Tire rotation is the the practice of moving automobile wheels and tires from one position on the car to another, to ensure even tire wear. Even tire wear is essential to maintaining consistent performance in the vehicle and to extend the overall life of a set of tires. Tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles.
By design, the weight on the front and rear axles of your car is different, which causes uneven wear. With most cars being front-engine cars, the front axle usually carries the majority of the weight. For rear wheel drive vehicles, the weight distribution between front and back is near 50:50. The result of this is that for front wheel drive cars the front tires wear out at almost twice the rate of the rear tires. Therefore, tire rotation for front-wheel drive vehicles is even more important.
Turning also contributes to uneven wear. The outside of the front tire is worn disproportionately. Also, right turns are tighter than left turns, causing more tire wear.
Mechanical issues in the vehicle may also cause uneven tire wear. The wheels need to not only be aligned with each other but also with the vehicle. The wheel that is out of alignment will tend to be pulled along by the other wheels, causing uneven wear in that tire. Additionally, if a tire is under or over-inflated, then it will wear differently than the other tires on the vehicle. Rotating will not help in this case and the inflation needs to be corrected.