Been having a debate about where to install 2 new tires. I’m being told that they must go to the rear, regardless of whether the vehicle is fwd or rwd. I say if you can’t steer it or stop it, it ain’t gonna matter much. What do you think?
I think this issue is WAY over-blown… Putting new tires on the front is certainly going to change the way the car steers. Most drivers quickly figure this out and compensate their steering responses and stay out of trouble…When you put them on the back, the steering response stays pretty much the same as it was so accident investigators and trial lawyers are kept under control…
Conventional wisdom say the new tires will have better grip under all conditions but that’s simply not true. The worn tires are likely to have better grip on dry pavement, where most of us spend 90% of our time…So the cars handling characteristics will always be changing depending on road conditions. All of this could be sorted out on a skid=pad, but few of us leave the tire store and head for a skid-pad…
I agree. On the back generally advised. But consider you’ll never be able to rotate them safely unless you buy 2 more, as the fronts on a fwd will wear out faster and the rears will always be better. That’s why you should try to start with 4 equally matched tires. Caddyman is right about the differences in traction depending upon condition, making if a safety crap shoot when cornering that’s weather depended with just two tires being replaced on either axle.
To me, it’s how different the performance of the tires are instead of just, one set is new and one is not. But a tire company has to say something and at least to sell you two if you can’t afford 4. When will they say…“you’re safer driving with the older tires until you can afford 4” and run the risk of you walking ?
Kicking a dead horse, aren’t we? This gets debated almost weekly.
New tires on the REAR, regardless.
If the front tires are so bad you can’t steer or stop, you need four new tires, not just two.
What are you trying to do ? Make it so simple the rest of us who don’t have a life have nothing to talk about ? Most topics around here repeat with the weather.
If the rear tyres loose grip when you are doing an stop, the back end of the car will end up in front with you looking where you have been and not where you are going. Not good.
Under normal conditions and even some harsh conditions you will not get that problem, but it may show up under emergency conditions, which of course is the worse possible time.
If you look at the tyre manufacturer, car manufacturer and tyre retailer sites you will find they all tell you to put the best on the back.
Doesn’t matter as long as both sets have good tread depth.
I agree that the new tire location is not important. I carry that to buying one tire if my car needs only one tire and it gets installed wherever the bad tire was located and have never had a problem in the winter snow.
One thing that should be mentioned in the same sentence by the new tires always on the back advocates is that you must also buy new tires with the same traction rating as the old ones but that is overlooked.
It can be speculated that each tire will have frequently if not always have different traction situations such as weight distribution differences from front to rear, fat driver sitting on one side and no passengers, oil slick, sand, road marking paint or leaves on one side and not the other, centrifugal force to lean car to one side around a curve or corner, tire pressure differences and what else I can’t think of to make inherent minor traction differences among tires fade into insignificance. It may be a false assumption too that each side of a vehicle weighs identically and this is especially true with motorhomes.
I carry that to buying one tire if my car needs only one tire and it gets installed wherever the bad tire was located and have never had a problem in the winter snow.
The instructions for putting the best tyres on the back are made for emergency conditions, not normal driving. Under normal driving conditions, including snow and ice, it does not really come into play. It only comes into play under emergency conditions when you are loosing control of your car. Many people are lucky enough that this never happens to them, but when it does it is most often very serious.
The car manufacturers and tyre manufacturers all agree on this issue and they have the test tracks to safely test such issues.
Everyone please remember that under emergency conditions your car will not respond as it does during normal driving.
Quote: “The instructions for putting the best tyres on the back are made for emergency conditions, not normal driving. Under normal driving conditions, including snow and ice, it does not really come into play. It only comes into play under emergency conditions when you are loosing control of your car. Many people are lucky enough that this never happens to them, but when it does it is most often very serious.” Unquote
This is fearmongering and I don’t buy it. If it is vital for new tyres (sic) to be installed on the rear axle, then why is this not specified in my owner’s manuals? Why do car manufacturers and tire manufacturers not address the perils of eventual rotation of new tires from the back to the front? Rear tires can wear very slowly and can be like new at the expected 6000 to 8000 mile rotation mileage.
Emergency conditions that require skillful driving to avoid losing (not loosing) control during winter are not at all uncommon where I live.
My wife once delivered mail on a Star route in Colorado, in the mountains at 8500 feet elevation. In the winter, I put a PAIR of snow tires (new ones) on the front of her Subaru hatchback fwd and away she went. 70 miles a day for years. I never changed the rear tires, they seemed to last forever…She never spun out either…
That’s more of a testament to her driving skills than the preparation of the car.
Quote: “This is fearmongering and I don’t buy it. If it is vital for new tyres (sic) to be installed on the rear axle, then why is this not specified in my owner’s manuals? Why do car manufacturers and tire manufacturers not address the perils of eventual rotation of new tires from the back to the front? Rear tires can wear very slowly and can be like new at the expected 6000 to 8000 mile rotation mileage.”
There are 2 points worthy of addressing:
Owners manuals specify you are supposed to rotate your tires on a regular basis. If you do that, you will not encounter the situation where you have tires of drastically different tread depths. To address an issue that can not happen if the original instructions are followed seems to imply that it is OK NOT to follow the original instructions.
Why don’t tire and car manufacturers address the eventual rotation problems? Because there isn’t one. If the rule is to have the best tires on the rear - then the “new” tires shouldn’t be on the front.
But this scenario is predicated on a false premise: That NOT following the rules about rotation is OK to begin with - and that suddenly changing that to following the rules puts one back on the right path.
No! I’m sorry, but if one didn’t follow the rotation instructions, and got different wear rates, then one can’t blame someone else extracting them from the problem.
But you have a point. There probably should be instructions - and it would not be fearmongering to remind folks to do the safe thing. On the other hand, owners manuals are pretty thick now and most folks never open them! I’ll bet it would triple in size if instructions were added to cover “non-compliant situations”.
Correct. Owner’s manuals are thick now to include everything appropriate to keep the trial lawyers at bay. If new tires on the back with some delay from the normal schedule to rotating them to the front were an issue, it would be obvious to include this along with the other warnings and cautions.
In addition, if new tires on the rear were vital, traction control and antilock brakes would be manditory on all vehicles as you can depend on some people to neither understand nor follow instructions.