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Regular tire rotations are an integral part of controlling wear along the tires’ rubber treads and maximizing their lifespans. However, it isn’t enough to simply move your tires around—they also need to be switched in a certain way depending on their type. Otherwise, you risk wearing them down even faster than you did before. These are some of the different tire rotation patterns and how to determine which one will be most beneficial to your car.

Rearward Cross

To start, the rearward cross pattern is used on cars that are either 4-wheel, all-wheel, or rear-wheel drive. This is because the rear wheels are what receive the majority of wear in these cases. Rearward cross means that the two rear tires move straight up to the front, and the front tires move backward diagonally. It’s important to note that using this pattern assumes your tires are all the same size and have a non-directional tread pattern.

Forward Cross

The forward cross pattern works in a similar way, but instead of the rear tires moving straight forward, the front tires will rotate laterally to the rear, and the rear tires will cross diagonally when pulled forward. This is most often done on cars with front-wheel drive or models that receive the most amount of wear in the front.


The X-pattern is also used on front-wheel drive vehicles as a way to further even out wear between the left and right sides. In these cases, both the front and back tires cross over one another as they rotate. As with the previous two patterns, this method is also only used on tires that are all the same size and have non-directional treads. This is due to the fact that they can be used in any position without affecting the vehicle’s performance.


On the other hand, the front-to-rear pattern is more straight-forward. This means that rather than crossing the rotated tires, they simply move from front to back or back to front. Strategies like these are used when a car is equipped with high-performance or tires that could be of different sizes.


Another of the different tire rotation patterns is the side-to-side method. As with front-to-rear, none of the tires should cross during this rotation. Instead of moving forward or back, they’ll rotate from left to right and right to left. Side-to-side is also the most useful when dealing with high-performance or directional tires because the car’s driving will be changed should one tire end up in the wrong spot. Figuring out the best tire rotation pattern for your tires and vehicle can often be confusing. This is why our team at RNR Tire Express will work with you individually and assess your specific needs. Our tire shop in Greenville, SC, is staffed with many experienced mechanics who will teach you all there is to know about tire rotation and will perform this process themselves. We also specialize in selling quality tires. So, should you need replacements, you’ll have immediate access to what you need.

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