New tires on the front

I’ve been driving for 38 years. A I Average over 20K miles per year, lots of highway, spirited driving. Mostly FWD cars. Since the front tires always wearout sooner, I just replace them and let the rear tires go for awhile longer, then move the new ones to the rear and put another set of new ones on the front. This has been my formula since 1980. I average 50K miles on the front, 70K on the back. This business of NEVER putting new tires on the front because you MAY lose control in a curve seems rediculous to me. I’ve never had that problem in a FWD car. RWD yes, even with tires that have been rotated every 7k miles or so, but never with a FWD car. Sounds to me like the tire manufacturers way of selling more tires. I just went to buy new tires for my daughter’s Civic, because we were traveling to upstate Vermont during winter and needed more traction for getting up hills and through snow etc. The tire place refused to put them on the front (I’m sure many of you are thinking “good for them”, forcing me to buy 4 tires when I only needed 2. Its a conspiracy to sell tires. Am I the only one out there who sees this scheme?

I’m with you. I do about 30K a year so rotate about twice a year on my FWD and end up usually getting two tires at a time. I just make sure I have the best tires on the front for the winter time. On a FWD, the front does double duty of both traction and steering. Never understood those that think the best should be on the back on a FWD. Hardly ever had the rear break loose except on a slow turn on very slick snow and not accellerating.

Those front wheels have the weight on top of them and won’t be the cause of your problems. It’s all ok as long as you can always remember to slow down on slippery Ice and snow before you turn. If you use engine braking on a curve, you could slide right off the road. If you use brakes while turning, the car could do a complete 360. Especially if the front tires have the good grip and the rear ones don’t. This happens more with snow tires on the front and older non snow tires on the back. Too fast in the rain could get the same spin. They are concerned about the more extreme conditions where the bad handling will take you by complete surprise. You may have to brake on curves someday. Try not to cause your own disaster. Many people go off the road up here and there. If you needed snow tires to travel, the tire people may have saved your life. Be grateful.

How exactly is putting the new tires on the front a conspiracy to sell new tires? I mean, presumably they’d still just sell you two if you put the new ones on the back right? Is the conspiracy that they figure if they install the tires in the safe manner, you won’t crash your car and therefore will need to continue to buy more tires? Diabolical!

I’m guessing you’re probably just proactive enough about maintaining your tires that you never actually get that much of a difference between the front and back tires condition wise. But put yourself in the shoes of the tire shop-- they don’t know you’re not going to keep driving and driving until the fronts are at 50% tread and the backs are at 5%, in which case I can assure you that you will definitely notice a difference in winter driving conditions. If you got in a wreck, you could probably sue them and you might even have a decent case.

You will not experience the reason for having the best tyres on the back until it is too late and you are looking where you have been and have no control over where you are going. Luckily few of us are ever in that situation, but it does happen and then it is a little late.

There is no logic about trying to sell you more tyres. They are trying to keep you alive so you will come back when you need more tyres. The link below may help.

If you live where it snows or gets icy and you drive then put the better tires on the rear. Counter intuitive but if you need to brake or steer the front tires will grip better and rears will slip and have the tendancy to send your FWD into a spin. FWD and spins are hard to recover especially when the better tires on front.

You don’t need four new tires unless rears are worn out, but you simply need two new tires on the rear axle.

If you go through life interpreting every dissenting opinion as a conspriracy, you will eventually be convinced that people are following you, and you may even decide to begin wearing an aluminum foil hat. You are entitled to your theory, but you have to accept that tire companies have spent millions of dollars on researching safety as it pertains to tires. The tire dealers are doing what is recommended by the tire companies in an effort to avoid law suits for placing people in danger through unapproved practices.

If you wish to buy only two tires, accept the fact that all responsible tire shops will mount them on the back. Once you get home, feel free to move them to the front. However you might want to ask yourself honestly–Who has more expertise in this matter? Is it you, or is it all of the major tire companies?

This business of NEVER putting new tires on the front because you MAY lose control in a curve seems rediculous to me…Its a conspiracy to sell tires. Am I the only one out there who sees this scheme?

Since you already know what you believe, why even ask the question?

It’s pretty easy to change a behavior. It is a little harder to change an attitude. It is next to impossible to change a belief, even if it has absolutely no logical foundation.

It isn’t a scheme. My brother has smoked cigarettes for years and hasn’t gotten cancer or had a heart attack. By your line of reasoning, cigarettes don’t cause cancer or heart disease. Are cancer and heart disease also a scheme to hurt the tobacco companies and support the pharmaceutical industry? Okay, you have me convinced and I am putting on my tin foil hat.

Here’s the theory.

The average FWD car has about 60% of its weight in the front and 40% in the back. In short, the front tires have 50% more weight on them than the rear tires.

More weight means more traction. Putting the better traction tires on the front exascerbates the difference in traction, creating even more of a front to rear imbalance. This imbalance can enable you to “feel” fully in control, the front tires firmly gripping, when in reality the rear tires are on the verge of letting loose…and can.

I’ve seen footage of and read about the tests. It still doesn’t feel intuitively right to me, so I just try to keep excellent tires on all fours in bad weather seasons. Tires are cheap. Life is precious. Think of the added cost of keeping excellent tires on as really cheap insurance.

And remember, your daughter does not have your 38 years of experience behind her. Give her all the advantages you can. If the two tires you planned on keeping are over 50% worn, replace them. You cannnit replace your daughter.

ll these great explanations make me thing: What’s the situation with RWD? Base don what I read it is also advisable to out the better tires on the rear for them because of the very same reasons. Am I correct?

You are correct, but that’s also sort of the common sense idea because you need the better tires on the back to get the most traction. With FWD, having the best tires on the front will get you the most traction for getting moving, but they lead to unsafe situations braking and steering.

In addition to what Greasy said, I think you “feel” when you’r on he verge of traction loss in the rear with RWD. I think the inability on FWD to feel the rear getting sketchy is probably a big factor.

Early WWII Jeeps (actually they were called "General Purpose Vehicles or GPs) had a tendency to flip when in the hands of untrained operators because the hard suspension made the vehicle feel in control right up until it went over. The operators had no chance to respond with corrections.

Watch all these videos, especially the 5th one

There’s no conspiracy at work and no one can “force” you to do anything. If the tire store does not want to do things your way then simply tell them adios and leave.

My opinion is that new tires (when purchased in pairs) should always go on the front.
The reason for this is skidding usually involves rain or snow. With new tires the deepest tread is on the front (allowing better movement of water and snow) and the rear tires have less water/snow to displace since they’re following in trail with the fronts.

If you have worn tires on the front they’re going to have a tendency to skate much more easily than new tires and at some point steering is not going to mean a whole lot if the situation is bad enough.

"Its a conspiracy to sell tires. Am I the only one out there who sees this scheme?"
Ah yes. Curse those schemers and conspirators! They’re everywhere!

And curse those little green men! Am I the only one out there who sees those little green men? They’re everywhere!

My recent experience seems to confirm your opinion to put the new tires on the front. I have a front wheel drive Chevrolet Uplander. Last spring, I had to replace a tire in a hurry. I had a screw puncture a rear tire and the puncture was too close to the sidewall for a safe repair. I couldn’t exactly match the other tire and took the brand that the tire store sold to get back on the road quickly. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that my front tires were worn and I bought a still different brand to replace them. We have had some really icy conditions here and I have had no traction problems whatsoever. Before I replaced the front tires, I did notice that the front end had a tendency to skate on wet roads. The new tires cleared this problem up and so far have done well on the ice. My rear tires have plenty of tread,(one is practically new), but the matched new tires did go on the front.

green men? I see pink elephants :stuck_out_tongue:

Those are green men in elephant suits. Space aliens are color blind.

And, many people have engaged in unsafe sex practices without being infected with STDs. Based on that fact, would you advise people to engage in unsafe sex practices?

What are you going to do when your rear end swaps around and becomes your front end?