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Bad tires

here the deal, I have four bad tires I can only afford to buy two right now. should I put them on the front or rear. it a rear wheel drive pickup. I plan on getting the other two in about three week.

Rear wheels. You can steer the front wheels, but not the rear wheels. Take it from a person who has had blowouts on both front and rear wheels. A blowout on the front wheel is much easier to control

+1 to Triedaq’s advice.
Additionally, PLEASE do not transport children until you have 4 matching, new tires, and be sure to drive slowly in the rain until you replace all 4.

Unless you are driving to the limits of the tires, which is doubtful, I have heard both sides of the discussion, and think at the end of the day there are qualifications on both sides, In your day to day driving my synopsis.

Replace rears due to spinout prevention,
Replace fronts because if a tire is going to fail it is better to loose a rear for control of the car.

Sure we have been here a million times before, guess we go here again.

If it were me I would put them on the front. A blow out on the front can cause loss of control and steering. I’ve never had a blow out on the front though, just on the back which was no problem at all at freeway speeds. My BIL who drove semi for years said he’d never put a recap on the front and only good new tires on the front due to the loss of control of one blew.

Exactly how bad ARE the current tires? Can you post photos?
What kind of vehicle is this?

The industry recommend always putting new tires on the rear, on the (tested) theory that with the engine’s weight on the front (on a FWD car the front typically has 60% of the weight and the rear 40%, meaning the front has a large weight advantage… i.e. traction advantage) and therefore the rear should have the better tires to compensate. Otherwise you’ll tend to spin out in poor traction.

However, I’d like to know what kind of vehicle this is and exactly what we’re talking about.

@“the same mountainbike” I do not know the industry always recommended putting tires on rear, Ya know recommended stuff changes from day to day, eggs are bad, eggs are good, butter is bad margerine is good, butter is good margerine is bad, salt is bad, salt does not matter because indivuduals handle it no matter what the diet, Diets are good to loose weight, diets don’t work because people gain the weight back, coffee is bad, cofee is good, ad infanatum

You make an excellent point barky.
I saw the test videos demonstrating the theory, but in all honesty I personally prefer the better tires on the front. With the caveat that there should not be a great deal of wear difference allowed to develop between the front and rear tires anyway. Neither end should be allowed to readily display their wear bars. If they’re obvious, it’s time to consider replacements.

In the OP’s case I’d really like more information. We’re shooting blind here.

Rear wheels. It is always recommended to put new tires on the rear, even for FWD vehicles where the drive wheels are up front. Your drive wheels are in the back, as you said. Put the two best wheels on the front and change them as quickly as you can.

@“the same mountainbike” I think we agree if the tires are shot they need to be replaced, so bad tires on any axle pair or wheel are a bad idea.

I see lots of adds where you buy 3 tires and get one free or for a dollar or in our case we bought four and received a 100 dollar gift card.
Even if you have to put two tires on a credit card it is still safer than just two new and two that should be replaced.

New tires should always go on the rear. EDITED: I have no idea why I said front. Brain hiccup I guess.

New tires should always go on the rear.

OK, I did that on purpose, but rather than leave it hanging, I’ll explain why:

In situations where you lose traction, it will come back when you slow down. If you lose traction on the front first, when you slow down you will be pointed in the right direction to potentially steer yourself out of trouble. If you lose traction in the rear first, you are likely to spin, and when you slow down and regain traction, you’ll be pointed in the wrong direction and can not steer yourself out of trouble.

That’s why all the tire manufacturers recommend putting new tires on the rear.

Costco will only put them on the rear since they focus ion the best BRAKING arrangement! To them, traction is secondary to braking ability.

I tend to agree!

Costco will only put them on the rear since they focus ion the best BRAKING arrangement! To them, traction is secondary to braking ability.

huh? braking is mostly via the front tires.

@BillRussel I know what you mean but Costco says that straight line braking and stability is improved with the best tires on the rear!

I had a right rear tire blow at 65 mph on the interstate on a 2003 4Runner while on the interstate and a year later had the left front tire blow out on the 4Runner under the same conditions----65 mph on the interstate. The 4Runner was in 2 wheel drive–so it was a rear wheel drive vehicle. I can tell you that it was much easier to handle the front blowout. The traction control did help in both cases. I also had a rear wheel blowout on my 1950 Chevy pickup. I was going 25 mph and had overloaded the truck. Even at that low speed it was a handful.

Many shops now will refuse to put two new tires on the front rather than the rear. Shops have established this policy in response to a tire industry educational campaign teaching everyone that new tires should be on the rear. The policy comes from testing that was done at the Michelin Test Track on dry and wet roads showing that cars will be much less likely to spin out with the good rubber on the rear. The policies are implemented by the companies for self-protection against liability suits.

The technical explanation is simple. Most cars today are FWD cars with a 60:40 weight distribution, 60% in the front and 40% in the rear. More weight means more traction. Ergo, the front has (all else being equal) 50% more traction than the rear. Putting the better tires on the front exacerbates that inequality, putting them on the rear helps to compensate for it.

I’ve seen the videos. The tests clearly confirm the theory. However, they did not perform any tests on snowy roads, and here in NH where I live Ii prefer the better tires on the front. The rear tires roll in the path cleared by the front tires, so they don’t need the tread as much, and when stopping and steering the bulk of the job goes to the front. But the tires stores in my area refuse to mount the new ones on the front.

Maybe I’m envisioning four badly worn tires and ready to blow at any time which is why I’d rather have the new ones on the front. To me at this point, traction, wet or dry, snow performance etc. was really not much of a consideration to me. It was more a matter of which would you rather have blow out in the couple of weeks it takes to get all four replaced.

One blow out I had on the rear was pulling a trailer with dock sections on it and going at least 60 on a two lane. So with long dock sections it was hard to get an ideal weight distribution on the trailer but still I had no handling trouble at all when the tire went. The biggest problem was getting the tire changed on the highway with no shoulder without getting killed, and getting into town for a tire before they closed.

Be sure that you put the two best bad tires on the front, the two new ones on the rear.