Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Directional tires and FWD

I’m considering replacing and upgrading my current tires on my 2004 Honda EX sedan with Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds. The service manager at my Honda dealer (whom I generally trust) recommended against directional tires for FWD vehicles. He said they’re a bad idea and will greatly increase road noise. Can anyone validate or debunk this?

That’s a new one. The only downside I see is that it limits your tire rotations to front/rear, not left/right. Don’t know why he’d say that.

I had directional tires on my Accord and they were less noisy than the original tires they replaced.

A friend has TripleTreds on his FWD Pontiac and he loves them.

Check out for information, including noise ratings, on tires.

Consumer Reports magazine is also a good source of information. They recently tested lots of tires, and noise was one of the things rated. The TripleTred rated “very good” in the noise category, and is a recommended tire.

Because he’s not selling the tires?

I’ve never heard that before.

Tire Rack’s web site probably has review and feedback information on these tires that includes road noise.

OR…He gets a higher profit from another tire he sells…or being promoted that week.

that’s what I was thinking.

I have had three different cars that I used directional tyres on. Two were quieter with the directional tyres (generally those directional tyres have aggressive tread towards the car so the noise goes under the car and the less aggressive (quieter) tyres on the outside for less noise inside the car. The third car was the same or maybe just a tinny less noisy.

Possibly it was due to criss cross tire rotation rather than same side front to back?

Are you replacing the OE Bridgestones?

Yes, there is almost certainly a financial reward for the dealer person afoot here.

I would put most of the tire noise question squarely on the shoulders of the type of tire, that is all season, summer performance, and so on, rather than the drive configuration of the vehicle.

I have Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires on my '04 Civic sedan. At road speeds no noise is audible. At 10-15 mph there is some tread noise, but that is a pass-thru speed when accelerating or slowing down, and not objectionable at all.

If you are concerned with tire noise, be mindful of your tire (tread) type.

I can debunk it. I have directional tires on my car, and they’re no noisier than the originals, and less noisy than the nondirectional Coopers I had on it once. It depends solely on the tire itself. Visit and for consumer feedback on various tires.

By the way, don’t confuse directional tires with asymetrical tires. Directional tires can be run on either side of the vehicle, but should only psin in one direction. Asymetrical tires can only spin in one direction and can only be on a specific side of the car.

Thanks, everyone! My original research was on Tire Rack and both their reviewers and users gave this tire very high marks. The service manager’s comment at my dealership didn’t pass the sniff test to begin with. It’s highly unlikely that tire manufacturers would widely market tires that were not useful for most of the vehicles on the market today.

I’ve order the tires and I’m taking my business to my old mechanic. I consider this myth busted.


You got that backwards. Directional tires have to stay on the same side of the car, but asymetrical tires can be rotated as normal.

They could be put on the other side of the car, but that’d require remounting them on the other rims.

I’ll respectfully disagree on this one. Asymetrical tread designs have different tread on the outside edge than on the inside edge. Directional tires, such as the ones I have, are designed to disperse water from the center but are symetrical from side to side. They can be changed to the other side if put on the other rims, but they cannot be rotated backwards or the tread moves the water toward the center rather than the outward.

You may want to read this:

Nice link. It says exactly what I said. Perhaps my articulation needs work.

By the way, I really mean that it’s a nice link. The photos explain the difference much more clearly than I was apparently able to.