Syncro Tyre Rotation

Reproduced with permission from www.vanagon.com page on tyre rotation

by Bill Davidson

The Vanagon Syncro owner’s manual (1990) shows a 4 wheel rotation. The rear tyres go to the front, the the front tires go to the rear. The manual also states “Tyres should always remain on the same side of the vehicle.” Tyre shops tell me this is bunk, left over from when radial tyres were relatively new and reversing their rotation could harm the sidewalls. That is not the case nowadays. That said, I have been following the recommended pattern in the owner’s manual and working in my two spares by taking my fronts to spare and then the spares to rear.

However, thinking about a Westfalia and how the weight is all on one side I imagine that the wear pattern will be different on the two sides, and that could be a problem for Syncros. (I know how the load is distributed makes a difference to a good alignment man.) Because of that, I may begin to do a pattern that gives them some time on each side of the vehicle. I don’t think I have so many miles on them yet that it will be too late. This pattern will go as follows:

* right rear to right front
* right front to left rear
* left rear to left front
* left front to right rear

A 5-tyre rotation would go as follows:

* right rear to right front
* right front to spare
* spare to left rear
* left rear to left front
* left front to right rear

A 6-tyre rotation would go as follows:

* right rear to right front
* right front to spare 1
* spare 1 to left rear
* left rear to left front
* left front to spare 2
* spare 2 to right rear

I don’t think the pattern matters much as long as you make sure each tire gets to all the the positions eventually and for an equal amount of time. It’s also important that you keep using the same patter of rotation. You may wish to take the appropriate drawing above and put it into the owner’s manual.

You want to make sure that the tires aren’t marked ‘Rotational’. (This shouldn’t be a worry for most of us, but some might be running funky tires.) If tires are marked ‘Rotational’, they have to stay on the same side of the car because the tire is designed to rotate in one direction (at speed). This marking is mostly seen on performance tires.

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