The 60 Dollar Tire Rotation

Hey Cool Car Fans,

I’m often amazed at what some dealerships get away with when it comes to charging for their repair services. Recently, I purchased a 2017 BMW 430 x-drive vehicle for a client and I always get an oil change and inspection prior to delivery.

In this case, I dropped the vehicle off at the local BMW shop where they say advertise that they use Castrol synthetic oil and they charge $135 for an oil change. This is a bit high, but I wanted them to check on recalls as well as look over the vehicle as well for any warranty work that’s needed. I was told by a tech that it is actually Pennzoil synthetic that they are using, while advertising Castrol, which is really pathetic that some franchise dealerships do this sort of thing.

I wanted to get a tire rotation as well for my client and they called me back to tell me that it was $60 for a tire rotation. This is pretty unreal considering that if you go to a local tire shop and ask them to check the brakes they will usually do a tire rotation for free. Most smaller repair shops charge at the most about $10 per tire, so $15 a tire at a dealership isn’t that terrible.

However, I’ve seen shops charge as much as $125 for a tire rotation, which is totally insane. In my case, time is money since I typically get a vehicle in and if I’m taking it to a franchise dealership it’s easier for me to pay for an overpriced tire rotation and oil change than run it around to various shops. It’s also a good idea when you are first getting a used car to run it to a franchise dealership and even if you get an oil change or tire rotation you are now in the system for that vehicle as the new owner for recall notices, etc.

Also, if you need warranty work down the road the vehicle has been in the system for any future warranty issues that may come up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve traded for used vehicles and I have gone to the franchise dealership to get warranty work done and there is no record of any work done in the system.

It can be a pain if you can’t prove proper maintenance has been done as some manufacturers like to play games about their warranties. I have found that some manufacturers want you to do all routine maintenance on the vehicle at the dealership in order to honor the warranty. They are not supposed to do this, but they often do depending on the brand.

Most mechanics will tell you that tire rotation is an integral part of car care regimen. It’s important that you rotate the tire position of each tir every few thousand miles. The advantage of doing routine tire rotation is that it can increase tire longevity, which is a cost savings of having to replace tires. It also can improve safety while driving. The tires can be rotated in multiple patterns and there is some debate on the best way to rotate depending on the tires and the vehicle, but you can usually check the owner’s manual for the recommended rotation pattern. However, people often change the type of tire or tread pattern from the original tires.

I’ve often found too that many manufacturers put on really cheap tires initially, which makes sense since they are looking for cost savings when they are manufacturing a vehicle. I’ve seen the cost of a tire rotations range from free – $125 and if you buy a set of tires many places will offer you free rotations. It’s important to shop around when you’re getting vehicle serviced. The cost tire rotation lies between $24-$120 relying on where the motorist takes his intermediary.


If you’re going to a dealership to get repair work done it’s important to ask what their “dollar per hour” charge is for service. It’s pretty crazy, some of the franchise dealerships are charging attorney rates to work on your vehicle.


Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy
John is an auto consultant who owns, a licensed car dealership in Lone Tree, CO. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

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