How To Rotate Tires With One Jack? Step-by-step Guide

To rotate your tires with one jack, first, bring your car to a stop and loosen the lug nuts on the wheels. Use a jack to lift your car and support it by placing the jack stands one by one under all the tires. Remove the tires and rotate them following the appropriate pattern. Once finished, remove the jack stands and lower your car to complete the tire rotation process.

A step-by-step guide is included in this article to guide you through the process. Learn  how to rotate tires with one jack in six easy steps and a few additional useful information too.

A Complete Guide On How To Rotate Tires With One Jack

Just like every automotive related maintenance, tire rotation also got some huge cost associated to it. If you wan to avoid this tire rotation cost, then you have to DIY it. Tire rotation is normal thing but not rotating tire can serious effect tire life. To rotate your tire using one jack, you will need the tools listed below. 

  1. Car jack
  2. Lug wrench
  3. Torque wrench
  4. Four jack stands

As you now have all the tools ready, follow the step-by-step guide below:

Step 1: Bring Your Car to A Stop and Engage The Parking Brake

Park your car on level ground and preferably in an isolated place, like a garage. To prevent the car from toppling over, set it to the parking brake.

Step 2: Loosen the Lug Nuts With The Help of a Lug Wrench  

Slightly twist just the lug nuts to release the tension. Don’t completely remove the lug nuts yet. You need to do this while the tire is on the ground. This is done so that the ground prevents it from rotating while you loosen the lug nuts and studs. 

Step 3: Use Your Jack to Lift Your Car Off The Ground

Now, lift your car using the jack. To find the lifting points, refer to your owner’s manual. 

For lifting electric vehicles you need to be extra careful in this step, as their batteries are located on the underside. 

Step 4: Place Jack Stands Under The Car For Support

Once you have successfully lifted the car enough off the ground, place the jack stands under the tires. This is a critical step and needs to follow through smoothly, we have a video for you here.

Lower the jack slightly to put the entire weight of the car on the stands. Give your car a slight tilt to ensure everything is firmly in place. With only one jack, you may need to lift each tire side separately and place the jack stand or may have to lift front and back tires separately and place jack stand beneath each. 

Step 5: Remove The Tires From Your Car and Rotate Them According to the Proper Pattern 

Now, remove and replace the tires accordingly. The rotation will be done based on the rotation pattern that your tires require. 

If your tires are directional, rotate by swapping the front right tires with the rear right tires. Do the same front-to-rear swapping on the left tires.

For non-directional tires, there are multiple patterns you may follow based on your drive system and requirement. The following video will help you to understand different types of tire rotation patterns with ease:

Step 6: Remove the Jack Stands and Gently Lower Your Car Back to The Ground

Tighten the nuts and studs, until your tires begin to spin. Raise the jack slightly in order to clear the jack stands. Be careful and don’t go under the car at this time. After this, as you lower the car to the ground, tighten up the tires to an appropriate torque level. 

How Long Does It Take To Rotate A Tire With One Jack?

Usually, it takes about 30 minutes to rotate your tires using one jack. However, this job can take up to an hour depending on your level of expertise. 

Factors To Consider If You Want To Rotate Your Own Tires

Rotating your tires by yourself can be a great way to save money, however, we do not recommend it under the following circumstances:

  1. You don’t have a jack stand 
  2. You don’t have a jack at all
  3. You don’t have access to an area that is suitable for rotating tires
  4. You have a heavy car
  5. Your parking brake is not functional

How Often Should You Rotate Your Tires? 

On average, you should rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. This may be needed to be done sooner or later, depending on your vehicle, driving style, and tire type.

If you do not rotate your tires frequently, your tire may begin to have uneven wear that will stay undetected for long periods of time. Eventually, a wear pattern may result that cannot be fixed at all. Thus, tire replacements will be needed more frequently.

All in all, regular tire rotations can enhance the longevity of your tires and provide even wear for smoother rides. Most importantly, it will save you money in the long run.

Is A One Jack Tire Rotation Safe? 

Since tire rotation is a task usually done by professionals, it is important that you take proper precautions when doing it yourself. Listed below are key safety concerns for this process. 

  1. Use jack stands only as a tool to support the car.
  2. Make sure the vehicle is securely rested on jack stands while suspended in the air.
  3. Only use appropriately rated jack stands. For large vehicles, 3-ton jacks are appropriate. For smaller cars, use 2-ton jacks.


Are There Any Wrong Ways To Rotate Tires?

There are, in fact, wrong ways to rotate tires. If you move directional tires to the wrong side of the vehicle, it is a mistake. Also, if you move staggered wheels or tires to the wrong axle, it is the wrong way to rotate tires. Any other way of tire rotation is beneficial for your tires in general. 

Why Won’t They Rotate My Tires?

They won’t rotate your tires if you have staggered wheel sets. Also, they won’t rotate your tires if the tires have less than 4/32” tread depth left as it’s not recommended.

How Long Do Tires Last Without Rotations?

If you don’t rotate the tires, a replacement of the front tires will be needed for every 20,000 miles. The rear tires, on the other hand, may last up to 60,000 miles.


That was all you need to know on how to rotate tires with one jack. We hope this guide will comprehensively assist you in your tire rotation endeavors. Don’t forget to check the safety instructions before the process!

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.