Do You Need To Rotate Tires On AWD – AWD Tire Rotation

Driving is not all about moving the car, you need to ensure that you drive keeping a check on the safety of its components. Most people aren’t aware of the methods of the basic techniques to get optimal performance from the car. Tires rotation is one of them. 

When it comes to tires rotation, you might be having confusion that do you need to rotate tires on AWD. Well, this is the thing most people aren’t aware of. The tire rotation helps a lot in keeping the vehicles on low maintenance mode. 

awd tire rotation

Even if some people are aware of it, they don’t really know how to go for all-wheel drive tire rotation. In this article, we’ve tried to cover all the relevant information that you need to know about it. Stick till the end and you’ll end up getting more information about the matter. 

Why do you need to rotate tires on AWD?

AWD vehicles have power trains and are capable of functioning with all wheels whenever required or maybe every time. Most people are having confusion about the AWD vehicles that they don’t require tire rotation because of continuous delivery of power to all four tires by the AWD systems. 

But tire rotation is necessary in order to improve tire life and also reduce the uneven tread wear risk. Also, there is a reduced risk of the imbalanced vehicle due to the AWD tire rotation between the front and rear of the vehicle. In addition, this AWD tire rotation provides better handling and a more comfortable ride for AWD vehicles. 

Also Check Best Antifreeze For Diesel Engines

AWD Systems

There are many variations of AWD systems being developed by automobile manufacturers and developers. 

Part-time: In this type of AWD system only one axle is receiving power but when there are certain conditions examined or observed by the driver he can engage the second axle by pressing the lever or button.

Full time:  In full-time AWD systems the wheels are receiving power all the time.

On-demand: When the AWD vehicle sensor detects several road conditions like slippery roads the AWD system delivers the power to the other axle until the conditions normalize.

Irrespective of whatever the AWD System your AWD vehicle has every wheel will bear a different degree of steering, traction, and weight depression.

How Often Do I Need To Rotate The AWD Tire?

How often the rotation of AWD tires should be done depends on the tire type of your AWD vehicle. Most of the tire manufacturers suggest rotating the tires after every 7500 miles but according to some manufacturers, the tires need to be rotated after intervals of 5000 miles.

awd tire rotation

AWD tires need to be changed, not any two of them as it can cause disturbance in the distribution of forces between the front and rear wheels. It is necessary to rotate the AWD tires in a clockwise direction. 

AWD Tire Rotation

Now the question arises what’s the best pattern to be used for AWD tire rotation. The answer to the question depends upon the type of your AWD tires. The tires are directional or non-directional and whether the size of the tire is unique or not also affects the pattern to be followed for AWD tire rotation. There are three traditional patterns that can be followed;

  1. Rearward cross: This rearward cross pattern is mostly recommended for AWD tire rotation. The rear tires are being moved to the forward axle while kept on the same side of the AWD vehicle and the front tires are moved to the opposite side of the rear axle.
  2. X-Pattern: The X-pattern of AWD vehicles is recommended to the front wheel drive vehicle in which all of the tires are being rotated diagonally (cross direction).
  3. Forward cross: The forward cross pattern is the most common pattern used for front-wheel drive AWD vehicles. Front axle tires of AWD vehicles are moved back and the rear tires are moved diagonally upward.

All of the above three techniques are for uniform and non-directional AWD tires.

How do AWD and 4WD differ?

The all-wheel-drive system utilizes a center differential that splits the engine’s torque between the two axles. On the other hand, the four-wheel-drive follows a transfer system. This performs more like a differential lock. 

When talking about four-wheel, it’s a perfect option for off-roading, and when planning for other low-traction cases. In this case, a fixed amount of power is provided to each tire. The tire with the most traction gets consistent power as needed throughout. It prevents the vehicle from getting stuck. 

A four-wheel isn’t an ideal choice when riding on paved roads. The reason because the corner spinning speed of the wheel may differ. All the tires in four-wheel riding keep spinning which makes it a real deal when handling cars on the road. 

You May Also Like Best Oil for Cars with over 200000 Miles

To keep the driving safe, four wheels are driven on two wheels on the road. Whereas, all-wheels are a perfect choice to send consistent power to the wheels on road. Some of the all-wheel-drive systems produce a fixed amount of torque to the front and rear axles.

do you need to rotate tires on awd

But you have to face the cornering issue in that as well. The fact that it works on differential rather than the transfer case makes it less cooperative for the tires. All-wheel drive is preferably more useful than 4WD. 

Can we rotate in the spare tire?

Rotating in a spare tire will only be useful if the spare tire is worn as much as the other four tires on your AWD vehicle. In order to do so, the five-wheel rotation method needs to be applied. If your spare tire is a donut you need to consult your owner’s manual, as donuts are just to provide you the facility to reach a point till you can find a new tire. Donuts are usually small in size than the original full-sized tires.

Is it bad to have different tires on an AWD car?

You may need to change all tires in some of the cars at once but it is not the case for front wheel or rear wheel drive cars it can only be done on AWD cars. AWD cars need a balanced and precise grip on each tire. Having a mismatch of tires can lead to problems with your car alignment and then the latter can cause burnout to your drivetrain.


While driving, the safety of both the driver and the car is important. Sometimes the things that seem dull are the life saviors. Driving while keeping it safe and fun is always a wise choice. In addition, for the sake of your vehicle’s tires longevity, it is better to put on the type of rotation that is most suitable. 

Both 4WD and AWD have their own usages and perks. It’s advisable that you use them according to the need. Whatever you select, select it carefully. We hope this piece of the article has made you more clear about the rotation you need to opt for your car. Have a safe drive!


Do AWD cars need tire rotation?

Tires rotation is one of the significant things to opt for the extended tire’s life and minimizing the vehicle maintenance cost. Tires rotation equalizes the amount of tear to each tire. That’s why it’s highly important that you make a wise choice when it comes to selecting the right type of rotation. Also, when it needs to be chosen is another factor to consider. 

Do all wheel drive cars need tire rotation?

Yes, it’s highly important for all-wheel-drive cars to rotate. When talking about the tire’s longevity and protection, tires rotation is that thing that the automotive experts suggest. The wisest choice that you can make to have a fun and safe drive is tires rotation. It not only makes the experience seamless but keeps the car components safe offering them low maintenance at the same time. 

Leave a Comment