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    Thread: Rotating Tires at Costco

    1. Member MozartMan's Avatar
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      Jul 30th, 2010
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      2009 Routan SEL, 2011 Genesis 4.6 V8
      04-29-2019 07:18 PM #1
      Hello everybody.

      My wife drives our 2009 VW Routan SEL minivan. I bought new tires at Costco on 11/19/17. Mileage on the van was 54,307 at the time of purchase. Costco put sticker on the windshield with mileage set at 61,807 to come back to rotate tires. I was not paying attention to sticker (because my wife drives minivan) and missed set mileage by 3,000 miles. Current mileage on the van is 64,500.

      Anyway, I went to Costco this Sunday and drooped van to rotate tires, and went back home. An hour later Costco rep called me and said:

      - We cannot cross rotate tires (fronts <=> rears) because your fronts are at 7 and rears are at 10 (I assume 32nds).
      - We can only cross rotate tires if they are 2/32 within each other.
      - If we cross rotate them you may/will get over steering.
      - We can only rotate them cross axle, but you will not get any benefits.

      Is this true what Costco rep said, or are they giving me baloney?

      Please educate your fellow Routan owner.

      Thanks.
      2009 Calla Lily White Volkswagen Routan SEL (base)

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    3. Member
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      Jun 23rd, 2011
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      2005 Passat GLS TDI, 2009 Routan SEL
      05-05-2019 12:24 PM #2
      You probably have already made a decision on this being this occurred a week ago. But I find it odd. Costco has no reason (financially) to do this, and they typically treat their members very well. But I have problem agreeing with them on it. The point of rotating tires front to back is that front tires wear faster, so when it comes time to rotate tires the rears will typically will have more tread life remaining than fronts (assuming all four tires were installed at the same time). So you rotate them to prolong the life of the worn tires, and go back and forth through the life of the tires. That's the whole point of the practice.

      And it is not uncommon to have tires with more than 2/32" difference because it is rather common for people to replace tires in pairs when the other two tires have half life remaining (e.g., 6/32" or 8/32" tread remaining). So I don't see what their problem is with rotating them or having the differential between front and rears of 3/32" or more. It is not a safety issue really. I would ask them if they are recommending not rotating them, or if it is their policy. If it is not their policy, then insist on them doing it anyway despite their recommendation not do so. If the person objects, ask for a manager.

      I will grant them that it is standard practice when buying only a pair of new tires to put the new tires on the rear and older tires in the front. But I don't think that is reason to stop rotating them afterwards.

      As far as overshooting the rotate & balance mileage interval, Volkswagen usually has 10K mile rotate & balance schedule and that trumps the recommendation of the tire shop as far as warranty claims are concerned. Problem is Routan follows the Chrysler maintenance schedule and not Volkswagen's, but you could try that argument and see where it takes you if they try to deny warranty claims. These vans are hard on tires and I have never gotten much better than 50% of the mileage warranty on any set of tires I have had on this van, and that includes Michelins, Yokohamas, and the original Continentals. Currently running the Michelin Defender tires with 90k mile warranty and have 46k miles on them, and they are nearing the end of their tread life. I might get one more rotation/balance out of them before replacement. The warranty is very important when you wind up getting 40-50% discount off the replacement set.

    4. Member MozartMan's Avatar
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      2009 Routan SEL, 2011 Genesis 4.6 V8
      05-05-2019 02:25 PM #3
      Thanks for reply Zambee.

      Apparently Pep Boys have very similar 2/32 tire rotation policy:

      https://www.pepboys.com/auto-service.../tire-rotation

      All four tires were installed at the same time. I still didn't decide to be (rotate) or not to be (not to rotate)
      2009 Calla Lily White Volkswagen Routan SEL (base)

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    6. 05-07-2019 10:19 PM #4
      It's a liability thing. You can rotate them yourself in 20 minutes with the factory tools in the van.

      Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
      Bumblebee Tuna

    7. Member MozartMan's Avatar
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      05-08-2019 07:35 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by DieGTi View Post
      It's a liability thing. You can rotate them yourself in 20 minutes with the factory tools in the van.

      Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
      Thanks. I will definitely rotate tires.
      2009 Calla Lily White Volkswagen Routan SEL (base)

    8. 05-09-2019 08:59 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by MozartMan View Post
      Thanks. I will definitely rotate tires.
      Do NOT rotate tires, ever, on any modern car!!!!

      With radial ties, you can NOT switch the direction of their rotation without ruining them and making them get extremely noisy and a bumpy ride.
      That is because the radially wrapped cords run on a 45 degree angle, and stretch from acceleration.
      If you switch the side of the car they were on, you will be running them backwards, and the slack from the stretched cords will cause them to bulge and vibrate.

      You can switch front to back, but that accomplishes absolutely no good at all, and it hides any possible evidence of any alignment or suspension problem that should be fixed instead of hidden.

      Rotating tires is from back in the mid 1960s and earlier, where some cars had known uneven tire wear from suspension short comings, like the swing axle bug would wear rear tires on the outside, due to the high degree of camber.
      No car in the last 50 years should ever have its tires rotated.
      When front tires wear out faster with front wheel drive, just replace the fronts more often than the rear.

      Rotating tires can only cause harm and does absolutely nothing good at all.

    9. 05-09-2019 09:13 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by kirk_augustin View Post
      Do NOT rotate tires, ever, on any modern car!!!!

      With radial ties, you can NOT switch the direction of their rotation without ruining them and making them get extremely noisy and a bumpy ride.
      That is because the radially wrapped cords run on a 45 degree angle, and stretch from acceleration.
      If you switch the side of the car they were on, you will be running them backwards, and the slack from the stretched cords will cause them to bulge and vibrate.

      You can switch front to back, but that accomplishes absolutely no good at all, and it hides any possible evidence of any alignment or suspension problem that should be fixed instead of hidden.

      Rotating tires is from back in the mid 1960s and earlier, where some cars had known uneven tire wear from suspension short comings, like the swing axle bug would wear rear tires on the outside, due to the high degree of camber.
      No car in the last 50 years should ever have its tires rotated.
      When front tires wear out faster with front wheel drive, just replace the fronts more often than the rear.

      Rotating tires can only cause harm and does absolutely nothing good at all.
      100% Disagreed. Especially in climates with demanding traction requirements. Asymmetrical lateral grip is a recipe for very real danger and potential disaster. Never would I run front tires down to wear indicators and leave full tread on the rear. Ever. That's how you understeer and crash. Obviously you don't disrespect directional indicators on a tire... Nobody instructed that.

      Regular attention to wear and proper rotation to ensure wear remains within spec for all 4 corners is the correct approach.

      Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
      Bumblebee Tuna

    10. Member
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      05-10-2019 10:23 AM #8
      Also disagree, but the point is also not very relevant. Most people don't put directional tires on minivans anyway, and cross-rotating ("X") fell out of favor in the 1980s and nearly all tire shops rotate front-to-back/back-to-front on the same side of the vehicle. Many places refuse to cross-rotate as a policy. The only time you really hear of going right-to-left (or vice versa) is when trying to isolate a noise that is difficult to identify to see if the sound follows the wheel/tire or is in the suspension.

      Failing to rotate tires at the recommended interval of the auto manufacturer (or tire shop if the auto manufacturer doesn't provide a recommended interval) will void your tire warranty. Which is not a very good idea especially with the Chryco minivans that often don't get much more than 50% of warrantied miles on a tire.

      I just don't think 3/32" differential is a real risk when you are talking of tires with remaining life of 10/32" (rears) and 7/32" (fronts). That is approx. 85% and 60% of remaining tire life. I would swap those and put the 10s on the front until the tread depths equal out.

      Now if it were 2/32" on the fronts and 5/32" on the rears, then I wouldn't rotate them. I'd be looking at replacements instead.

    11. Member MozartMan's Avatar
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      2009 Routan SEL, 2011 Genesis 4.6 V8
      05-12-2019 12:39 PM #9
      I went to Discount Tire yesterday. I told rep that Costco refused to rotate tires. Rep said that some companies have such strict policy, but he said he didn't see a problem after measuring tread on all four tires.

      They rotated tires, for free. Happy ending, case closed.
      2009 Calla Lily White Volkswagen Routan SEL (base)

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