeping the windows open may not save gas. My 2011 Honda Fit loses as much as 10% when I run the A/C. A Honda Fit only has about 125 HP so A/C drag is more significant for small cars.

R.A., Minneapolis

A: To every rule, there is an exception. I need to research this in greater detail.

Q: As regards J.F. in Chicago with the locking lug nuts on his 2002 Corvette; I would suggest that he take his car to a Chevrolet dealership. If the locking lug nuts were installed when the car was originally purchased, a dealership might have a master socket. When I take our Honda to my Honda dealership for tire rotation, they don't need my unlock socket, as they have a master socket.


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