The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires.
Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.
SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drive train set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.
Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Your service center will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your service technician puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.
Tires are a big investment for any vehicle. They’re critical for keeping you safely on the road.