Why the Different Crossing Pattern When Rotating Tires

eastern WA
My 2500HD wears the rear tires faster since it runs in RWD mode most of the time. Every time i swap winter to summer tires or vice versa, I put the tires with more tread on the back and all four tires wear out evenly.

Same deal with my wife’s Subaru, only hers wears the front tires out a little faster and her snow tires are directional, so I put the two tires with the most tread on front under the constraint that they are rotating the correct direction.

So far so good. If anyone sees anything dangerous about this, please let me know!


$50 Site Donor
Phoenix, AZ
My experience with vehicle owners manuals is that vehicle manufacturers don't update tire information in their manuals very often. It is frequently the same from year to year and decades can go by without anyone even considering an update. I suspect Mercedes may be one of those.

Ya' see, in the early days of steel belted radial tires, they were prone to steel to rubber adhesion problems. It was thought that changing the direction of rotation would aggravate the problem, so all the tire manufacturers issued service bulletins recommending against cross rotation and strongly worded the bulletins to emphasize same side rotation. Since the front to rear portion of tire rotation is THEE most important part of tire rotation, I wonder if Mercedes still thinks that there is very little benefit from cross rotation and no harm with a same side rotation pattern, that they see no need to change.
I wonder if Mercedes is just playing it safe, as many of their cars have become more performance oriented and directional tires are more popular in those sizes, which cross rotating isn’t a good idea with.

My Genesis can only do left to right rotations, which I can with this set. Couldn’t with my directional set.
Decatur AL USA
Sorta slow on the uptake but I just happened to be YouTubing and saw where you rotate FWD and RWD tires differently.

FWD you cross the rears and move front tires straight back and RWD you cross the fronts and move rear tires straight to the front.

Why is that? It seems to me if you involve a cross of any kind that all 4 tires will see all 4 positions in the life of the tires.

Just curious what the reasoning is for the different crosses based on FWD or RWD?

They do see all positions that's the point of it.

Let's take the RWD -
1. RR
2. RF
3. LR
4. LF
After that you start over.

The difference in the two cross patterns for RWD vs FWD is that's what has been proven to do the best job at squiring up the tread wear because of the different demands on the tires in each system.
Just adding some data points. Mazda CX-5 AWD owners manual indicates a crossing pattern with the rears going rear to front, side to side every 7,500 miles. My fronts with 3,000 miles (non OEM) are both developing a heel-toe pattern (front of tread block higher and sharp, sloping backwards. Photo below taken from front of vehicle), so hopefully this rotation pattern takes care of it.



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I have a 2015 F150 4x2 and when I have the tires rotated every tire dealer including the Ford dealer, rotates front to back with no crossover. I have the tires rotated every 8000-10,000 miles.
Greenville SC
I have a 2015 F150 4x2 and when I have the tires rotated every tire dealer including the Ford dealer, rotates front to back with no crossover. I have the tires rotated every 8000-10,000 miles.
That's what my dealer wanted to do. I printed the manual page that specified (2008 F150 4x2) rear-to-front, front crossed-to-rear. He was glad to do that.
I asked Discount Tire this very question. They told me it doesn't matter at all unless you have directional tires.

I've always just made an X, except the one time I had directional tires. I've always gotten the mileage warranty, or more, out of tires.