Hey all. I am new to the forum but a longtime fan of the show. Maybe you can answer a question for me about tire rotation on my 2004 Honda minivan. Here we go: The wear on the front tires exceeds the back ones and so I took it to a national chain (where I bought them) to be rotated. They said “no” since “you want the back tires to have more tread than the front due to the weight of the engine”. That stands everything I previously thought about rotation on its head. Please help with feedback or verification.
The rear tires are supposed to have more tread to keep them from breaking loose. If the difference is not much, it won’t hurt to rotate the tires.
You probably waited too long and ended up with lots of tread in the back and less up front. Yes, the front wears faster, but the back wants good tread to keep traction in heavy braking to avoid breaking free and swinging around, causing extreme loss of control and danger.
Where there’s a significant difference you want the rear tires to have the better thread.
According to the Qdyssey spec sheet, the van has 55% of its weight in the front and 45% in the rear. Weight equals traction, the more weight the more traction. Since your van has 22% more weight in the front than the rear, it has that much more traction all other things equal.
New tires have better traction than worn tires. So, to better balance the vehicle’s traction so that the rear doesn’t slide out on exit ramps, it makes sense to have the tire with the better traction on the end that inherantly has the least traction…the rear.
Tire rotation is to accomplish even wear on all tires. Once a significant difference has worn into them, the shop might be reluctant to change them. And they’d be right.
Finish wearing out the fronts, and when you replace them put the new tire son the rear.
By not rotating the tires often enough (and/or as a result of bad wheel aligment), you now have uneven wear from front to back. As Mountainbike stated, if you had rotated them on schedule, you would not be experiencing drastically different wear patterns on front vs. back tires.
So–leave things as they are for now. As mountainbike advised, when those front tires wear out, get new tires and place them on the rear, and have the “old” rear tires moved to the front. And from then on, make sure that you rotate the tires as per the Honda maintenance schedule.
Hey lagershead, you used to be right. For close to a century, we put the better tires on front and the ones with more wear on the rear. That was the correct way. Everyone knew that.
Perhaps a decade ago, tire companies reversed their decision. They did some trials in which drivers had to use aggressive driving on flooded roads. These tests showed that badly worn tires on the rear led to skids. So, fearful of liability issues, they told their franchises to not install the more worn tires on the rear.
Of course not all of us are convinced. We don’t all drive like maniacs, especially not on flooded roads. We switch to snow tires in winter. And so we still prefer the traditional method of rotation. Get even wear from a set of tires and you replace all four at the same time. You get a matched set and we take advantage of 4-for-3 sales. So you decide. You can always rotate them yourself.