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Directional Tire Rotation...
Nonsense or Not?

The catalyst that sparked my letter today was an article by John Twist of University Motors, in the Spring 1990 Moss Motoring. For quite some time, I've wanted to express my appreciation and enjoyment of Moss Motoring for helping keep my 1968 MGB roadster in daily service for years. Like most people, I suppose complaints take priority over praise; I guess I'm no different.

In his article on preparing one's English car for use after a winter's storage, Mr. John Twist, whose reputation certainly precedes him, made several insightful comments. However, when he mentions tire rotation, I have to take exception. In my business (Bus and Coach), we have had lengthy discussions with all the major tire manufacturers about the importance of maintaining proper directional rotation of a radial tire once it has been put in service. I presume this was Mr. Twist's concern when he mentioned that radial tires should be rotated from front to rear and not side to side (which he correctly states is OK for bias tires).

The determination of our discussions with representatives of Michelin, Firestone, Goodyear, Pirelli and others has been a unanimous acceptance of the idea that it makes no difference which direction a radial tire rotates at any time during the life of the tire. When our coaches are traveling the country, we often encounter service technicians who, like Mr. Twist, erroneously believe that directional rotation must be maintained. It's simply nonsense. We regularly reverse tire rotational direction on vehicles with radial tires costing in excess of $500 each with no ill effects over hundreds of thousands of miles

Although I know I sound mercilessly critical of John Twist's views on radial tires, I simply hope to eradicate the myth of radial tire directional requirements once and for all. Otherwise, I learned several interesting pointers from this article, including cleaning the fuse box! I never thought of that one. Believe it or not, Moss has even helped me in the maintenance of our firm's 1960 Leyland PD-3 Double Decker Bus by supplying Whitworth wrenches and sockets!

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